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Saturday February 21, 2009Gators Win 17th SEC Crown at 2009 SEC Championships

Auburn, Ala.

In a four-day 2009 SEC Championship meet that came down to the very last relay, the No. 5 University of Florida women won their 17th SEC crown, the first since 2002, after edging out second-place finisher Auburn and third-place Georgia. The win for the Gators was the third-closest competition in SEC history, Florida with 744 points, Auburn with 730.5 and Georgia with 725. On the menís side, the No. 8 Gators claimed second place (626) at the 2009 league meet for the eighth-consecutive year to the menís team from Auburn (880.5). Tennessee finished third for the men (584).

Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) was named the SEC Female Swimmer of the Year for setting a new NCAA, SEC, UF and pool record that rallied the charge for the Gators on the final night of the league championships. Spofforth became just the second swimmer to ever break the 1:50 mark as she defended her 200-yard back title and swam the fastest time in the NCAA. Spofforth captured her second individual title and SEC record of the meet, her fourth overall in 2009 as a member of two SEC champion relays.

Spofforth shared the womenís highpoint with Auburnís Ava Ohlgren. The two each contributed 57 points to their teamís total points.

"I am so proud of both our men and women's teams. They really brought it tonight,Ē head coach Gregg Troy said. ďYesterday we were in a little bit of a hole and had some trouble racing, but our divers really kept us in the meet. Both the men and women gave it everything they had tonight. Gemma was just outstanding and had some great swims. The men's and women's backstroke championships to kick off tonight were a big key to our success. We're extremely excited and we're going to take a couple of days to enjoy this, but then it's back to business. We're not done yet. We have some other team goals that we'd like to achieve this year."

On top of 10 SEC Championships, six for the women and four for the men, the Gators set one NCAA record, 16 UF records, nine James E. Martin Aquatics Center pool records, five SEC records and captured 23 NCAA automatic qualifying marks during their 2009 SEC Championship meet campaign.

To make Spofforthís victory even sweeter, the Gators went 1-2-3 in the back with freshman Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) capturing second and junior Stephanie Proud (Durham, England) taking the third-place spot.

Senior Rex Tullius (Port Orange, Fla.) and Omar Pinzon (Bogota, Colombia) went one-two in the 200-yard back as Tullius captured his first SEC Championship ever. In last yearís championship meet, Pinzon took the title. Tullius swam the fastest time in the NCAA this year, the fourth-fastest 200-yard backstroke all-time. Pinzon was the second-place high point finisher on the menís side for the Gators after racking up 50 points for Florida.

Jemma Lowe (Hartlespool, United Kingdom) won her second SEC crown of the 2009 meet in the 200-yard butterfly after capturing the 100-yard fly Friday. Lowe set a new SEC and UF record with her 1:52.53 finish, the fastest time this year.

Both junior Clark Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) and Shaune Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) captured Florida records on the final night of SEC competition, Burckle finishing third in the 200-yard breast (1:54.42), while Fraser took second, an improvement from his 2008 third-place finish, in the 200-yard fly (1:41.88).

Senior Laurabeth Guenthner (Wellington, Fla.) rallied for the second-fastest time in the NCAA this season in the 1650-yard free, clocking a 15:56.44, second-place finish, which set a new career-best time in the event. Gator freshman Melani Costa Schmid (Palma de Mallona Spain) swam to a 16:24.12, marking the first time this season sheís swum the event. Costa-Schmidís eighth-place time was an NCAA provisional mark, while junior Kristen Beales (Arlington, Va.) turned in a 16:36.83 to place 13th.

Ryan Crete (Sarasota, Fla.) rallied for Floridaís highest finish in the mile on the menís side. Crete shattered a career-best by nearly seven seconds with his 14:53.63 swim, and fell just shy of the NCAA automatic qualifying mark (14:51.15) with his third-place, NCAA provisional swim. Sophomores Joey Pedraza (Ft. Lauderdale,Fla.) (15:00.33) and Logan Storie (Corvallis, Ore.) (15:05.19) and senior Scott Thompson (Birmingham, Mich) (15:24.64) placed fifth, eighth and 13th, respectively. Senior Cody Kauffman (Harrisburg, Pa.) (15:12.73), Storie and Pedraza all secured NCAA B standards, with Pedraza and Storie achieving career-bests and Kauffman earning a season-best time as an exhibition swimmer in the event.

 

Florida 2009 SEC Championship Notes

ß          The Lady Gators won their 17th all-time SEC crown, the first since 2002

ß          On the menís side, Florida finished second for the eighth-consecutive year to SEC Champion Auburn

ß          Gemma Spofforth was named the SEC Female Swimmer of the Year, her first annual accolade. Gemma also tied for the high-point winner with Auburnís Ava Ohlgren. The duo each contributed 57 points toward their teamís total

ß          Junior Omar Pinzon tied for second in the menís high point, scoring 50 points for the Gators

ß          Allyís 400 IM title was the fifth individual SEC title of his career and was his second 400 IM title after capturing the crown in 2007 (2009: 200 IM & 400 IM, 2008: 200 IM, 2007: 400 IM & 200 breast)

ß          Allyís 200 IM title on day two was his second-consecutive 200 IM title

ß          Florida men have captured the SEC title in the 200-yard IM the past five-consecutive years

ß          Senior Rex Tullius won the first SEC title of his career by taking the 200-yard backstroke in pool-record fashion

ß          Gemma Spofforth won her second-consecutive consecutive 100-yard back SEC title, her third career SEC title after winning the 100 & 200-yard back events in 2008 at both the SEC and NCAA championships

ß          Spofforth set the SEC record in the 100-yard back in prelims (50.53) and then re-set her own record on the first leg of Floridaís 400-yard medley relay with a time of 50.46. The two swims were the second and third-fastest swims all-time in the event

ß          Spofforth returned on day four of the 2009 SEC meet and swam an NCAA, UF, SEC and pool record time in the 200-yard back, 1:48.34, her second individual SEC title and record of the 2009 meet

ß          Spofforthís 200-yard back title was her second-consecutive and brought her all-time individual SEC Championship count to four (2009: 100 & 200 back, 2008: 100 & 200 back), seven overall as a member of the winning 200-yard medley & 200-yard free relays in 2009 and the champion 200-yard medley relay in 2008

ß          Shaune Fraser won his third-consecutive 200-yard freestyle title, his fifth career-title (2009: 200 free, 2008: 200 free, 2007: 200 free, 200 fly, 800 FR)

ß          Florida won 10 SEC titles in the 2009 championship meet and set 23 NCAA automatic qualifying marks

ß          Jemma Lowe won the first two SEC titles of her career in the 100-yard butterfly in UF record time (51.62) and the 200-yard butterfly in SEC record time (1:52.53)

ß          The Gators set one NCAA record, (W200 back), 16 UF records (W200 MR, M200 FR, Womenís 3M diving, W50 free, W200IM, W200 FR, W100 fly, M100 breast, W100 back, W400 IM, W400 MR, W200 back, M200 breast, M200 fly, W200 fly, W400 FR), nine James E. Martin Aquatics Center pool records (W200 MR, M200 IM, W200 FR, M100 back, W100 back, M400 IM, M200 free, W200 back, M200 back) and five SEC records (W200 MR, W200 FR, W100 back, W200 back, W200 fly) at the 2009 SEC Championship meet

ß          The Florida women captured an SEC Championship title for the 29th-consecutive year

ß          The Lady Gators won the 200-yard free relay for the first time since 1994 when the UF women swam to a 1:31.04

ß          Bradley Allyís two SEC Championships (200 & 400IM), Shaune Fraserís 200-yard free title and Rex Tulliusí 200 back crown gave the Florida men 55 individual SEC titles all-time

 

2009 SEC Championships (10)

1.    Womenís 200-yard medley relay: Spofforth, Rogers, Lago, Napier, 1:36.22

2.    Menís 200-yard IM: Bradley Ally, 1:41.96

3.    Womenís 200-yard free relay: Napier, Spofforth, Stafford, Bateman, 1:28.15

4.    Menís 400-yard IM: Bradley Ally, 3:41.35

5.    Womenís 100-yard butterfly: Jemma Lowe, 51.65

6.    Menís 200-yard freestyle: Shaune Fraser, 1:33.73

7.    Womenís 100-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 50.56  (went 50.53 in prelims)

8.    Womenís 200-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 1:48.34

9.    Menís 200-yard backstroke: Rex Tullius, 1:39.88

10. Womenís 200-yard fly relay: Jemma Lowe, 1:52.53

 

2009 SEC Records (5)

1.    Womenís 200-yard medley relay: Spofforth, Rogers, Lago, Napier, 1:36.22

2.    Womenís 200-yard free relay: Napier, Spofforth, Stafford, Bateman, 1:28.15

3.    Womenís 100-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 50.46 (leadoff of 400 medley relay)

4.    Womenís 200-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 1:48.34

5.    Womenís 200-yard fly relay: Jemma Lowe, 1:52.53

 

2009 NCAA Records (1)

1.    Womenís 200-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 1:48.34

 

Florida Records Broken at 2009 SEC Championship Meet (16)

1.    Womenís 200-yard medley relay: Spofforth, Rogers, Lago, Napier, 1:36.22

2.    Menís 200-yard free relay: Ally, Fraser (B), Gomez, Martinez, 1:17.60 (time trial)

3.    Womenís 3M Diving: Kara Salamone, 346.75

4.    Womenís 50-yard free: Stephanie Napier, 22.17

5.    Womenís 200-yard IM: Gemma Spofforth, 1:55.39

6.    Womenís 200-yard free relay: Napier, Spofforth, Stafford, Bateman, 1:28.15

7.    Womenís 100-yard butterfly: Jemma Lowe, 51.65

8.    Menís 100-yard breast: Clark Burckle, 53.27 (prelims)

9.    Womenís 100-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 50.46 (leadoff of 400 medley relay)

10. Womenís 400-yard IM: Stephanie Proud, 4:07.56

11. Womenís 400-yard medley relay: Spofforth, Rogers, Lowe, Stafford, 3:41.41

12. Womenís 200-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 1:48.34

13. Menís 200-yard breast: Clark Burckle, 1:54.42

14. Menís 200-yard butterfly: Shaune Fraser, 1:41.88

15. Womenís 200-yard butterfly: Jemma Lowe, 1:52.53

16. Womenís 400-yard free relay: Kemp, Spofforth, Stafford, Napier, 3:14.37

 

James E. Martin Aquatics Center Pool Records Broken By Gators at 2009 SECs (9)

1.    Womenís 200-yard medley relay: Spofforth, Rogers, Lago, Napier, 1:36.22

2.    Womenís 200-yard free relay: Napier, Spofforth, Stafford, Bateman, 1:28.15

3.    Menís 100-yard back: Omar Pinzon, 46.23 (prelims, was then broken by AU finals win)

4.    Womenís 100-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 50.46 (leadoff of 400 medley relay)

5.    Menís 400-yard IM: Bradley Ally, 3:41.35

6.    Menís 200-yard free: Brett Fraser, 1:33.62

7.    Womenís 200-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 1:48.34

8.    Menís 200-yard IM: Bradley Ally, 1:41.96

9.    Menís 200-yard backstroke: Rex Tullius, 1:39.88

 

NCAA Automatic Qualifying Times From Gators at 2009 SEC Meet (23)

1.    Menís 200-yard free relay: Ally, Fraser (B), Gomez, Martinez, 1:17.60 (time trial)

2.    Womenís 200-yard medley relay: Spofforth, Rogers, Lago, Napier, 1:36.22

3.    Menís 200-yard medley relay: Pinzon, Burckle, Ally, Martinez, 1:25.14

4.    Menís 800-yard free relay: Fraser (S), Fraser (B), Tullius, Gercsak, 6:18.36

5.    Menís 500-yard free: Balazs Gercsak, 4:14.99

6.    Menís 200-yard IM: Bradley Ally, 1:41.96

7.    Womenís 200-yard IM: Gemma Spofforth, 1:55.39

8.    Womenís 200-yard free relay: Napier, Spofforth, Stafford, Bateman, 1:28.15

9.    Womenís 100-yard butterfly: Jemma Lowe, 51.65

10. Menís 100-yard back: Omar Pinzon, 46.23

11. Menís 100-yard back: Rex Tullius, 46.49

12. Womenís 100-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 50.46

13. Menís 400-yard IM: Bradley Ally, 3:41.35

14. Womenís 400-yard medley relay: Spofforth, Rogers, Lowe, Stafford, 3:41.41

15. Womenís 200-yard backstroke: Gemma Spofforth, 1:38.34

16. Womenís 200-yard backstroke: Teresa Crippen, 1:51.89

17. Womenís 200-yard back: Stephanie Proud, 1:52.11

18. Menís 200-yard back: Rex Tullius, 1:39.88

19. Menís 200-yard back: Omar Pinzon, 1:40.15

20. Menís 200-yard butterfly: Shaune Fraser, 1:41.88

21. Womenís 200-yard butterfly: Jemma Lowe, 1:52.53

22. Womenís 400-yard free relay: Kemp, Spofforth, Stafford, Napier, 3:14.37

23. Menís 400-yard free relay: Fraser (B), Fraser (S), Gomez, Raymond, 2:52.12

 

For complete results and additional quotes from the 2009 SEC Championship meet, visit www.GatorZone.com. The Gators will next be in action Feb. 28-March 1 at the Georgia Last Chance Meet in Athens, Ga., where UF swimmers and divers will have one final chance to qualify for the 2009 NCAA Championships.

 

Womenís Final Rankings

1. Florida, 744

2. Auburn, 730.5

3. Georgia, 725

4. Tennessee, 394.5

5. Arkansas, 299

6. Alabama, 244

7. South Carolina, 225

8. LSU, 187

9. Kentucky, 182

10. Vanderbilt, 74

 

Menís Final Rankings

1. Auburn, 880.5

2. Florida, 626

3. Tennessee, 584

4. Georgia, 435.5

5. Alabama, 314

6. LSU, 303

7. Kentucky, 277

8. South Carolina, 174

 

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