Saturday November 7, 2009Florida Splits Two-Day Double-Dual With Michigan & Stanford
The Gator middle-distance freestyle crew and several strong stroke performances led the way for the UF women’s swimming and diving program Saturday morning on the second day of a two-day double-dual between Florida, Michigan and Stanford. The Gators (4-2, 1-1 SEC) topped the Wolverines, 292-137, but fell just short to the Cardinal, 231-198, after two sessions of competition from the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium.
After the first day of competition Friday, Florida trailed Stanford by just 23 points (133-110), but two event wins from Stanford’s U.S. Olympian Julia Smit in the 400 IM and 100 free, as well as a Cardinal win in the 200-yard free relay Saturday, allowed Stanford pull ahead for the win. The Orange and Blue never let its guard down against the Wolverines, leading Michigan entering Saturday’s session with a score of 155-88.
“We had a good couple of days of competition and rebounded well after our meet with Georgia last week,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “We raced much better this week. We’re in a new training phase and our athletes respond differently to that – some that raced really well against Georgia weren’t as sharp this week, and some that didn’t swim great against Georgia raced really well this week. We have some very versatile athletes and this meet allowed us to switch up some of their events. While we would always like to come out on top, these meets help us tremendously in preparing for the spring season championship meets in February and March.”
A victory for the Gators in the first event of the morning, the 200-yard medley relay, gave Florida an edge to start competition as seniors Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) and Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and sophomores Jemma Lowe (Hartlepool, England) and Lindsay Rogers (Fishers, Ind.) swam to a time of 1:44.10.
Sophomore middle-distance freestyler Melani Costa-Schmid (Palma de Mallorca, Spain) had two stellar performances in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle events, coming out on top in both races. Costa-Schmid clocked a 1:48.01 in the 200 free and a 4:47.61 in the 500-yard free win to score 18 individual points for UF.
Freshman Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) and sophomore Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) provided depth in the free events, Bohunicky with a 1:49.16 in third place and Crippen in fourth (1:49.59) in the 200 free, while Crippen returned in the 500 free with a 4:56.29, good for fifth. Gator senior Kristen Beales (Arlington, Va.) rallied for third in the 500 (4:53.77), while another freshman, Corinne Showalter (Sarasota, Fla.) clocked a 4:54.35 fourth-place finish in the 500. Bohunicky doubled up as UF’s highest finisher in Saturday’s 100-yard free (51.26) with her third-place finish.
In the sprint 50-yard free, senior Liz Kemp (Potomac, Md.) and sophomore Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.) tied for second (23.47) to lead the way for UF.
Florida IMers, sophomores Kirsten Smith (Cary, N.C.) and Anna-Liisa Pold (San Diego, Calif.), cocked the top finishes for the Gators in the 400-yard IM, Smith with a third-place finish (4:22.13) and Pold in fourth with a time of 4:22.40. While the Gators weren’t as sharp in the 100-yard butterfly, Lowe rallied for fourth 55.48, Crippen took fifth (55.54) and Kemp placed sixth (55.68) to provide depth in the event.
Spofforth maintained her winning ways in the 100-yard backstroke, clocking a 55.03 first-place finish, while sophomore Lily Ramirez (Gainesville, Fla.) stacked depth in third (55.35) and Stafford claimed fourth in 55.91. A solid breaststroke race rounded out UF’s stroke competition as sophomore Daniela Victoria (Plantation, Fla.) swam her way to fifth (1:04.83) and Rogers (1:05.51) took seventh to complete the Gators’ top eight finishers in the race.
In the last relay of the two-day meet, the winning decision came down to the last leg of the 200-yard free relay, as the quartet from Stanford barely out-touched the Gators’ squad by a half second. The Cardinal took first with a time of 1:33.28, while the UF relay, composed of Stafford, Spofforth, sophomore Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) and Napier clocked a 1:33.82, good for a second-place finish.
Both the UF men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams return to action Nov. 19-21 as the women head to Columbia, S.C., for competition at the South Carolina Invitational and the men head to Atlanta, Ga., for the Georgia Tech Invitational.