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Tuesday November 24, 2009No. 4 Florida Men's Swimming & Diving Tops FSU, 169-131

Gainesville, Fla.

In the last dual meet of the fall semester, both the Florida men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams battled through Florida State, as the Gator women defeated the Seminoles, 212-88, while the men topped FSU, 169-131, in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Tuesday evening. After being just edged by Florida State Nov. 20-22 at the Georgia Tech Invitational, No. 5 Florida improved to 5-2 overall in women’s dual meet action this season with a victory over the ‘Noles, while the fourth-ranked UF men chalked a win to elevate to 4-0 following the FSU dual. The win on the women’s side brought the Gators’ all-time record to 38-1 against the Seminoles, while the men grabbed their 50th win in the history of the series (50-22-1).


“There were way too many great swims tonight to give individual accolades,” head coach Gregg Troy said of the win. “We are extremely proud of the way our team responded after the Georgia Tech Invitational last weekend. They came out and had a great meet and raced tremendous.”


Heading into the swimming portion of the match-up between the two rivals, following both diving events, the UF women led the Seminoles, 28-10, while the FSU men were ahead, 30-8.

Both of Florida’s 200-yard medley relays set the tone of the evening with exciting swims. The women’s quartet of senior Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England), sophomore Lindsay Rogers (Fishers, Ind.), senior Liz Kemp (Potomac, Md.) and sophomore Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.) raced to a 1:40.54 season-best time and first-place finish, while the men’s relay also swam its fastest mark of the season with a victory. The men’s quartet, senior Omar Pinzon (Bogota, Colombia), junior Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.), senior Shaune Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) and junior Brett Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) clocked a 1:28.41 after B. Fraser swam a 19.96 freestyle anchor.


While the Gator women maintained a steady lead over the Seminoles throughout the match-up, the story on the men’s side was just opposite. A neck and neck meet made for an exciting finish that came down to the last few events.


A win in the 200-yard free by Dwyer (1:35.78) and a one-two finish in the men’s 200-yard butterfly by S. Fraser (1:47.27) and Balazs Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) (1:48.32) helped the Florida men even out the score. S. Fraser tacked on another victory, and nine points, with a first-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle (43.78), an event senior Roberto Gomez (Weston, Fla.) took second in (44.93).


However, following the several stellar swims for the Florida men, a 1-2-3 finish by Florida State in the men’s 200-yard breaststroke catapulted the Seminoles ahead of the Gators in the team standings. But Florida stood strong, responding with a 1-2-3 finish of its own in the 500-yard freestyle, with first place belonging to Dwyer (4:26.13), second to sophomore Jeff Raymond (Davie, Fla.) (4:28.63) and third to Gercsak (4:28.69). S. Fraser added his third individual victory of the night in the 100-yard fly (47.38) to seal the deal for the Orange and Blue in the next event.


A win by Pinzon, who also took the 100 back title, in the 200-yard IM, with a second-place finish by junior Mike Joyce (Voorhees, N.J.) in the IM and UF’s 1-2 400-yard freestyle relay finishes were too much for the Seminoles to handle, with Florida claiming a 169-131 final victory.


Outstanding swims on the women’s side led UF to a big win over the in-state ACC opponent, beginning with an individual victory from distance freestyle freshman Corinne Showalter (Sarasota, Fla.) (9:50.52) who raced the last 25 yard to out-touch FSU’s Marissa Harrington by a quarter of a second.


Florida’s youth proved to hold steady throughout the meet as freshman Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) swam the top time in the 200-yard free (1:47.49), with Stafford in second (1:47.61). Stafford later claimed the 100-yard free (49.72), while Bohunicky additionally took the 500-yard free title in 4:49.74.


Spofforth kept to her winning ways in both backstroke events, tallying victories in both the 100 (53.33) and 200-yard back events (1:55.43), while stroke swimmers Jemma Lowe (Hartlepool, England) and Rogers stepped it up for the Orange and Blue in the fly and breast events, respectfully. Rogers claimed a huge event victory in the 100-yard breast with a season-best and NCAA consideration mark 1:02.69. Lowe took first in the 100-yard fly (54.28) and tied fellow sophomore Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) for first in the 200-yard fly.


Crippen added a second-place finish in the 200-yard back (1:57.02) and also claimed the 200-yard IM title (2:01.34). Sophomore Lily Ramirez (Gainesville, Fla.) placed second in the 100 back and fourth in the 200-yard back and sophomore Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) won the 50 free in 22.87 and provided depth with third in the 100-yard free.


UF’s 400-yard free relay composed of Kemp, Stafford, Spofforth and Bohunicky put the finishing touches on a great meet with a time of 3:20.26 in the final event.


Prior to the swimming portion of the dual meet match-up with the Seminoles, both UF diving teams competed on the one and three-meter diving boards, with an especially successful day for the Gator women. Senior Kara Salamone (Hollywood, Fla.) captured the three-meter title, while junior Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) took second in the event. Salamone and Dodson dove to scores of 326.63 and 313.13, respectively, Dodson’s score marking a season-best. Sophomore Kaylee Doback (Brandon, Fla.) placed fourth on the three-meter board with a season-high score of 290.70


On the one-meter springboard, Salamone returned to take her second and final event title of the afernoon, accumulating 301.50 points, while Dodson claimed second with a score of 282.90. Doback rallied for sixth, achieving a season-best score in the event (266.48), besting her mark established at Virginia.


Florida State’s Terry Horner and Landon Marzullo took the first and second-place spots in the men’s one-meter competition, but UF sophomore Anthony Lewark (Davie, Fla.) rallied as UF’s highest finisher in third place, racking up 331.35 points, just shy of his season-best set at Virginia. Junior Grayson Patten (West Palm Beach, Fla.) placed seventh (267.60) to round out UF’s two competitors on the board.


Lewark and Patten returned in the three-meter springboard competition to place third and fifth, respectively, with scores of 340.73 and 289.58. The mark was a season-best for Patten.


The Gators will be back in action Dec. 3-6, when a limited number of student-athletes will head to U.S. Short Course Nationals in Seattle, Wash., Dec. 3-5, while a majority of the team head to Athens, Ga., for competition in the Georgia Invitational, Dec. 4-6.





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