Sunday December 6, 2009No. 5 Florida Concludes Fall Schedule With Third-Place Finish at UGA Fall Invite
The University of Florida men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs concluded the fall portion of the 2009-10 schedule Sunday with second and third-place finishes, respectively, at the three-day 2009 Georgia Fall Invitational. The No. 4 Gator men moved from third place to second place on the final day of competition to finish with 758 points. Georgia (1374) claimed the meet title at its home pool, Gabrielsen Natatorium, while the University of Denver took third in the men’s competition (743).
On the women’s side, No. 5 Florida maintained a steady third-place standing through all three days of competition in Athens, finishing third (678) behind the home team, Georgia (1489), and the Denver Pioneers (861) who took first and second.
The contingent of predominantly younger Gators that competed Friday through Sunday in Athens took away valuable experience from the UGA campus, as the Bulldogs will host the 2009 SEC Championship Meet, Feb. 17-20.
Veteran senior diver Kara Salamone (Cooper City, Fla.) led the Florida women at the invitational, finishing first in the platform (305.30), second on the one-meter (292.95) and sixth on the three-meter board (289.40). Salamone’s diving counterparts, junior Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) and sophomore Kaylee Doback (Brandon, Fla.) turned in strong performances as well, Dodson taking third on the one-meter (292.90) and platform (248.90) and fifth on the three-meter board (291.30). Doback rallied for fourth on the three-meter board (308.95) as UF’s highest finisher, fourth in the platform (231.55) and fifth (268.40) in the one-meter competition.
Sophomore Anna-Liisa Pold (San Diego, Calif.) had a stellar meet for the Orange and Blue with a fourth-place finish in the 400-yard IM (4:21.46) and sixth-place marks in both the 200 fly (2:02.66) and 200 back (2:01.41) races. Gainesville native Angelina Ballatore (Gainesville, Fla.) took fifth in the 400 IM (4:24.51) alongside Pold, while recording an eighth-place swim in the 200 breast.
Sophomores Carly Pike (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Daniela Victoria (Plantation, Fla.) and freshman Sarra Lajnef (Tunis, Tunisia) provided Florida representation in the breaststroke events, Pike and Victoria with sixth and seventh-place finishes in the 100 breast and Victoria, Lajnef and Pike in second, fourth and sixth in the 200 breast race.
Distance freestyler and freshman Sharla Milne (Lithia, Fla.) represented the Gators in the mile with a fifth-place finish, while sophomore Maida Turnadzic (Cape Coral, Fla.) took sixth in the 100 fly and eighth in the 200 fly event.
On the men’s side, several Gators highlighted the run in Athens, starting with junior Logan Storie (Corvallis, Ore.). Storie placed first in the 200 free, sixth in the 500 free (4:30.19) and eighth in the 100 free (46.87) for the Gators.
Freshman Scott Sommer (Ocala, Fla.), junior Matt Norton (Port Orange, Fla.) and senior Raul Martinez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) were UF’s sprint freestylers over the weekend, Martinez (20.93), Norton (20.95) and Sommer (21.12) taking fourth, fifth and seventh in the 50 free. In the 100 free, Norton and Martinez placed fifth (45.35) and sixth (46.09), respectively, while Sommer (1:41.17) and Martinez (1:41.39) placed third and fourth behind Storie in the 200 free.
In the distance freestyle events, Storie had a presence as well, finishing sixth (4:30.19) in the 500 free, while freshman Jason Taylor (Plant City, Fla.) took eighth in both the 500 (4:34.28) and mile (16:05.62). Senior Ryan Crete (Sarasota, Fla.) and freshman Csaba Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) also swam the mile and turned top-eight times, Crete in fifth (15:50.55) and Gercsak in sixth (15:58.34).
Florida’s stroke swimmers had strong outings, led by sophomore Jose Crescimbeni (Holiday, Fla.), who took third in the 100 back (50.14) and sixth in both the 100 fly (49.62) and 200 fly (1:50.47). Redshirt freshman John Lehtonen (Rochester Hills, Mich.) placed second in the breast (2:04.95) and sophomore Brian Howell (Cincinnati, Ohio) took third in the 100 back (1:50.83) and seventh in the 400 IM (4:00.09).
Sophomore Anthony Lewark (Davie, Fla.) and junior Grayson Patten (West Palm Beach, Fla.) were UF’s diving representation, Lewark taking the three-meter title (363.75) placing second on the platform (299.20) and one-meter board (318.45). Patten claimed fifth in the three-meter competition (309.30), seventh on the platform (218.40) and ninth on the one-meter board (300.40).
Florida’s two programs will break for a training phase over the holiday season, and will swing back into action Jan. 3-5 when the Gator divers compete in the 2010 Georgia Diving Invitational.