Friday January 22, 2010No. 6/7 UF Men and Women Sweep No. 5/8 Auburn Squads
On Senior Day at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, the No. 6/7 Gator men’s and women’s swimming and diving squads sent 15 seniors out in victory, as the No. 6 UF men upset No. 5 Auburn, 162-138, and the No. 7 UF women swam and dove past eighth-ranked AU, 185-115, in the last home dual of the season. The UF men’s squad improved to an undefeated 8-0 (3-0 SEC) with the victory, while the women added their ninth win of the season, third in the SEC (9-2, 3-1 SEC).
In the extremely fast meet, a total of 69 NCAA B standards were achieved between the Florida and Auburn student-athletes in swimming competition, including both individual and relay races. Ten of the 16 women’s victories belonged to the Gators, while Florida’s men walked away with nine event victories out of the 16 events. UF swept first through third in four races on the men’s side, including the 1,000 free, 200 fly, 200 back and 500 free. In women’s action, the Gators won first, second and third in both the 200 free and 500 free races.
“We saw some great things from our team on Senior Day today,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “Our seniors were excited, they had their parents, friends and other family here to show support, and that pumped up both teams. We are a very, very close team. Our seniors swam extremely well, but the depth from the remainder of the team is what won it for us, because without second and third-place finishes, it’s hard to maintain. Today was a great judge of where we’re at this season in our training. We were able to see where we are now versus where we need to be in a few weeks. I’m positive Auburn will be better at the conference meet, and we need to be better too, particularly on some technical things.”
Fittingly, several strong performances from the UF seniors helped pave the way for the Gators, as the Bogota, Colombia, native, Omar Pinzon won three individual events for the Florida men, including the 100 back (47.46), 200 back (1:42.80) and 200 individual medley (1:47.91), all of which counted as NCAA provisional standards. Shaune Fraser (George Town, Grand Cayman) walked away victorious in both the 100 (47.00) and 200-yard butterfly (1:44.37) races, while placing second in the 100 free (43.82), all qualifying NCAA B cuts.
On the women’s side, senior Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) won the 100-yard backstroke (53.03) and finished second in the 200-yard back race (1:56.61), while senior diver Kara Salamone (Cooper City, Fla.) took the one-meter diving title (303.97) and finished second in the three-meter competition (292.81).
On the men’s side, junior Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.), had a stand-out day for UF, winning the 200 free (1:35.36) and the 500 free (4:20.59). Dwyer was the anchor leg of UF’s winning 400-yard freestyle relay, and clocked an unprecedented 42.75 split in the come-from-behind 100-yard free final leg. The next closest split belonged to UF’s Brett Fraser (George Town, Grand Cayman), who swam a 43.10. The Gators out-touched Auburn with a 2:54.58 swim, while the Tigers’ A relay clocked a 2:55.30, good for second place.
In distance freestyle action, UF junior Joey Pedraza (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) held it down for the Orange and Blue, finishing first in the 1,000-yard free (9:08.31) and fourth in the 500 free (4:31.12). UF’s 500-yard free corps took first through third with Dwyer in first, junior Balazs Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) in second (4:26.94) and sophomore Jeff Raymond (Davie, Fla.) in third (4:27.59), all securing NCAA provisional standards.
Teresa Crippen, the Conshohocken, Pa., sophomore tallied two event wins in the 200-yard back (1:55.42) and 200-yard fly (1:56.99) for the Florida women, and came touched in at second in the women’s 200-yard individual medley (2:00.77). Also representing for the sophomores, Melani Costa-Schmid (Palma de Mallorca, Spain) had two wins for the Gators in the 1,000 free (9:45.04) and 500-yard free (4:46.98) and Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.) swam a winning 200 free (1:46.90) and a second-place 100 free (49.75) performance.
Both Florida’s men’s and women’s teams continued to experience tremendous aid from underclassmen contributors, particularly Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa) and Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.). Rousseau provided depth in both fly races for UF, taking second in the 200-yard fly (1:47.62) and fifth in the 100 fly (49.50). Rousseau additionally added a fifth-place finish in the men’s 200-yard IM (1:51.06). Bohunicky made her presence known in the 200 free (1:47.12) and 500 free (4:48.33), placing second in both.
Florida will hit the road for its last dual of the 2009-10 season before SECs when it takes on conference rival Tennessee in Knoxville Fri., Jan. 29, (women) and Sat., Jan., 30 (men). Complete results and a recap will be available on www.GatorZone.com following competition.