Friday January 29, 2010Gator Swim & Dive Sweeps Tennessee Vols to Conclude 2009-10 Dual Meet Schedule
The Florida women’s and men’s swimming and diving teams concluded the 2009-10 dual meet schedule with wins over ranked conference opponent Tennessee at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center in Knoxville Friday. In separate duals, Florida’s women took down the Vols, 170-130, in an afternoon match-up, while the men won a 164-133 decision Friday evening, serving the UT men’s team its first loss in the two-year history of the Allan Jones Aquatic Center. While UF’s men were originally scheduled to compete Saturday at noon, pending inclement weather in the Knoxville area resulted in two Friday duals.
UF’s seventh-ranked women’s team (10-2, 4-1 SEC) won nine of the 16 individual events, but both relay victories, the 200-yard medley and 400-yard free relays, belonged to the No. 12 Lady Vols. Serving as a steady competitor for UF all season on the diving boards, senior Kara Salamone (Cooper City, Fla.) kept to her winning ways, taking both the one and three-meter diving titles.
Two other women’s swimmers, sophomore Melani Costa-Schmid (Palma de Mallorca, Spain) and senior Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) each won two individual events, Costa-Schmid claiming the 200 free (1:47.50) and 500 free (4:48.61) races, and Spofforth, the 100 and 200 back defending NCAA Champion, taking home both titles in the UT/UF dual.
Freshmen Eva Lehtonen (Rochester Hills, Mich.) and Corinne Showalter (Sarasota, Fla.), and sophomores Jemma Lowe (Hartlepool, England) and Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) each won individual events as well, Showalter and Lehtonen swimming to a Gator tie in the 1,000-yard free (9:57.25), Lowe claiming the 200-yard fly (1:59.07) and Crippen taking home the 200 IM title (2:01.05). Crippen additionally finished second in both the 200 and 500 free races.
In men’s swimming action, the No. 6 UF men (9-0, 4-0 SEC) topped No. 11 Tennessee by way of eight individual event victories. The Vols took first-place points in both the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays, but UF’s depth prevailed.
The Gators were led in event wins by junior Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.), who claimed the 100-yard free (44.49) and 400-yard IM (3:49.86) races. Additionally, junior distance freestyler Balazs Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) walked away victorious in the 1,000 free (9:15.22) and 500 free (4:28.75) and freshman Marco Loughran (London, England) swam to wins in the 100 back (47.92) and 200 back (1:45.39).
Junior transfer Manny Rabelo (Villa Clara, Cuba) shined brightly for UF in the breaststroke events, swimming a 55.23 victory race in the 100 breast, slightly out-touching UT’s Brad Criag (55.24) for the win. Rabelo turned around and clocked a 2:02.42 in the 200 breast, touching in at second.
Senior Omar Pinzon (Bogota, Colombia) raced his way to a 1:46.75 in the 200-yard fly, good for first place, to round out UF’s event winners.
Florida’s depth was a factor against the Vols, and even with just half of the event victories, UF swept first through third in the 1,000 free, 200 fly and 100 free, giving the Gators the reinforcement to prevail in Knoxville.
While the dual meet season is over for the Gators, a three-week taper and train period will ensue before UF heads to Athens, Ga., for the 2010 SEC Championship Meet, hosted by Georgia Feb. 17-20.