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Thursday February 18, 2010Florida Claims Four More SEC Titles to Conclude Day Two of SEC Competition

Athens, Ga.

After leading the league field tied for first entering Thursday’s finals session on both the men’s and women’s sides, the Gators held strong on the second day of competition, bringing in three more individual SEC Championships and one relay title to bring UF’s two-day total to six titles. Florida junior Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) and seniors Shaune Fraser (George Town, Grand Cayman) and Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) all turned in individual Championship swims, while the UF women’s 200 free relay defended its title to lead both Florida squads to a second-place standing following day two in Athens. On the men’s side, Auburn leads the field with 291 points, UF is second (282 points) and Georgia third (205 points). In the women’s competition, Georgia grabbed the lead (300), Florida stands in second (266) and Auburn finished day two in third (248 points).

 

“We started off a little rocky, up and down in this morning’s session,” head coach Gregg Troy said, “but tonight we came out here and swam fantastic. Once finals started and we got going, I have absolutely no complaints. We did very well. We’ll rest tonight and come back tomorrow ready to race again.”

 

Dwyer kicked off the title trend by swimming a NCAA automatic qualifying time in the 500-yard free (4:14.58), the fastest time in the NCAA this season, to clinch his first SEC title as a Gator. Dwyer additionally took down the Florida record, held by fourth-place finisher Balazs Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) and became the first Gator to win the 500 since Michael Kiedel won the event for UF in 1996.

 

“It was a really exciting race – it was my first individual race at SECs,” Dwyer said. “It’s also an honor that it was a Florida record because Balazs (Gercsak) is an amazing swimmer, both here and internationally. It was a really good first day individually for me, but we still have two days left and we have a lot more to focus on.”

 

Both Spofforth and Fraser contributed to the Gator domination in the 200-yard IM races, Spofforth swimming the fastest 200 IM in the country this year (1:55.39), to automatically qualify for the NCAA meet. Spofforth’s title was the first 200 IM title for the Gators since 1999 when Jennifer Hommert won.

 

“This morning, I swam my prelim race pretty hard, so I was surprised at how fast I was able to go tonight,” Spofforth said. “It felt pretty smooth the first couple 50s, but on the last 25 I thought I bombed it. I was relieved when I got to the wall. It was a good swim, but now I’m just looking ahead to my next race.”

 

While Fraser took the top spot in the men’s 200-yard IM race (1:43.53), it was a team effort as senior Omar Pinzon (Bogota, Colombia) rallied for second place, just a tenth of a second behind Fraser (1:43.63). UF freshman Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa) touched in fourth for the Orange and Blue (1:44.35) to round out the 200 IM championship heat finishers. Fraser and Pinzon swam the fastest and second-fastest times in the nation so far this season as Fraser continued the winning tradition for the Gators in the 200 IM after 2008-09 senior Bradley Ally claimed the title last year and in 2008. The individual SEC win was Fraser’s sixth individual title, while Pinzon improved from third at last year’s SEC meet to second.

 

“It was a really good, close race,” Fraser said. “Moreso, it was good for us as a team because myself, Omar and Sebastien all improved our times from our morning swims to finish first, second and fourth. It’s good for us because right now, we’re also trying to set ourselves up for success at NCAAs.”

 

The Gators’ diving corps represented the Orange and Blue well Thursday with four finals qualifiers, two each from the men’s and women’s squads. UF sophomore diver Anthony Lewark (Davie, Fla.), who scored a 9.5 on his second dive in the championship session of the men’s one-meter board, rallied for a final score of 364.20, .05 off his career-best mark of 364.25 set at last year’s SEC Championship meet. Sophomore counterpart Colin Bell (Coral Springs, Fla.) placed eighth after scoring a 9.0 on his final dive of the evening, finishing with a career-best 332.50.

 

Florida’s Kara Salamone (Cooper City, Fla.) and Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.), who competed in the women’s three-meter springboard, built off the success of the men’s divers, Salamone turning in a third-place, 354.85 finish, while Dodson dove a career-best 340.75 to finish seventh overall in the championship final.

 

The Florida 200-yard free relays closed out the night on a high note as the women’s team took its second straight SEC title, thanks to the efforts of sophomores Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.) and Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) and seniors Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) and Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.), who collaborated for a 1:28.71 finish.

 

UF’s men’s 200 free relay, composed of Fraser, Brett Fraser (George Town, Grand Cayman), junior Matt Norton (Port Orange, Fla.) and senior Roberto Gomez (Weston, Fla.) closed out the night with a third-place finish in the last event.

 

In addition to their contributions on the 200 free relays, Brett Fraser, Stafford and Bateman all swam career-best marks in Thursday finals of the 50-yard free.

 

The third day of SEC competition starts with preliminaries of the following events at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. Friday at Gabrielsen Natatorium:

• 400 Individual Medley

• 100 Butterfly

• 200 Freestyle

• 100 Breastroke

• 100 Backstroke

• Platform diving (m)

• 400 Medley Relay

 

Gator fans can follow all the action from Athens at SEC Championship Central here. A recap of morning preliminaries can be found on www.GatorZone.com following each session, as well as final results and a recap after evening competition.

 

2010 SEC Titles

Women

One-meter diving: Kara Salamone: 326.70

200-yard IM: Gemma Spofforth: 1:55.39

200-yard free relay: Stafford, Spofforth, Bateman, Napier: 1:28.71

 

Men

800-yard free relay: Fraser (S), Fraser (B), Rousseau, Dwyer (6:15.91)

500-yard freestyle: Conor Dwyer: 4:14.58

200-yard individual medley: Shaune Fraser: 1:43.53

 

2010 SEC Records

Men

800-yard free relay: Fraser (S), Fraser (B), Rousseau, Dwyer (6:15.91)

**Previous: 6:16.25 (2005)

 

2010 UF Records

Men

800-yard free relay: Fraser (S), Fraser (B), Rousseau, Dwyer (6:15.91)

**Previous: 6:16.25 (Lochte, Townsend, Hartley, Sioui; 2005)

500-yard freestyle: Conor Dwyer: 4:14.58

**Previous: 4:14.67 (Balazs Gercsak; 2009)

 

2010 Automatic Qualifying Marks

Women

200-yard IM: Gemma Spofforth: 1:55.39

 

Men

200-yard medley relay: 1:25.10 (Pinzon, Dwyer, Fraser (S), Gomez)

800-yard free relay: 6:15.91 (Fraser (S), Fraser (B), Rousseau, Dwyer)

500-yard freestyle: Conor Dwyer: 4:14.58

200-yard individual medley: Shaune Fraser: 1:43.53

200-yard individual medley: Omar Pinzon: 1:43.63

 

 

Florida SEC Notes 

·          Gator senior diver Kara Salamone won the one-meter springboard, the first diving title for the University of Florida women since 2001, when Robyn Grimes won the three-meter title. Salamone’s one-meter championship, her first ever, was the first one-meter title since 2000 when Grimes claimed the one-meter springboard championship

·          Florida’s 800-yard free relay victory and SEC Record on the men’s side was UF’s first 800 FR championship since 2005 when UF’s Lochte, Townsend, Hartley & Sioui set the Florida and SEC records with the win

·          The Gators’ 800-yard free relay recorded the fastest time in the nation so far during the 2010 season

·          Junior Conor Dwyer’s SEC Championship on day two (Thursday) was his first career title after transferring from Iowa (Big Ten) this season. His 500-yard free time surpassed current teammate Balazs Gercsak’s (4:14.67) for the Florida record (4:14.58)

·          Dwyer’s 500 free title was the first in the event for Florida since Michael Kiedel won the event for UF in 1996

·          With Gemma Spofforth’s 200-yard IM SEC Championship on Thursday, the win marked her first SEC title in the event and her fifth individual overall

·          Spofforth’s 200 IM title was the first in the event for the Gators since 1999 when Jennifer Hommert brought home the 200 IM title

·          Senior Shaune Fraser edged out teammate Omar Pinzon for his sixth individual SEC title, continuing the 200 IM title tradition after Florida’s Bradley Ally took the title at the 2009 SEC meet. Pinzon improved from third in 2009 to second in 2010 behind Fraser by just a tenth of a second

·          Florida has now won four straight years of the men’s 200 IM: Fraser in 2010, Ally in 2008 and 2009 and Lucas Salatta in 2007

·          The Florida quartet of Shara Stafford, Gemma Spofforth, Sarah Bateman and Stephanie Napier defended its 200 free relay title with a 1:28.71 swim, becoming the first back-to-back UF 200 FR champions since the 1993 and 1994 Gators did so

 

 

Florida Finals Results (Thursday, February 18)

A NCAA Automatic Qualifying Mark

^ Season-Best Mark

* Career-Best Mark

$ SEC Record

F Florida Record

 

Women’s 500-yard freestyle

5. Melani Costa-Schmid, 4:43.96 ^*

7. Jamie Bohunicky, 4:45.45

11. Corinne Showalter, 4:44.62 ^*

16. Eva Lehtonen, 4:48.43

 

Men’s 500-yard freestyle

1. Conor Dwyer, 4:18.50 A^*F

4. Balazs Gercsak, 4:19.71 ^

9. Joey Pedraza, 4:21.65 ^

11. Roland Rudolf, 4:22.25^

12. Jeff Raymond, 4:23.70

 

Women’s 200-yard IM

1. Gemma Spofforth, 1:55.39 A^

11. Kirsten Smith, 2:00.24 ^

 

Men’s 200-yard IM

1. Shaune Fraser, 1:43.53 A^

2. Omar Pinzon, 1:43.63 A^*

4. Sebastien Rousseau, 1:44.35 ^*

13. Brian Howell, 1:46.86 ^*

 

Women’s 50-yard free

3. Sarah Bateman, 22.25 ^*

4. Shara Stafford, 22.26 ^*

9. Stephanie Napier, 22.72 ^

13. Elizabeth Kemp, 22.96 ^

 

Men’s 50-yard free

6. Brett Fraser, 19.67 ^*

15. Roberto Gomez, 20.11

 

Men’s one-meter diving

7. Anthony Lewark, 364.20 ^

8. Colin Bell, 332.50 ^*

 

Women’s three-meter diving

3. Kara Salamone, 354.85

7. Monica Dodson, 340.75 ^*

 

Women’s 200-yard free relay

1. Stafford, Spofforth, Bateman, Napier: 1:28.71 ^

 

Men’s 200-yard free relay

3. Fraser (S), Fraser (B), Norton, Gomez: 1:18.19 ^

 

 

Florida Prelims Results (Thursday, February 18)

A NCAA Automatic Qualifying Mark

^ Season-Best Mark

* Career-Best Mark

$ SEC Record

F Florida Record

 

Women’s 500-yard freestyle

5. Melani Costa-Schmid, 4:44.43 ^* - finals qualifier

8. Jamie Bohunicky, 4:44.86 ^* - finals qualifier

11. Corinne Showalter, 4:46.13 ^* - consolation qualifier

15. Eva Lehtonen, 4:47.97 ^* - consolation qualifier

18. Angelina Ballatore, 4:50.50 ^* - second alternate

20. Sarah Peterson, 4:51.73 ^*

 

Men’s 500-yard freestyle

2. Conor Dwyer, 4:18.50 ^* - finals qualifier

4. Balazs Gercsak, 4:20.86 ^ - finals qualifier

9. Jeff Raymond, 4:21.97 ^ - consolation qualifier

10. Joey Pedraza, 4:22.60 ^ - consolation qualifier

11. Roland Rudolf, 4:23.19 ^ - consolation qualifier

17. Ryan Crete, 4:26.13 ^ - first alternate

 

Women’s 200-yard IM

5. Gemma Spofforth, 1:58.55 ^ - finals qualifier

10. Kirsten Smith, 2:00.96 ^ - consolation qualifier

17. Lily Ramirez, 2:01.96 ^* - first alternate

20. Jemma Lowe, 2:02.83 ^

27. Lindsey Rogers, 2:04.10 ^

Exhibition. Sarra Lajnef, 2:05.03 ^*

Exhibition. Maida Turnadzic, 2:05.40 ^

 

Men’s 200-yard IM

1. Omar Pinzon, 1:44.56 ^ - finals qualifier

2. Shaune Fraser, 1:44.95 ^ - finals qualifier

8. Sebastien Rousseau, 1:45.53 ^* - finals qualifier

13. Brian Howell, 1:47.21 ^ - consolation qualifier

20. Robby Kennedy, 1:49.76 ^

Exhibition. Manny Rabelo, 1:53.31 ^*

 

Women’s 50-yard free

2. Shara Stafford, 22.32 ^* - finals qualifier

6. Sarah Bateman, 22.52 ^ - finals qualifier

9. Stephanie Napier, 22.76 ^ - consolation qualifier

13. Elizabeth Kemp, 22.97 ^ - consolation qualifier

 

Men’s 50-yard free

6. Brett Fraser, 19.70 ^* - finals qualifier

16. Roberto Gomez, 20.03 ^* - consolation qualifier

17. Matt Norton, 20.08 ^* - first alternate

27. Pholien Systermans, 20.38 ^*

Exhibition. Raul Martinez, 20.50 ^

 

Men’s one-meter diving

6. Colin Bell, 329.40 ^* - finals qualifier

7. Anthony Lewark, 328.10 - finals qualifier

 

Women’s three-meter diving

7. Kara Salamone, 325.60

8. Monica Dodson, 317.75

 

-UF-

 

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