Monday October 11, 2010Florida Swimming and Diving Splits Dual Meet Against Virginia
The University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team edged out the University of Virginia women’s squad for a 150-148 win, while the Gators fell short against the Cavaliers on the men’s side, 153-145, Monday afternoon at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium. The two-point victory for the Lady Gators marked the closest finish on the women’s side since Florida squeaked by UCLA for a 150-149 victory during the 1997-98 season, while the loss by the men marked only the second time in the last decade the Gator men fell in their dual-meet opener.
“Virginia is a much better team than the ones we swam against last week,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “On both sides, they have real good, quality groups. They’re the best team in the Atlantic Coast Conference. We just didn’t respond especially well at the beginning of the meet. The men were a little shorthanded due to international competition, but the women’s side responded really well in the second half of the meet. Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.), Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) and Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) were all outstanding.”
Beisel led all scorers on the women’s side, collecting NCAA provisional marks in every race she competed in. The 2008 Olympian won the women’s 200-yard backstroke (1:58.29) and 200-yard individual medley (2:00.89), while placing second behind Virginia’s Lauren Perdue (1:47.33) in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.42). The freshman also collected points in the 400-yard freestyle relay, collaborating with Stafford, junior Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) and sophomore Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) for a second-place finish and another NCAA provisional mark (3:21.74).
Senior captain Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) led the way for the Gator men, who swam without four All-Americans. The seven-time All-American picked up victories in the men’s 100 and 200 free, as well as the 200-yard IM. The reigning 2010 NCAA Male Swimmer of the Year captured an NCAA provisional mark in the 200 free with a time of 1:56.53, edging out Virginia’s Matt McLean’s NCAA provisional mark of 1:57.13. On top of the three individual wins, Dwyer joined sophomore Cameron Martin (Clearwater, Fla.), sophomore Olympian Rodion Davelaar (Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles) and senior Logan Storie (Corvallis, Ore.) in picking up points for Florida with a second-place finish in the men’s 200-yard medley relay (1:32.77). In the men’s 400 freestyle relay, Storie joined sophomore Scott Sommer (Ocala, Fla.), junior All-American Jeffrey Raymond (Davie, Fla.) and senior All-American Balazs Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) in winning the final event of the day for the Gators by more than three seconds (3:03.03).
On top of Stafford’s success in the women’s 400 free relay, the junior All-American notched her first individual event victory of the 2010 campaign by winning the 100 back (55.26). Stafford concluded her day with a second-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly (55.86), while taking third in the 50 free (23.32).
In addition to securing a NCAA cut in the 400 free relay, Bohunicky also secured NCAA provisional marks in the 200 free and 500 free. Bohunicky won her first individual event of the 2010 season in the 500 free, clocking in at a time of 4:49.40. The local Gainesville native also placed third in the 200 free with a time of 1:47.63.
Other Gators picking up victories for the UF women were Bateman, freshman Daniela Victoria (Plantation, Fla.) and sophomore Sarra Lajnef (Tunis, Tunisia). Bateman took the 50 free with a NCAA provisional mark (22.81) for the second-straight week, while Victoria registered her first career individual event victory with a first-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:04.68). Lajnef recorded her first victory of the 2010 campaign in the 200 breast with a time of 2:18.25.
Also having a strong meet was Crippen, who swam a NCAA provisional mark in the 200 fly for the second-consecutive week. Recently named to the U.S. National Team, the junior All-American placed second in the 200 fly (1:59.27), 200 IM (2:03.20) and 1,000 free (9:58.09).
The Gator men swept the butterfly events, with Martin winning the 100 fly and Gercsak capturing the 200 fly. A 2004 and 2008 Olympian for Hungary, Gercsak finished first in the 200 fly with a time of 1:49.31, edging out the Virginia’s Matt Houser (1:49.79). In the 100 fly, Martin notched another Orange and Blue victory with a time of 49.77, besting second-place Peter Geissinger of Virginia (51.37).
In the morning diving session, freshman Michael Lewark (Davie, Fla.) picked up his first career victory, winning the men’s one-meter diving competition with a score of 317.33. Michael’s brother, Anthony Lewark (Davie, Fla), capped off the Gator sweep in men’s diving with a first-place score of 373.51 in the men’s three-meter diving finale. Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.), the lone senior on the women’s swimming and diving team, swept both the women’s one-meter (296.93) and three-meter (362.11) diving competition.
The Gators return to the pool for their SEC opener on Friday, Oct. 29, when it travels to SEC rival Georgia. Meet time is scheduled for 11 a.m. Fans are also encouraged to follow the swimming and diving program on Twitter or Facebook for live updates, photos and video from the event.