Men's Swimming & Diving Headline
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Despite strong showings from junior Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.), senior Brett Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) and a host of other Gators, the University of Florida men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams each fell to Florida State in dual-meet action Tuesday evening at the Morcom Aquatic Center in Tallahassee, Fla.
The No. 4 men’s team (2-2, 2-0 SEC) fell to No. 20 Florida State (4-1), 184-116, while the No. 4 women’s squad (2-3, 0-1 SEC) suffered a 187-113 loss to the Seminoles (6-1, 1-0 ACC). The losses by both UF teams marked the first time in over four years in which both the Gator men and women lost at the same dual meet (Nov. 21, 2006 at Florida State).
“Hats off to Florida State,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “They have a very good team and are in championship form. We are not as good as they are right now, but we are still very excited about how well both teams responded and raced as tough as they did.”
Stafford swam her best meet of the season with three personal-best NCAA qualifying times, winning the women’s 100-yard back (53.58), 100-yard butterfly (53.51) and 200-yard individual medley (1:59.31). The junior’s time in the 100 back was the fastest in the SEC this season and fifth-quickest in the country, while placing fifth all-time in school history. Stafford’s time in the 100 fly and 200 IM were both the 10th-fastest times in the NCAA in their respective events, while ranking second and fourth, respectively, for the quickest SEC times this season.
Sophomore Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) and junior Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) also won multiple events for the UF women. Bohunicky picked up the Gators’ first win of the day with a 1:47.82 NCAA “B” cut time in the 200-yard freestyle, and capped off her day with a NCAA “B” cut mark of 4:48.72 in the 500 free. Bateman improved to 6-0 this season in the 50 free with a first-place NCAA qualifying time of 22.49, almost three-tenths of a second off the nation’s leading time of 22.16. The junior won again in the 100-yard breaststroke with a personal best and UF season-best 1:03.18.
“Shara Stafford, Jamie Bohunicky and Sarah Bateman were outstanding,” Troy said.
Multiple men had impressive meets for the Gators, led by Fraser, who swam a SEC-best 1:45.82 to win the 200 back. The mark was seventh-fastest time in the country this year, as well as a NCAA “B” cut time. The 2008 Olympian also won the 100 fly with a personal-best 48.74, the fifth-quickest mark in the SEC this season.
Senior Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) and sophomore Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa) also aided the Orange and Blue’s effort, each winning two events and recording NCAA “B” cuts in all of them. Dwyer swam the nation’s fastest time in the 200 free with a mark of 1:34.70, and placed first in the 500 free with a Florida season-best 4:22.78, which is the third-fastest time in the SEC this season and eighth-quickest mark in the NCAA. Rousseau placed first in the 200 fly with a UF season-best 1:46.61 (second in the SEC), while winning the 200 IM in 1:49.15, the second-fastest time in the SEC behind Dwyer.
“Conor continues to lead the way, but Brett and Sebastien showed some world-class ability today.” Troy continued.
Florida will break for Thanksgiving before returning to action Dec. 2-4 at the 2010 AT&T Short Course National Championships at the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatics Pavilion on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. One day after the start of nationals, a contingent of Gators will head to Princeton University for the Tigers’ Big Al Open, held Dec. 3-5.
“We are going to have some very good performances when we get to the championship season,” Troy concluded. “We have plenty of work in front of us, but feel good about where we are.”