Friday October 19, 2001Women's Swimming and Diving Defeats Michigan
The lady Gator swimming and diving team kicked off the weekend with a defeat of Michigan 156-142 Friday, October 19, at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Natorium. Michigan becomes the third opponent in two weeks to lose to Florida in a dual meet.
UF took an early lead and held it throughout the meet. Claiming the first individual gold of the day, freshman Meredith Green (Chapel Hill, N.C.) won the 1000-yard freestyle (9:55.82). Fellow baby Gator Maureen Farrell (Northridge, Calif.) won the 100-yard backstroke (57.09). As has become a standard, sophomore Janelle Atkinson (Jamaica) dominated the 500-yard freestyle, in which she has already achieved an NCAA A qualifying time, by over seven seconds (4:46.97).
Sophomore Chantal Gibney (Dublin, Ireland) not only won the 200-yard freestyle, but her time of 1:51.04 was an NCAA B qualifying time. Gibney was not the only NCAA B qualifier for the day. Fellow Sophomore Casey Seland (Longwood, Fla.) met the standard with her winning time in the 200-yard butterfly (2:01.47) as well did Green in the 500-yard freestyle (4:53.69). Freshman Rebecca Harper (Richmond, Va.) set her qualifying time with a championship swim in the 100-yard butterfly (56.06).
For the meet, the Gators won eight events, with 27 top-three finishes. UF swimmers won the top-two placings in the 200-yard butterfly and the top-four placings in the 200-yard freestyle.
"We had a pretty good performance here today," head coach Gregg Troy said. "This was a solid Michigan team who raced us all the way. We did a little experimenting with the lineups to test our athletes and their abilities. We had a very solid week of training and I am very pleased with where we are at."
The diving team also contributed some important points. Sophomore Kristen Connor (Gainesville, Fla.) and junior Sarah Close (Clearwater, Fla.) combined to add in four top-three finishes for a total of 14 points. Connor took second on the 1-meter springboard (244.55) with Close in third (243.65). On the 3-meter they flip-flopped with Close taking second (239.95) and Connor in third (225.85).
"I think the women did good, but are capable of better performances," diving coach Donnie Craine said. "They need to be more consistent in both events. Miami has one of the best diving teams in the country, we need to dive more like we did last week not today."
The action for the Gators continues Saturday, October 20 at 10 a.m. as they join up with the men in the Florida Relays. The event will pit Florida against Michigan and Miami. After the relays, the teams will again face Miami, as well as Indian River Community College in a double dual meet at 6 p.m. Both events will be held in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Natorium.