Wednesday February 19, 2003Swim & Dive Teams Have Strong First Day At SEC's
Two Southeastern Conference Championships and three school records were the highlights for the University of Florida swimming and diving teams Wednesday during the first day of competition at the 2003 SEC Championships held at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center in Auburn, Ala. The menís team is in first place with 96 points and the womenís team is in seventh with 64 points.
"We are really pleased with the performances today on the menís side, but there is still a lot of swimming left," head coach Gregg Troy said. "The lead doesnít mean much to us now."
"Our women were outstanding and we are also very pleased. The school record in the 200-yard medley relay was faster than we had anticipated," Troy said. "In both relays we were beat by two very good teams."
The meet began with a bang as sophomore diver Zach Wilcox (Yarrow Point, Wash.) won the SEC individual title on the one-meter springboard with a final score of 345.25. The title marks the first Florida diving championship since Jeff Nichols won the platform in 1996, and the first one-meter title since Scott Fosdick in 1985.
"It was great to do this for Florida. To start the meet out this way for the swim team is so exciting," Wilcox said. "I am so happy to be able to put points on the board for the team."
"I knew Zach was able to win," diving coach Donnie Craine said. "It was just a matter of everything falling his way and it did today."
The strong performance for the men continued as the 200-yard medley relay team of sophomore Gabriel Mangabeira (Piratininga, Brazil), junior Chris Kellam (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.), senior Philip Norris (Longwood, Fla.) and junior Carlos Jayme (Goias, Brazil) set a new school record with a second place time of 1:26.53. The time marks the first NCAA automatic qualifying time for the menís team this season.
The impressive relay performances didnít end there, as the Gatorsí 800-yard freestyle relay team of freshman Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.), sophomore Kris Wiebeck (Tampa, Fla.), Mangabeira and sophomore Adam Sioui (Ontario, Canada) defended their SEC championship in a time of 6:20.14, which set a new school-record. The old UF record of 6:21.29 had stood since 1984. The time was also a new SEC meet record. Lochteís leadoff time of 1:35.36 marked the fastest 200-yard freestyle time in the nation this year.
In the relay events for the women, the top three finishers in both races swam the top three times in the nation this year. The womenís 200-yard medley relay team consisting of senior Renate duPlessis (Capetown, South Africa), senior Cara Teague (Sugar Land, Texas), freshman Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfeld, Germany) and sophomore Maureen Farrell (Northridge, Calif.) also set a school record with a third place time of 1:39.01. Auburn won the race with an NCAA record of 1:37.69 and Georgia finished second with a time of 1:38.49.
The womenís 800-yard freestyle relay team of junior Jaime Ellis (Spring, Texas), junior Sara McLarty (Deland, Fla.), junior Chantal Gibney (Dublin, Ireland) and freshman Mary Uhle (Sankt Ingbert, Germany) swam a third place time of 7:09.03, the sixth place time in school history.
The second day of competition at the SEC Championships will begin Thursday morning with prelims starting at 10 a.m. and finals to begin at 6 p.m.
1. Florida 96
1. South Carolina 96
2. Auburn 87
3. Alabama 83
4. Tennessee 79
5. Georgia 75
6. LSU 70
7. Florida 64
8. Arkansas 62
9. Kentucky 51
MENíS ONE-METER DIVING
1. Zach Wilcox, UF 345.25
1. Clayton Moss, UK 348.55
2. Zach Wilcox, UF 324.40
15. Chris Comfort, UF 246.95
MENíS 200-YARD MEDLEY RELAY
1. Auburn 1:26.52
(Gibb, Bousquet, Calhoun, Wochomurka)
2. Florida 1:26.53*
(Mangabeira, Kellam, Norris, Jayme)
WOMENíS 200-YARD MEDLEY RELAY
1. Auburn 1:37.69
(Anderson, Lunsmann, Swander, Coparropa)
3. Florida 1:39.01*
(duPlessis, Teague, Bernhardt, Farrell)
WOMENíS THREE-METER DIVING
1. Tracey Richardson, USC 523.55
1. Lauryn McCalley, UT 526.20
19. Nicole Bolt, UF 405.75
20. Jessica Ranieri, UF 387.00
MENíS 800-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY
1. Florida 6:20.14*
WOMENíS 800-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY
1. Auburn 7:01.00
3. Florida 7:09.03
* UF School Record