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Ryan Lochte won three events in leading Florida to a win against No. 14 Texas A&M

Thursday January 15, 2004Lochte Leads Men's Swim & Dive Past Texas A&M

College Station, Texas

Ryan Lochte won three events in leading Florida to a win against No. 14 Texas A&M

The No. 5 Florida Gators won eight events, including three by sophomore Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.), and fought off a late rally to defeat No. 14 Texas A&M by a score of 152-148 Thursday at the Student Rec Center Natatorium.

With the Aggies needing to finish 1-2 in the final event of the evening, the 400-yard freestyle relay, Florida clinched the meet by finishing second in a time of 2:59.16, while the Aggies took first (2:58.77) and third (3:02.86).

With the victory, Florida (6-1) improved to 5-1 against ranked teams this season, while the Aggies (5-1) suffered their first loss of the year.

Lochte took first in the 1,000-yard freestyle, the 200-yard butterfly and the 500-yard freestyle, while senior Chris Kellam (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) also swam well for the Gators with wins in the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard backstroke.

The two teams split the first six events in what turned out to be a seesaw meet. The Gators captured the second event when Lochte won the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:05.68). Freshman Matt Coan (Plantation, Fla.) took second with a season-best time of 9:24.52 and sophomore Michael Berger (Frankfurt, Germany) also touched the wall with a season-best time (9:24.57) to take third as the distance events proved critical for the Gators throughout the meet.

After Texas A&M won the 200-yard freestyle, Kellam took top honors in the 100-yard backstroke with a mark of 49.80. Following an Aggie win in the 100-yard breaststroke, Lochte won his second event with a time of 1:48.86 in the 200-yard butterfly. Junior Adam Sioui (Ontario, Canada) was right behind in second with a season-best time (1:49.78).

Texas A&M won the next two events before senior Carlos Jayme (Goias, Brazil) swam an NCAA provisional qualifying and season-best time in the 100-yard freestyle (44.06) to take first. Kellam followed up with his second win of the meet in the 200-yard backstroke (1:46.01) with a provisional and season-best time.

Lochte spearheaded Floridaís efforts in the 500-yard freestyle two events later as the Gators finished 1-2-3 to tie the meet at 113. Lochte took first (4:28.70), junior Scott Kaufmann (Sparks, Nev.) came in second and Coan (4:33.86) took third with a season-best time.

Florida took the lead for good when junior Gabriel Mangabeira (Piratininga, Brazil) won the 100-yard butterfly with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 48.44. Texas A&M captured the next event before sophomore Brian Hartley (Indianapolis, Ind.) gave the Gators enough of a cushion heading into the 400-yard freestyle relay by winning the 400-yard individual medley (3:57.40).

Junior Zach Wilcox (Yarrow Point, Wash.) also fared well in the meet for Florida as he took second on both the one-meter (290.63) and three-meter (334.80) with NCAA zone qualifying scores.

The Gators return to action Friday for the Dallas Morning News Classic at SMU. The two-day meet is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. (EST) start. Results can be found at: www.smumustangs.com

Menís Team Scores

Florida 152

Texas A&M 148

Florida Winners

1,000-Yard Freestyle

Ryan Lochte, 9:05.68

100-Yard Backstroke

Chris Kellam, 49.80

200-Yard Butterfly

Ryan Lochte, 1:48.66

100-Yard Freestyle

Carlos Jayme, 44.06

200-Yard Backstroke

Chris Kellam, 1:46.01

500-Yard Freestyle

Ryan Lochte, 4:28.70

100-Yard Butterfly

Gabriel Mangabeira, 48.44

400-Yard Individual Medley

Brian Hartley, 3:57.40

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