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Women's Swimming & Diving Headline

Senior Maureen Farrell

Friday October 8, 2004Gators Defeat Owls in Swimming Season Opener

Gainesville, FL

Senior Maureen Farrell

The University of Florida menís and womenís swimming and diving teams beat the Florida Atlantic swim teams in an afternoon meet held at the FAU pool on Friday. The Gators womenís team racked up 177 points while the Lady Owls secured 112 points. The men defeated the FAU menís team by 82 points, 182 to 100.

The womenís team finished first nine times in nine swimming events and twice in two events on the diving boards.

"Overall we swam alright," said assistant swim coach Martyn Wilby. "We have a lot of room for improvement between now and the meet with Michigan next week. We found some things we need to work on and hopefully in the next few weeks, we will get our times improved."

In the 1000-yard freestyle, freshman Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) took the title with a 10:12.47 effort for Florida. Behind her, teammate Rebecca Harper (Richmond, Va.) took second, touching the wall in 10:26.53. Sophomore Kristen Harris (Homdel, N.J.) finished fifth in a time of 10:40.86.

Taking the 200-yard freestyle win was senior Maureen Farrell (Northridge, Calif.), clocking the event in 1:50.87. Following Farrell, Katie Ball (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Kristin Gilliam (Gainesville) compiled second and third places, respectively, with times of 1:54.42 and 1:55.36.

One, two, three again in the 100-yard backstroke was Leah Retrum (Coumbus, Ind.), Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) and Colleen Healy (Cape Coral) with times of 57.30, 58.78 and 1:00.79. In the womenís 100-yard breaststroke, 2004 Olympian Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfelt, Germany) took the event with a first-place time of 1:04.54. Amanda Hartley (Tallahassee) and Mandy Huff (Gold Hill, N.C.) finish in second (1:065.11) and third place (1:07.09), respectively.

Competing in the 200-yard butterfly, sophomore Ashley Carusone (High Springs) captured first (2:04.71). Behind her, senior Meredith Green (Chapel Hill, N.C.) took second with a time of 2:04.99.

In her collegiate debut and in her hometown of Boca Raton, Natalie Pike took home the win in the 50-yard freestyle after producing a 24.53 effort for the Gators. Behind her, seasoned teammate Mary Uhle (Sankt Ingebert, Germany) finished second, touching the wall in 24.77.

Collecting her second win of the season, Farrell garnered a 100-yard freestyle title after clocking the swim in 52.11. Gilliam finished second in the event (54.35) while teammate Christine Woodruff (Orlando) took third (54.97). Taking the title in the 200-yard back, Katie McCann (Walpole, Mass.) swam 2:05.52 while freshmen Vanderbilt took second, clocking 2:06.90. Harris also competed in the event with a time of 2:07.64, good for a third-place finish.

The first three finishes in the 200-yard breaststroke belong to those of UF. Katie Kennedy (Ft. Myers) took a first-place finish, clocking 2:21.68. Hartley swam 2:23.31 for second place and freshman Ingrid Haiden (Cape Town, South Africa) finished third (2:24.09).

"This meet gives us a starting point for the season," Wilby said. "In the next few weeks, we will improve and become better than we were before."

On the diving boards for the womenís squad, junior Jessica Ranieri (Huntington Valley, Pa.) took home the one- and three-meter titles, garnering 263.25 points on the low board and 264.75 on the high. Freshman Sarah Ellerby (Oldsmar) took second place on the three-meter with 253.35 points.

The men opened the season with a solid effort as the Gators took top honors in every event that there was an athlete whose performance counted towards the team's score. In the 1000-yard freestyle, freshman Tobias Work (Falmouth, Mass.) took top honors in a time of 9:21.74. Following Work was teammates Scott Kaufmann (Sparks, Nev.) and Dustin McLarty (DeLand, Fla.), who registered times of 9:25.10 and 9:31.32 respectively. The Gators also took the top three spots in the 200-yard freestyle, with Albert Medrano (Sabadell, Spain) winning the event in a time of 1:42.33. Not far behind Medrano was the duo of Matt Coan (Plantation, Fla.) and Max Jaben (Overland Park, Kansas), recording times of 1:42.68 and 1:43.46 respectively.

Senior Kris Wiebeck (Tampa, Fla.) won the 100-yard backstroke in a career-best time of 51.17 seconds. Wiebeck was joined by teammates Grant Johnson (Clearwater, Fla.) and Brian Hartley (Indianapolis, Ind.) who posted times of 52.25 seconds and 52.33 seconds. In the 100-yard breaststroke, the trio of Corey Welch (Larksville, Pa.), Will Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) and Nick Bonucchi (Naperville, Ill.) grabbed the first three places in times of 58.56 seconds, 58.82 seconds and 1:00.09 respectively. Teammates Tim Hughes (Winter Park, Fla.), J.B. Walsh (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Elliot Meena (Orlando, Fla.) also took the top three spots, as they posted times of 1:52.70, 1:52.77 and 1:54.31 in the 200-yard butterfly.

In the 50-yard freestyle the duo of Nick Borreca (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Johnson captured first and second-place in times of 21.50 seconds and 21.82 seconds. As in the 50, the Gators took the top two spots, as Daniel Penniman (Pensacola, Fla.) and Coan turned in times of 47.08 seconds and 47.15 seconds respectively. By posting times of 1:48.99, 1:51.45 and 1:54.32, the trio of Wiebeck, Hartley and Medrano swept the top three places in the 200-yard backstroke. Welch, Kyle Deery (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and Ratliff claimed the top-three spots by recording times of 2:07.62, 2:08.58 and 2:09.83 in the 200-yard breaststroke.

"Perhaps the biggest surprise for us was how well the freshmen men swam today," Wilby said. "They really performed well in their first collegiate swim meet and I think we will see many great things from this group this season."

In diving, the Gators won both the one and three meter events, while also claiming runner-up honors. Justin Schmidt (Falcon, Colo.) captured both events with scores of294.98 and 299.93. Sophomore transfer Vitor Assuncao (Orlando, Fla.) registered scores of 292.05 and 271.80 to place second.

The men return to action on Oct. 28, when they return home to take on Southeastern Conference rival Georgia. The meet is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

-UF-

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