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Saturday November 6, 2004Swimming and Diving Claims Boilermaker Challenge Crowns

West Lafayette, Ind.

The University of Florida menís and womenís swimming and diving teams closed out the Boilermaker Challenge in grand style as they cruised to victories in both the menís and womenís team events at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center on Saturday night. The women recorded 748.50 points en route to a decisive win over seven ranked opponents, while the men eclipsed the 1,000-point mark, totaling 1, 014 points on their way to a quality win over three top 25 teams.

In the evening session, the women captured one additional event title and another runner-up crown, as the women were on cruise control with the meet title wrapped up early in the nightís competition.

Sophomore Leah Retrum (Columbus Ind.) led the Gator onslaught in the 200-yard backstroke, as she established a new pool record and an NCAA "A" time of 1:56.73. Following right behind Retrum was the duo of Maureen Farrell (Northridge, Calif.) and Jamie Reid (Orlando, Fla.), who garnered NCAA "B" times of 1:58.87 and 2:00.21, to finish in third and fifth-places respectively.

Recording an NCAA "B" time of 2:14.34, junior Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfeld, Germany) swam a close race to place second in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Freshman Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) recorded two third-place finishes on the evening as she posted NCAA "B" times of 16:31.33 and 50.70 seconds in the 1, 650-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle.

The Gator success in the 1, 650-yard success didnít stop with Burckle as Meredith Green (Chapel Hill, N.C.) and Katie Ball (Cincinnati, Ohio) earned fifth and eighth-place finishes in the event with NCAA "B" times of 16:33.99 and 16:46.06.

In the 200-yard butterfly, senior Rebecca Harper (Richmond, Va.) and Reid brought home third and sixth-place in times of 2:01.06 and 2:02.76.

Junior diver Maureen McGinty (Orlando, Fla.) continued the strong Gator diving performance as she recorded a fourth-place finish in the 10-meter platform diving event.

For the men, they earned two more event titles and two second-place finishes on the night.

Junior Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) had a busy night as he led a Gator sweep of the top-three places in the 200-yard backstroke (1:43.22), opened for the champion 400-freestyle relay team (2:59.01) and took second in the 200-yard butterfly (1:50.29).

Senior Kris Wiebeck (Tampa, Fla.) finished second behind Lochte in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:48.62, while leading-off for the 400 freestyle relay team that finished in fourth-place in a time of 3:06.26.

Indianapolis native, Brian Hartley, garnered a third-place finish in the 200 backstroke, to complete the Gator sweep in the event.

Swimming the second leg of the champion 400 freestyle relay and racing to a third-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle, freshman Darian Townsend (Montrose, South Africa) had a solid weekend in the pool, competing in only his second collegiate swim meet of his career.

By recording a time of 1:50.87 and swimming the anchor leg of the champion 400 freestyle relay, senior Adam Sioui (Ontario, Canada) earned the Gators a total of 56 points.

Sophomore diver Justin Schmidt (Falcon, Colo.) led the Gator diving efforts for the evening as he dove to a fourth-place finish in the 10-meter platform event.

The Gators return to action on Friday, Nov. 12, as they host Southeastern Conference-foe South Carolina and Texas. The women will only swim against the Gamecocks at 10 a.m. at the Stephen C. OíConnell Center Natatorium, while the men tangle with Texas and South Carolina at 1 p.m.

-UF-

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