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Junior Ryan Lochte Captured Three Titles at the 2004 U.S. Open

Saturday December 4, 2004Men's Swimming Extends Team Lead at U.S. Open

San Antonio, Texas

Junior Ryan Lochte Captured Three Titles at the 2004 U.S. Open

The University of Florida men's swimming team extended the Florida team lead at the 2004 U.S. Open Swimming Championships Friday night at Palo Alto College. After the second day of competition the Gators ballooned a tight team race into a 259-point lead over second place and now lead the 79-team field with 533 points with only one day of competition remaining.

For the second day in a row, the Florida relay teams have demonstrated their depth as the team of Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) Corey Welch (Larksville, Pa.), Adam Sioui (Ontario, Canada) and Kris Wiebeck (Tampa, Fla.) captured the 400-meter medley relay in a time of 3:53.44, while the quartet of Brian Hartley (Indianapolis, Ind.), Bill Mrazek (Tallahassee, Fla.), Grant Wieczorek (Carmel, Ind.) and Matt Coan (Plantation, Fla.) took seventh place in a clocking of 4:02.10.

Lochte, who is scheduled to compete in nine events in the three-day meet, captured his first two individual titles of the 2004 Open Championships by claiming the top spot in the 100-meter backstroke and the 400-meter individual medley in times of 56.14 seconds and 4:29.95 respectively.

The Gators enjoyed a solid performance overall in the 400-meter individual medley as freshman Dustin McLarty (Deland, Fla.) was right behind Lochte in a time of 4:31.88 to claim second, however the Gators weren't done yet. The trio of Tobias Work (Falmouth, Mass.), Jan Wolfgarten (Frankfurt , Germany) and Hartley swept places five through seven in times of 4:35.22, 4:36.50 and 4:38.10. In the "B" Final of the same event senior Scott Kaufmann (Sparks, Nev.) took the top spot to place ninth overall in a time of 4:37.75, giving the Gators six of the top nine places.

In the 100-meter backstroke, Hartley nabbed the Gators another top-10 finish as he took fifth in a time of 58.96 seconds, while Wiebeck finished in a time of 1:00.40 to place 17th. Wiebeck would add a 13th-place finish later in the night as posted a time of 1:56.16 in the 200-meter freestyle.

Competing in the 100-meter butterfly, Sioui posted a time of 57.17 seconds to finish in 13th-place, while also adding a 21st-place finish the 200-meter freestyle event. Also in the 200-meter freestyle was freshman Albert Medrano (Sabadell, Spain) recorded a 15th-place finish in a clocking of 1:56.60, while Coan finished the race just ahead of Sioui in a time of 1:56.92 to grab 20th-place.

The Gators will return to the pool tomorrow for the final day of competition at the 2004 U.S. Open Championships. For complete results and live event scoring go to www.Omegatiming.com. At the conclusion of the meet, Florida recaps will be available at www.GatorZone.com.

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