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Saturday December 4, 2004No. 3 Swimming Wins 2004 U.S. Open Swimming Championship

San Antonio, Texas

The No. 3 University of Florida swimming team captured the 2004 U.S. Open Swimming Championship team title at Palo Alto College. The Gators racked up 755 team points as the men and women combined to take home the top team honors by a margin of 393 points over second-place finisher Longhorn Aquatics.

Junior Olympic gold and silver medalist Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and sophomore women's Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.) led the Gators as the duo captured the U.S. Open High Point Awards. Lochte, who won the 2002 U.S. Open High Point Award, earned 100 individual points, while Retrum totaled 62 to tie with Olympian Claudia Poll for top female High Point Award honors.

For the third straight day the Florida relay teams demonstrated the Gators depth in a variety of relays. The team of Kris Wiebeck (Tampa, Fla.), Lochte, Adam Sioui (Ontario, Canada) and Brian Hartley (Indianapolis, Ind.) captured the runner-up title in a time of 3:30.53, while the quartet of Matt Coan (Plantation, Fla.), Grant Wieczorek (Carmel, Ind.), Albert Medrano (Sabadell, Spain) and Jan Wolfgarten (Frankfurt, Germany) raced to a fourth-place finish in a time of 3:35.86.

In the 100-meter freestyle, a trio of Gators turned in strong performances. Lochte swam to a third-place finish in a clocking of 51.20 seconds, while Sioui and Coan recorded times of 53.47 and 53.74 seconds to finish in 20th and 22nd-place respectively.

As the lone Gator in the 200-meter breaststroke, senior Corey Welch (Larksville, Pa.) earned a seventh-place finish in a time of 2:27.57.

In the 1500-meter freestyle, seven Florida swimmers qualified for the finals of the event. Lochte again led the way for the Gators as he recorded a fourth-place finish in a time of 15:48.67, while Scott Kaufmann (Sparks, Nev.) placed 10th in a time of 16:08.36. Following close behind Kaufmann was freshman Tobias Work (Falmouth, Mass.), who recorded a time of 16:09.16, which was good enough for 11th-place. The quartet of Hartley, Coan, Wolfgarten, and Medrano placed 13th, 15th, 18th and 21st in times of 16:14.92, 16:21.73, 16:28.23 and 16:43.12 respectively.

The U.S. Open concludes the Gators successful 2004 fall season where they have captured three invitational titles and have posted a perfect 6-0 dual meet record. The Gators will take the next month off of competition for the holidays and will next compete when they travel to Dallas, Texas for the SMU/Dallas Morning News Classic on Jan. 13-15.

-UF-

 

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