Saturday March 26, 2005Men's Swimming and Diving in Fifth at NCAAs; Gators Claim Second National Title
The No. 3 University of Florida menís swimming and diving team captured its second event crown of the 2005 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships as the 800-yard freestyle relay team raced to the top spot in a clocking of 6:16.53. The Gators remain in fifth-place with 202 points, however it marks fifth straight year that Florida has amassed at least 200 points in the NCAA meet.
The 800-yard freestyle relay team of Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.), Darian Townsend (Montrose, South Africa), Brian Hartley (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Adam Sioui (Ontario, Canada) captured the first relay national championship since 1991, by posting an NCAA meet and University of Minnesota Aquatic Center record time of 6:16.53. The championship effort by the Gators in the event ends a 14-year drought as the 400-yard medley relay team of Martin Zubero, Brent Mitchell, Anthony Nesty and Bob Utley were the last Gator realy squad to stand atop the awards podium at the NCAA meet. Strangely enough the relay win for the Gators marks the second-consecutive Florida relay win with two Olympic gold medalists in the championship quartet. In 1991 it was the golden duo of Zubero and Nesty, while in 2005 the Gators utilized the Olympic Champion experience of Lochte and Townsend.
"I was really proud of the character that our team displayed tonight in the relay," Head Coach Greg Troy said. "We didnít have one of our better days today and for them to come back and swim the way they did was really special."
In the closet race of the night, Lochte was out-touched by Matt Grevers of Northwestern as he was defeated for the first time this season in the 100-yard backstroke by three hundredths of second. In a second-place effort, Lochte recorded a time of 45.65.
"We asked Ryan to swim a race for the team that he normally doesnít swim," Troy said. "We needed the team to back him up and perform well in other places and we didnít do that tonight."
The 200-yard medley relay team of Lochte, Will Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.), Gabriel Mangabeira (Piratininga, Brazil) and Daniel Penniman (Pensacola, Fla.) raced to a sixth-place finish in a time of 1:26.42. The time by the Gators was the second-fastest of the season and improved upon the ninth-place finish in the same event just one year ago.
Hartley recorded his third-fastest time of the season by touching the wall in a time of 3:51.76 to place eighth in the 400-yard individual medley. Hartleyís eighth-place effort marks his best individual finish of his career at the NCAA meet.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Sioui raced to an eighth-place finish in the championship final in a time of 1:36.14, while Townsend notched a career-best performance of 1:34.05 to place ninth and claim the consolation final crown. For Townsend the time of 1:34.05 improves his time of 1:34.41 to rank third all-time in UF history.
On the three-meter springboard senior Zach Wilcox (Yarrow Point, Wash.) advanced into the semifinals of the event where he finished in 15th-place totaling 512.55 points.
The 2005 Menís NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships conclude tomorrow at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
Team Standings (Top Five)
Event Results (Top 16)
200-Yard Medley Relay
(Lochte, Ratliff, Mangabeira, Penniman)
400-Yard Individual Medley
1. Ous Mellouli (USC) 3:39.19 (pool record)
8. Brian Hartley (UF) 3:51.76
1. Simon Burnett
8. Adam Sioui (UF) 1:36.14
9. Darian Townsend (UF) 1:34.05
1. Matt Grevers (Northwestern) 45.62
2. Ryan Lochte (UF) 45.65
1. Joona Puhakka (Ariz. St.) 645.20
15. Zach Wilcox (UF) 512.55
800-Yard Freestyle Relay
1. Florida 6:16.53(NCAA Meet/Pool Record)
(Lochte, Townsend, Hartley, Sioui)