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Thursday October 27, 2005S/D Gator Women Fall to Defending National Champion Bulldogs

Gainesville, FL

The No. 1 Florida women’s swimming and diving team (3-1, 1-1) dropped its first dual meet of the season to defending national champion No. 3 Georgia (3-0, 1-0) Thursday, by a score of 176-116 at the Gabrielsen Natatorium.  In spite of the loss head coach Gregg Troy felt the women’s team raced well.

 

“We’re as good as we’ve ever been in October,” said Troy.  “Traditionally we are not a team that swims its best times in the fall because that’s not the way we train.  I do feel like the women stood up and raced Georgia tough, if anything we got better as the meet went on.  We swam much better on the back half than we did in the beginning and that’s a big positive we can take away from this meet.”

 

The quartet of freshman Dana Vollmer (Granbury, Texas), senior Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfeld, Germany), junior Candace Weiman (Castro Valley, Calif.) and sophomore Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) started off the meet with a second place finish in the 200 medley relay, in a time of 1:43.62.  Freshman Jenny Lago (Wellington), senior Mandy Huff (Gold Hill, N.C.), sophomore Colleen Healy (Cape Coral) and sophomore Natalie Pike (Boca Raton) teamed up to record a 1:46.27 in the same event, good for a fourth-place finish.

 

In the 1000 freestyle sophomore Kim Larson (Longwood) notched a 9:59.61 to finish third, while junior Katie Ball (Cincinnati, Ohio) took fourth with a 10:00.24 effort and freshman Laurabeth Guenthner (Wellington) recorded a 10:07.13 to finish sixth.  Senior Jamie Tannhauser (Seattle, Wash.) rounded out the 1000 free competitors with a seventh place finish in a time of 10:15.24.

 

Sophomore Natalie Pike (Boca Raton) recorded an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:49.10 in the 200 freestyle, good for a second place finish.  Burckle notched a 1:50.79 in the same event to finish fifth, while freshman Silke Nowotzin (Essen, Germany) finished sixth in a time of 1:53.11.  Junior Kristin Gilliam (Gainesville) recorded a 1:53.31, good for an eighth place finish.

 

In the 100 backstroke freshman Kelsy Smith (Cary, N.C.) posted a 57.03 to finish third, while junior Kristin Harris (Holmdel, N.J.) claimed sixth with a 57.77 effort.  Vollmer notched a 57.89, good for seventh, and Lago finished eighth with a 59.56.

 

Bernhardt notched her 11th NCAA provisional time of the season with a 1:02.51 effort in the 100 breaststroke, good for a second place finish.  Huff took fifth in the same event with a 1:05.84.

 

Two Gator swimmers posted provisional times in the 200 butterfly, as Weiman took second with a 1:59.15 effort and junior Ashley Carusone (Gainesville) recorded a 2:00.91 for a third place finish.  Junior Jamie Reid (Orlando) claimed sixth in the same event with a 2:06.82.

 

In the 50 freestyle Vollmer recorded a 23.62 to claim third place, while Pike notched a 23.82 for fifth and Healy took seventh with a 24.09 effort. 

 

In three-meter diving action freshman Alicia Miller (Hobie Sound) took second with a score of 256.35.  Freshman Whitney Stern (Safety Harbor) claimed fourth place with 237.60 and sophomore Sarah Ellerby (Oldsmar) posted a 209.92, good for sixth.

 

Pike and Burckle each notched provisional times in the 100 freestyle, as Pike swam a 50.91 to finish third and Burckle posted a 51.23 to finish fifth.  Nowotzin claimed seventh place with a time of 53.68.

 

In the 200 backstroke Smith recorded a provisional time of 2:00.07 and finished second, while Reid notched a 2:04.05, good for sixth place.  Harris and Tannhauser rounded out the 200 back Gator competitors with seventh and eighth place finishes in times of 2:04.25 and 2:10.08, respectively.

 

The first automatic qualifying time of the year and first win of the meet on the women’s side came in the 200 breaststroke from a 2:14.17 effort by Bernhardt.  Huff notched a 2:22.83 in the same event to finish fifth.

 

Larson posted a 4:55.16 in the 500 freestyle to finish fifth, while Ball took sixth with a 4:55.69 effort.  Carusone claimed seventh with a 4:55.82 and Guenthner notched a 4:56.25, good for eighth-place.

 

In the 100 butterfly Vollmer edged fellow Gator Healy to finish in second place with a 56.38, while Healy took third with a time of 56.46.  Lago recorded a 57.05 to finish in seventh place.

 

In the one-meter diving competition Miller captured first place with a 254.47 effort, just .53 of a point short of qualifying for NCAA’s.  Ellerby notched a second-place finish with a 214.56 effort and Stern posted a 207.30 to finish third and edge her sister Courtney Stern, a UGA diver, by 10 points.

 

Weiman captured the second Gator win of the meet with a provisional 2:03.35 effort in the 200 individual medley, while Bernhardt notched a 2:03.38, also a provisional time, to finish second.  Carusone and Reid claimed the third and fourth spots with times of 2:04.67 and 2:09.80, respectively.

 

In the 400 freestyle relay the team of Pike, Vollmer, Weiman and Burckle claimed first place with a time of 3:26.47, while the team of Healy, Bernhardt, Huff and Smith finished second with a 3:35.95.  Larson, Gilliam, Carusone and Nowotzin combined with a 3:36.95 effort, good for a third-place finish.

 

“We’re deeper than we’ve ever been,” said Troy.  “But it’s still not deep enough to beat Georgia at this point in the season.  They showed today why they’re the defending national champs, they’re deep all the way around.  We’re swimming without three of our best athletes right now, and we’ve got a long way to go before we’ll be a real good team.”

 

Sophomore Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) and junior Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.) did not make the trip for the Gators and sophomore Amanda Hartley (Tallahassee) fell ill during the road swing. 

 

The Gator women return to the water Nov. 11, in the team’s first home meet of the season against Florida Atlantic.  Action is slated to begin at 5 p.m. in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium.

 

Georgia, 176-116

Event

Name

School

Time

200 Medley Relay

-

Georgia

1:42.30

1000 Freestyle

Stephanie Carr

Georgia

9:59.61

200 Freestyle

Mary DeScenza

Georgia

1:47.36

100 Backstroke

Aleksandra Putra

Georgia

56.24

100 Breaststroke

Sarah Poewe

Georgia

1:02.15

200 Butterfly

Elizabeth Hill

Georgia

1:58.25

50 Freestyle

Kara Lynn Joyce

Georgia

23.16

3-Meter Diving

Emily Hunter

Georgia

281.17

100 Freestyle

Kara Lynn Joyce

Georgia

50.43

200 Backstroke

Aleksandra Putra

Georgia

1:59.85

200 Breaststroke

Vipa Bernhardt

Florida

2:14.17

500 Freestyle

Elizabeth Hill

Georgia

4:50.87

100 Butterfly

Mary DeScenza

Georgia

53.66

1-Meter Diving

Alicia Miller

Florida

254.47

200 Individual Medley

Candace Weiman

Florida

2:03.35

400 Freestyle Relay

-

Florida

3:26.47

 

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