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Friday January 20, 2006Men's S&D Defeat Alabama 178-97 To Remain Undefeated In SEC

Gainesville, FL

The No. 7 University of Florida Men’s Swimming Team defeated No. 22 Alabama 178-97 on Friday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium. The Gators won 13 of the 16 events during the competition, but it was sophomore Grant Johnson (Clearwater, Fla.) who stole the show.

 

Johnson defeated Alabama’s Mark Randall, who entered Friday’s meet as the reining U.S. Open Champion and SEC leader in the 500 free with a season-best time of 4:16.51. Randall held a slight edge through the first 400 yards, but Johnson unleashed a hard sprint towards the finish and took over the lead during the final 100 yards. Johnson edged Randall with a time of 4:26.44, which was one-tenth of a second better than Randall’s 4:26.51. In the process, Johnson became the 13th Florida swimmer to earn an NCAA provisional time.      

 

“Grant Johnson was the star of the night,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “He just took himself from a good high school swimmer and beat one of the best distance freestyle swimmers in the country. It was a great race and took him to a whole new level. If he can continue off that he has a chance to be a real player this year.”

 

Not to be overshadowed were several great performances by Florida’s younger swimmers.  Sophomore Tobias Work (Falmouth, Mass.) earned a first-place finish in the 1,000 free event with a time of 9:06.37, the second-fastest of the season for Florida. Junior Robbie Fischetti (Richmond, Va.) also won the 200 IM with a season-best time of 1:52.62.

 

In his first home competition, freshman Lucas Salatta (Sao Paulo, Brazil) clocked the fastest time in the 100 fly (48.81) to record his third consecutive meet with a win. Freshman Bradley Ally (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) recorded a time of 50.32 to win the 100 backstroke event.

 

Junior Justin Schmidt (Falcon, Col) and freshman Aaron Leech (Newark, Del.) made up for the absence of freshman Jonathan Wilcox, by helping the Gators win both the one-meter and three-meter events. Leech won the one-meter dive with a career-best score of 282.70, while Schmidt won the three-meter dive with a score of 283.05.

 

The Gators will now get ready to host No. 1 Auburn on Saturday afternoon at the O’Connell Center. The Tigers are coming off a win at No. 6 Texas, which extended their dual meet winning streak to 40 consecutive victories.

 

“I think we’re confident on what we can do,” Troy said. “Auburn hasn’t lost a meet in four years, so we have our work cut out for us.”

 

The first 250 fans at Saturday’s meet will receive a free t-shirt and pizza. The diving competition will begin at 11 a.m. with the one-meter dive. Swimming events begin at 1 p.m. Complete results from both meets can be found at www.gatorzone.com.

 

Florida 178, Alabama 97

Event

Name

School

Time/Score

200 MR

Salatta, Lochte, Ally, Borreca

Florida

1:29.63

1000 Free

Tobias Work

Florida

9:06.37

200 Free

Ryan Latone

Alabama

1:39.89

100 Back

Bradley Ally

Florida

50.32

100 Breast

Vlad Polyakov

Alabama

54.95

200 Fly

Elliot Meena

Florida

1:50.47

50 Free

Ryan Lochte

Florida

20.04

100 Free

Nick Borreca

Florida

45.61

200 Back

Brian Hartley

Florida

1:47.33

200 Breast

Vlad Polyakov

Alabama

1:57.86

500 Free

Grant Johnson

Florida

4:26.44

100 Fly

Lucas Salatta

Florida

48.81

200 IM

Robbie Fischetti

Florida

1:52.62

200 FR

Lochte, Ally, Borreca, Penniman

Florida

1:21.36

1M Dive

Aaron Leech

Florida

282.70

3M Dive

Justin Schmidt

Florida

283.05

 

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