Gator swimming splits with Auburn


Published: Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 12:36 a.m.

The Florida men and women swimming and diving teams split Saturday with SEC rival Auburn at the O’Connell Center. The Florida women defeated No. 2

Auburn for the first time since the 1993-94 season, 165-135, while the men dropped the meet by the same score to the Tigers.

The Florida men stand at 9-2 on the season, 3-1 in the SEC while the women improve to 9-1 overall and 4-1 in the SEC.

The Gators put together a combined four automatic qualifying times, 20 provisional times and 12 Olympic Trials cuts en route to the split with the Tigers. The Gators took the lead on the women’s side after the one-meter diving concluded and followed with a first-place finish in the 200-medley relay to close out the meet.

“The thing we were looking for today with the women was getting their racing times up. We had great competition with a really good Auburn team,” said head coach Gregg Troy. “There were a lot of close races, but we won a lot of them. We put ourselves in a situation where we had some people step up to a whole new level. As far as the men, we are really pleased with the way they swam.”

Samantha Vanderbilt, Amanda Hartley, Colleen Healy and Elizabeth Kemp finished with a provisional time of 1:57.34 to earn 11 points for their team and add some padding to the early score.

Jeana Bartell and Monica Dodson helped the Gators along with first and second-place finishes in both the one and three-meter diving events. Bartell swept both events, with a score of 266.54 on the one meter and 275.78 on the three meter.

The Gator men fell behind early thanks to some high scores from the Auburn divers, but Florida closed the gap throughout the meet, including in the second to last event, finishing 1-2-3 in the 200 IM. Bradley Ally led the way with a time of 2:06.74. He was followed by Dustin McLarty (2:08.08) and Omar Pinzon (2:08.58).

“For the most part the men raced really tough and are as focused as they should be at the end of the season,” Troy said.

“We had some veterans and some young guys step up, taking International class athletes to the end of the race and that was huge.”

The Gators sealed the meet on the women’s side with a first-place finish in the 200 free relay. Caroline Burckle, Healy, Kemp and Stephanie Napier took first with a provisional time of 1:46.26. The Gator men’s quad of Daniel Penniman, Shaune Fraser, Tim Hughes and Jos Smith touched in with a time of 1:34.86 for second place.

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