Swimming splits dual meet with Auburn

Published: Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 12:00 a.m.

AUBURN, Ala. ó In swimming and diving action Saturday, the No. 6 Gator womenís team battled past the No. 5 Tigers, 180-120, while No. 7 Auburn rallied for a 166-132 win over Florida on the menís side. With the win, the UF women improve to 7-2 overall (3-1 SEC), while the men move to 6-2 overall (3-1 SEC) in dual meet action.

The UF women won 11 of the 16 events, opening and closing the dual with wins in both relays. Additionally the Gators crashed the diving boards for a sweep in the one-meter competition, led by sophomore Monica Dodson in first. On the three-meter board, Kara Salamone came in first.

In both the 1,000 and 500-yard distance free races, the Gators excelled, showing their depth in the long events. Florida went 1-2-3 in the 1,000-yard event, led by junior Kristen Beales (9:47.22) with the win, freshman Melani Costa-Schmid (9:50.56) in second and senior Laurabeth Guenthner (9:50.59) rounded out the top three finishers.

Freshman Melani Costa-Schmid led a sweep in the 500 free, finishing first (4:45.55).

Junior Gemma Spofforth led the charge in both backstroke events, her specialty, capturing both titles with times of 53.02 and 1:55.19 in the 100 and 200 swims.

Sophomore Julianne Lago took the 100-yard fly for the Gators (53.52).

Another good win for UF in womenís action came in the 50-yard free, which junior Stephanie Napier captured in 23.07.

Close races on the menís side became the story of the day, but the Gators escaped with several key wins. Omar Pinzon rallied for the victory in the 100-yard back (48.11), an NCAA provisional mark, while Shaune Fraser captured the 200-yard fly (1:46.06) for the second meet in a row. Bradley Ally swam to a 2:00.01 in the 200-yard breast to capture first place.

Fraser returned to claim the 200 IM title, clocking in at 1:48.64 and sophomore Balazs Gercsak won the 500-yard free in 4:25.95.

The Gators will host Tennessee on Friday at 2 p.m.

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