Spring Sports Continue to Shine

Once again, the Gator athletic program had a noteworthy weekend on and off of the field. Now that the spring athletic season is coming to a close, multiple Gator sports teams are fighting to keep their championship hopes alive. At the same time, many of Florida's student athletes are being recognized for their heroic performances throughout the year.

On Wednesday, four members of the men's tennis team earned a chance to compete in the 2012 NCAA Championships. Senior Nassim Slilam (Paris, France), junior Tripper Carleton (Naples, Fla.), and junior Bob van Overbeek (Boca Raton, Fla.) will eagerly battle for the NCAA singles title, while Slilam and junior Billy Federhofer (North Miami, Fla.) will fight for the doubles title. The NCAA Championships will take place on May 23-28 at the University of Georgia. The Orange and Blue will take on Navy at 12 p.m. on May 12 for the NCAA Regional.

Florida's women's tennis team had similar results on Wednesday when Allie Will (Boca Raton, Fla.), Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.), Joanna Mather (Duluth, Ga.), and Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) learned that they will also compete in the NCAA Championships. Not only did she earn a spot in the tournament, but Will also received the No. 1 overall seed for singles. Additionally, Oyen and Will gained the No. 1 overall seed for the doubles competition. The matchups for the NCAA Championships will be announced on May 22.

The Gators continued to rack up awards when the American Lacrosse Conference recognized six Florida lacrosse players on Wednesday. Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.), Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.), and Sam Farrell (Millersville, Md.) were named First-Team All-ALC. Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.), Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.), and Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) were named Second-Team All-ALC. Barry was also named Rookie of the Year. By winning the title, Barry became the second Florida lacrosse player in three years to be the Rookie of the Year.

For the second week in a row, the members of the Gator men's 4x400-meter relay team were honored by the Southeastern Conference for their inspiring performance at the 103rd Annual Drake Relays. Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.), Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.), Leonardo Seymore (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Tony McQuay (Riviera Beach, Fla.) were named SEC Co-Men's Runners of the Week. Their time of 3:02.41 was a season-best for the Gators. It was also the eighth-best time is Florida history, the top time in the SEC this year, and the 2nd best time in the nation this season.

In a similar fashion, the SEC honored three men's golfers from the University of Florida on Monday. T.J. Vogel (Cooper City, Fla.) was selected for the First-Team All-SEC, Tyler McCumber (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) was named to the second team, and J.D. Tomlinson (Gainesville, Fla.) earned a spot on the All-Freshman team. The Gators will return to the course on Friday, May 18 for the NCAA Regionals.

After starting off strong on the softball diamond Friday, the Gators dropped two to Alabama to lose the series. No. 3 Alabama took No. 6 Florida 5-3 on Sunday to finish the series. Florida's 44-10 overall record earned them a No. 3 seed going into the 2012 SEC Tournament. The Gators will face the No. 6 seed LSU Tigers at 11 a.m. on May 10th in the first game of the tournament.

In addition to their success on the field, two Florida softball players were honored for their academic achievement on Thursday. Senior Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) and junior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) both earned Capital One Academic All-District 4 First Team honors.

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