SWIMMING: Men/Women Fall to Auburn

AUBURN, Alabama --- The University of Florida men's and women's swimming and diving teams fell to the Auburn Tigers on Friday night at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center by scores of 142-99 and 160-81.

For the second-ranked men, it marks their first defeat this season and drops their season record to 8-1 overall and 2-1 in Southeastern Conference action, while the third-ranked women's record drops to 5-2 overall and 1-2 in the SEC.

The Gator women got their meet off on the right foot as the 400-yard medley relay team of Maureen Farrell (Northridge, Calif.), Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfeld, Germany), Candace Weiman (Castro Valley, Calif.) and Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) posted a season-best and NCAA provisional time of 3:39.65, to grab the win over the Tigers.

Turning in one of the meet's strongest performances was sophomore Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.), as she nearly upset Auburn's Kirsty Coventry in the 400-yard individual medley. Retrum topped her personal best time by nearly two seconds and topping her season-best time by over seven and a half seconds. Shifting her efforts to the 200-yard backstroke, Retrum raced to a second-place finish in another season-best time of 1:56.36, solidifying her NCAA automatic standing.

By recording a season-best time of 2:12.05, Bernhardt cruised to victory in the 200-yard breaststroke and improved on her NCAA automatic time of 2:13.36.

In the 200-yard freestyle, Burckle raced to another NCAA provisional time of 1:47.68, the fastest time recorded in the event this season by a Florida women's swimmer. Burckle would notch another Florida women's top time in the 500-yard freestyle as she touched the wall in second-place in a time of 4:48.51. Also recording a season-best times was Farrell in the 100-yard and 50-yard freestyle, as she posted a NCAA provisional time of 49.82 in the 100 free to take the win and a 23.37 seconds in the 50 free to place third.

For the Gator men, the meet was a battle of Southeastern Conference titans and despite the loss, Florida did turn in some of its best times of the season. Junior Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) captured the win in the 400-yard individual medley in an NCAA provisional and season-best time of 3:47.39, while teammates Brian Hartley (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Dustin McLarty (Deland, Fla.) raced to third and fourth finish in a clocking of 3:53.50 and 3:58.42 respectively. Lochte would improve upon his second-best time in the country in the 200-yard backstroke by posting a time of 1:42.29, to earn his second individual win of the meet.

The duo of Adam Sioui (Ontario, Canada) and freshman Tim Hughes (Winter Park, Fla.) paced the Gators to a one-two finish in the 200-yard butterfly by recording times of 1:48.39 and 1:49.37 respectively.

Sophomore Bill Mrazek (Tallahassee, Fla.) led the Florida charge in the 200-yard breaststroke as he came from behind in the final yards to touch the wall first in a season-best clocking of 2:01.70.

On the boards, senior Zach Wilcox (Yarrow Point, Wash.) posted two second-place finishes as he posted scores of 333.60 and 334.87 in the one and three-meter events.

In the 400-yard medley relay the team of Lochte, Luca De Matteis (Naples, Italy), Sioui and Darian Townsend (Montrose, South Africa) turned in their second-fastest time this season by finishing second in a clocking of 3:15.94.

The Gators return to action Saturday as they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a dual meet against the Crimson Tide.

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