Auburn Seniors Lead Squads to Victory over Florida

AUBURN, AL, January 22. THE Auburn men's and women's swimming and diving teams made a statement on Friday night as the Tigers knocked off Florida in dual meets at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center.

The third-ranked Auburn men dominated the second-ranked Gators, winning nine of 13 events en route to a 142-99 victory. The No. 2-ranked AU women were just as dominant in their 160-81 win over the third-ranked Gators, taking the top time in 10 of the 13 events.

"We are in a mode in training where everyone needs to get more sharp but they also need to get more rest. It is that time of the year where we need to start taking care of business and I think tonight was a step in that direction," AU Coach David Marsh said. "Tonight the seniors leaders were the ones that came through during the meet. Margaret Hoelzer coming back after having a mediocre first two events had a fabulous backstroke. BJ Jones, roaring back in the 500 after winning the 1000 really set the tone. There are a lot of places where I can look in this senior class and see excellence."

Hoelzer, who had posted times of 1:48.31 to place third in the 200 free and a 54.84 in leading off the 400 medley relay, out-touched Leah Retrum by three one-hundredths of a second to win the 200 free with a time of 1:56.33.

Jones had two very convincing swims as he cruised to a 9:06.19 in the 1000 free and a 4:22.98 in the 500 free to win both of those events.

Other lady seniors to lay claim to victories were Kirsty Coventry in the 400 IM (4:10.29) and Rachel Korth on the 1-meter with a personal-best 279.60.

"This was a great win for Rachel. She has meant so much to this program. I am just very excited for her," AU Diving Coach Jeff Shaffer said. "She is really looking forward to the conference and NCAA Zone meet."

On the men's side, Ryan Wochomurka crushed the field in the 50 free with a time of 20.07 while Fred Bousquet stopped the clock at 43.91 in the 100 free. The two also combined with junior Doug Van Wie and sophomore Sean Osborne to win the 400 medley relay (3:13.91) and sophomore Bryan Lundquist and junior George Bovell to win the 400 free relay at 2:56.01.

"As I told the team in the meeting before the meet, every team is special, but this group from a personal standpoint and from a commitment to the team standpoint is as good as we have ever had," Marsh said. "They really committed to making this last year an experience they and their teammates and Auburn University can remember."

The underclassmen did their share of the work as well as Adrienne Binder swam to first-place times in the 1000 freestyle at 9:42.79, which was just a shade better than teammate Hayley Peirsol's 9:43.83, and the 500 free at 4:46.70.

Other winners on the women's side were Emily Kukors in the 200 free (1:47.09), Jana Kolukanova in the 50 free (2311), Lynnsey Segraves on the 3-meter (287.32), Tawnie Bethune in the 200 fly (1:58.88) and Leslie Lunsmann, Kara Denby, Christina Swindle and Jeri Moss in the 400 free relay (3:21.97).

On the men's lanes, it was Bovell in the 200 free (1:36.77) and Steven Segerlin on the 1- (347.62) and 3-meter (353.92).

For the men, it was their 31st straight dual meet victory.

The Tigers return to the waters on Saturday, Jan. 29, when AU heads to Tallahassee, Fla., for a dual meet with the Florida State Seminoles. The meet is set to start at 11 a.m.

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