CORAL GABLES, FL., January 13. DESPITE several surprise first-place finishes by the home team Miami Hurricanes, the No. 2-ranked University of Florida's women's team had too much Gatorade in its tanks as the Lady Gators swept past UM, 135-99, in a dual meet today at the Norman Whitten Pool.
(There was no men's meet as Miami, which had been a regional power in swimming in the 1960s, '70s, '80s and into the early '90s — producing such stars as diver Greg Louganis and swimmers Jesse Vassallo and Matt Gribble — killed it's men's program some years ago, ostensibly due to financial difficulties and alleged Title IX compliance problems. Wonder if they still play football?)
Florida thus runs its record to 9-0. The Gators are idle until Jan. 24, when they'll clash with No. 1-ranked and defending NCAA champ Auburn in a dual meet at the latter's James E.Martin Natotortium.
The Hurricanes placed first in five of the nine individual swimming events and Melanie Rinaldi dominated both the 1-meter and the 3-meter dives.
In the 100-200 yard freestyle, Hurricane sprinter Manon Van Rooijen — a native of Holland who will be vying for a berth on her country's World Championship team later this year — placed first with 51.32/ 1:51.20 clockings.
The 'Cane sophomore holds the Miami records in both races (49.08/1:46.48) and was a surprise winner of the 200 at last year's Big East Championships in the Goodwill Games Pool in Uniondalke, NY.
Another UM sprinter, Christine Williams, placed first in the 50 free (24.10); Elaine Schwartz took the top spot in the 200 IM; and Megan Clabby placed first in the 200 breast (2:27.17) with 'Canes Colleen Adkins (2:27.30) and Christina Swanson (2:33.17) placing second and third for a Miami sweep.
UM's next home meet will be Feb. 8 when they host Indian River.