GAINESVILLE, Jan. 5. SIX Florida swimmers and one Gator relay team recorded NCAA qualifying times as the Florida men's and women's swimming and diving teams defeated Penn State Saturday at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
The No. 8 Florida women's team defeated the No. 18 Nittany Lions 128-111 while the No. 14 Gator men's team defeated No. 20 Penn State 126-110.
The Gator women's team remains undefeated on the season with a 9-0 dual meet record while the Gator men's team improves to 7-2 on the year. Both Penn State teams fall to 0-2 in dual meets on the season.
Meredith Green (Chapel Hill, N.C.) finished first and was an automatic NCAA qualifier with a time of 16:28.09 in the 1,650-yard freestyle. Green is the third Lady Gator to achieve an automatic qualifiying time in this event this season.
Rebecca Harper (Richmond, Va.) also marked an NCAA automatic qualifying time with her win in the 200-yard butterfly, touching the wall in 1:59.65.
Janelle Atkinson (Jamaica) recorded a provisional time in the 200-yard freestyle with her winning time of 1:49.93, while Maureen Farrell (Northridge, Calif.) marked a provisional time in the 200-yard backstroke, clocking in at 2:01.87.
Sara McLarty (DeLand, Fla.) closed out the qualifying with a provisional time of 4:54.60 in the 500-yard freestyle. Overall, Florida took first place in eight events against the Nittany Lions.
On the men's side, Carlos Jayme (Goias, Brazil) recorded a provisional time in the 50-yard freestyle with his first-place time of 20.23, while the team of Jayme, Hendrik Odendaal, Gabriel Mangabeira and Duncan Sherrard recorded a provisional qualifying time in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:00.31; Jayme 44.30 lead-off).
The Gator men's team recorded wins in eight events in the win, including Duncan Sherrard's (Lakeland, Fla.) first-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly, clicking in at 1:48.97, almost three full seconds faster than the second-place finisher, teammate Eric Donnelly (Sarasota, Fla.).
In action Thursday and Friday at the Georgia Diving Invitational, both Gator teams claimed first and third places. For the men, freshman Zach Wilcox (Yarrow Point, Wash.) won the one-meter springboard event with 311.62. Junior Sarah Close (Clearwater, Fla.) won it for the women as she scored 262.27 in the three-meter springboard event.
Close came up big again on Friday when she tallied 259.20 points on the one-meter for fourth overall-four places over the sole Penn State diver to get into the finals. Sophomore Kristen Connor (Gainesville, Fla.) also scored in the finals, taking 11th place, or third against the Lions, with 209.60. Both teams are competing in Georgia's events, and scores in that event were applied to the team score in the dual meet in Gainesville.
The Florida women's team travels to Austin Texas to face the University of Texas Jan. 12, while the men's team is off until Jan. 17, when the Gators travel to Baton Rouge to face off against Southeastern Conference foe LSU.