Jan. 17, 2009

Dallas, Texas - Gator senior Bradley Ally (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) captured an NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the 400 IM (3:44.12) on day one of the Dallas Morning News Classic Friday. Ally topped the NCAA “A” standard, 3:44.88, to earn an automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Championship meet in College Station, Texas, at the end of March.

Under Ally’s leadership, and a first-place finish in the 100-yard breast by junior Clark Burckle (Louisville, Ky.), the No. 6 Gators completed day one of the two-day competition in second place with 143 points behind leader, Michigan (181). Swimming and diving at the Dallas Morning News Classic picks up again tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. (CT). Fans can track meet results here.

Dallas Morning News Classic Event Recaps

400 medley relay

The Gator men opened day one of the Dallas Morning News Classic with a bang, swimming a season-best 3:10.63 mark in the 400-yard medley relay with the efforts of senior Rex Tullius (Port Orange, Fla.) and juniors Burckle, Shaune Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) and Roberto Gomez (Weston, Fla.).

400 IM

Ally led the way for the Orange and Blue in the championship final of the 400 IM, touching in at 3:44.12, an NCAA automatic qualifying mark, placing second in the event behind Tyler Clary of Michigan. Junior Omar Pinzon (Bogota, Colombia) swam a season-best mark of 3:50.01, an NCAA “B”
provisional qualifying mark in the event. Pinzon finished eighth overall and second in the consolation final.

200 free

Sophomore Balazs Gercsak (Budapest, Hungary) and Burckle were the Orange and Blue representation in the 200-yard free. Gercsak clocked a 1:38.00 to finish second overall in the championship heat, while Burckle swam an even quicker 1:37.97 (8th) in the consolation final. Friday marked the first 200 free competition for Burckle this season.

50 free

Florida freestyle specialists Fraser and Gomez tapped in at 20.44 and 20.74, respectively. Fraser captured third place, while Gomez came in 10th.

One-meter diving

In only his freshman season as a Gator, Anthony Lewark (Davie, Fla.), continued to lead Florida in the diving realm Friday. Lewark rallied for a fifth-place finish in the one-meter competition in Dallas, racking up
265.05 points.

100 fly

Pinzon and Gomez teamed up for the Gators in the 100 fly, Pinzon flying to a second-place, 48.36, mark, while Gomez tapped in at 49.93. Pinzon’s time marked a season and career-best and became the fastest 100 fly time for the Gator men this season. Gomez’s time was good for eighth-place in the consolation final.

100 back

Backstrokers Brett Fraser (George Town, Cayman Islands) and Tullius represented Florida in the 100-yard back event Friday. Tullius swam to an NCAA provisional mark of 48.27 to finish third in the championship heat, while Fraser finished second in the consolation final (8th
overall) with a 48.48, his fastest time of the season so far.

100 breast

Burckle claimed a victory in the championship heat of the 100 breast, out-swimming the competition with a 54.74. Ally, who recorded the third-fastest time in the event (55.90) finished first in the consolation final. Both Burckle and Ally swam season-best marks in the event.

After a disqualification in the final event of the evening, the 800-yard free relay, the Gators finished day one of the two-day classic in second with 143 points behind leader, Michigan (181). SMU (140), North Carolina (134), Arizona State (111) and Southern California (107) round out the Dallas Morning News Classic competition.

For complete results and a recap of Saturday’s competition, check back on www.GatorZone.com following the conclusion of the meet.