November 16, 2011
WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
Three months after a horrific car accident, George Bovell made a successful return to the pool Wednesday night in the inaugural Pro Dual 1 Meet at University of Michigan’s Canham Natatorium.
The Trinidad and Tobago Olympian and national record holder won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.77 while competing for the West team.
Bovell, 28, a five-time NCAA champion at Auburn, earned $300 for the win. He also turned in a blistering 22.17 split on the West “A” relay that finished third in the 200-meter medley relay.
Bovell, who graduated from Jacksonville Bolles and was a bronze medalist at the 2004 Olympics, was in his BMW when he was hit bya truck on the driver’s side of the car. He was knocked unconscious and suffered several lacerations that required stitches. He was forced to miss the Pan American Games because he was unable to train.
South African Darian Townsend, a double winner in the 200-meter individual medley (2:01.29) and 200-meter freestyle (1:50.14), was the leading prize money winner with $600 followed by Wu Peng and Jason Dunford with $450. Sixteen swimmers cashed in on the opening night of the two-day meet.
Going into Thursday’s second and final night of action, the East squad leads the West, 110.5-92.5.
The lead changed hands three times before the East pulled away starting with Clark Burckle’s win the 100-meter breaststroke, the first of four consecutive East wins.
The 90-minute meet was competitive and entertaining. The race had a corporate sponsor who was introduced before each race.
Both taped music played between races along with live entertainment with the University of Michigan’s men’s Glee Club, The Friars and Wolverines Dance Team. The announcer was knowledgeable and race calls. Attendance was low but few major newspapers or websites publicized the inaugural event. Aside from shouts of “Come On East” from the stands, the cash register sound effects after completion of each race was a nice touch. Swimmers also held autograph sessions.
Florida Gold Coast was represented by Danielle Tirabassi and Fred Veloso Castro of Davie Nadadores. Castro cashed in for $50 after a third place finish in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:02.75. Tirabassi was fourth in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:53.11.
The meet concludes tonight with eight more events. Competition begins 8 p.m. and is being webcast live at swimmingworld.com.
EAST 110.5, WEST 92.5
200-meter individual medley: 1. Darian Townsend, West 2:01.29, $300, 2. Wu Peng, East 2:02.11, $150, 3. Nick Brunelli, East 2:08.46, $50, 4. George Bovell, West 2:14.58. West 12, East 9
50-meter butterfly: 1. Jason Dunford, East 23.96, $300, 2. Christopher Brady, West 24.48, $150, 3. Bobby Savulich, East 24.68, $50, 4.Bryan Lundqust, West 24.77. East 24, West 21.
200-meter freestyle: 1. Darian Townsend, West 1:50.14, $300, 2. Charles Houchin, West 1:50.15, $150, 3. Jean Basson, East 1:50.84, $50, 4. Daniele Tirabassi, West/Davie Nadadores) 1:53.11. West 37.5, East 31.5.
100-meter backstroke: 1. Eugene Godsoe, East 54.64, $300, 2. Christopher Brady, West 56.75, $150, 3. Kevin Doak, West 58.02, $50, 4. Nick Brunelli, East 58.03. West 46.5, East 43.5
100-meter breaststroke: 1. Christopher Burckle, East 1:02.15, $300, 2. BJ Johnson, East 1:03.35, $150, 3. Alex Hetland, West 1:03.56, $50, 4. Elliott Keefer, West 1:03.64. East 59.5, West 54.5.
50-meter freestyle: 1. George Bovell, West 22.77, $300, 2. Jason Dunford, East 22.82, $150, 3. Alex Couville, West 22.85, $50, 4. Nick Brunelli, East 23.09. East 69.5, West 68.5.
200-meter butterfly: 1. Wu Peng, East 1:59.62, 2. Charles Houchin, West 2:02.47, 3. Fred Castro, East 2:02.75, 4. Davis Tarwater, West 2:06.75. East 82.5, West 78.5.
200-meter medley relay: 1. East “A” (Eugene Godsoe, Christopher Burckle, Jason Dunford, Nick Brunelli) 1:40.54, 2. East “B” (Wu Peng, BJ Johnson, Bobby Savulich, David Dunford) 1:41.53, 3. West “A” (Christopher Brady, Alex Hetland, Bryan Lundquist, George Bovell) 1:41.73, 4. West “B” (Kevin Doak, Nelson Westby, Joe Bartoch, Alex Coville) 1:42.23. East 110.5, West 92.5.
Justin Kaisrlik of East Ridge High School is the latest high school senior to sign with University of Florida and will join SOFLO’s Luke Torres and former SOFLO swimmer Lindsey McKnight in the Gators lineup next fall. Kaisrlik is a Class 2A state champion in the 200-yard individual medley. He is also a top 200-yard freestyler…Top-ranked Georgia women’s swimming and diving team tied a school record for consecutive home victories Wednesday night with a 141-96 victory over Emory at Gabrielson Natatorium. The win was the 76th consecutive victory for the
Lady Bulldogs, tying a mark set by the men’s tennis team from 1968-72. The swim team’s streak started in 1995. Georgia is 5-0, has won 18 straight dual meets overall and is 51-1 in its last 52 competitions…Florida sophomore Elizabeth Beisel was named SEC Female Swimmer of the Week for her swims against Stanford and Michigan. The Gators will compete in the three-day Georgia Tech Invitational beginning Nov. 18 against Clemson, Emory, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech…SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy and Seton Hall Pirates (6-1) will compete in the Patriot Invitational Thursday through Saturday in Fairfax, Va. O’Shaughnessy already has five automatic qualifying times for the Feb. 15-18 Big East Championships at Pittsburgh….SOFLO’s Kevin Bandy, 20, of Louisville was 17th in the 400-yard freestyle prelims in 4:12.49 Wednesday at the Tennessee Volunteer Invitational.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com