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Tucker helps Auburn win SEC swim title

Seminole High graduate Scott Tucker, the 1993 Florida Swimmer of the Year, helped Auburn University win its first Southeastern Conference championship.

In the meet at Auburn two weeks ago, Tucker broke the school record in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4 minutes, 21.02 seconds. That was good for second place and 17 team points. He was beaten by Florida's All-America senior, Drew Whitting.

In the 200 freestyle, the 18-year-old freshman posted a top preliminary time and finished sixth in the final. He also placed eighth in the 100 freestyle.

Tucker, the Times' 1993 Swimmer of the Year, earned his first SEC title as a member of Auburn's 400-yard freestyle relay team. The group broke an Auburn record that had stood for 13 years, recording a 2:54.62. Tucker also led off the Tigers' 800-yard freestyle relay team that finished second.

Overall, Tucker figured in 60.5 points for the Tigers as they beat runner-up Florida by 29 points. He scored 42 individual points and 18.5 in relay events.

Auburn coach David Marsh said he thought Tucker would make a difference on the team this season, and " he certainly didn't let us down."

Added Marsh: "He has a quiet demeanor about him. That's due to his solid home upbringing. He also had some excellent coaching with the West Florida Lightning from coach Mike Stewart, who helped him with his stroke mechanics and his level of maturity. His (Tucker's) time and finish in the 500 was a pleasant surprise because that's not considered his specialty event. His outstanding finish set the tone for the entire team and qualified him for the NCAA Championships."

Marsh also spoke highly of Alabama sophomore Alex Voris, a graduate of Osceola High.

"Alex went under 44 seconds on his leg of Alabama's 400 freestyle relay team and that's outstanding," Marsh said. Voris swam :43.90 for the third-place Crimson Tide. "Both Alex and Scott are Olympic candidates. They are young and improving."

Diving: Brandon Lumm (Largo High), a sophomore at Georgia Tech, won the 3-meter event at last weekend's Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at FSU. He also took sixth in the 1-meter dive to finish second overall. An engineering major, Lumm qualified for the NCAA Zone Qualifier.

Women's swimming: Nicole Haislett (Lakewood High) led the Gators to the SEC women's title at Auburn. She won two events (100 and 200 free) for the fourth consecutive year, the first woman or man to win two events all four years in SEC history. In addition, Haislett won the 200 individual medley and was on four first-place relay teams. She was named the SEC Swimmer of the Year for the fourth time, another first.

Tennis: Erica Kuttler (Canterbury School) helped Florida win matches with Brigham Young last Saturday and Utah on Sunday. Playing in the No. 6 position, she won 6-4, 6-2 against BYU and in doubles teamed with Kristin Osmond for a narrow 5-4 Gator win. On Sunday, she won 6-1, 6-1 individually and in doubles in a 9-0 shutout of Utah. Overall this fall and winter, Kuttler has a 15-4 singles record, including nine wins in a row. She's a 4.0 student in a pre-med program.

Basketball: Carlton Bryant (St. Petersburg High), a 6-foot-5 small forward at Florida College (23-8), led state junior colleges in scoring this season with a 24.7 average. He also led the team with 9.0 rebounds, placing him in the top 10 in the state in that category.

In Tuesday's Suncoast Conference playoff game with Manatee Community College, Bryant scored 37 points and contributed 13 rebounds in a 126-120 triple-overtime loss.

"He's a great player and should make all-state," said Rob Wagner, the coach of the Falcons from Temple Terrace. "He'll probably be the best player in the state next year and will have a choice of any (four-year) college he wants to attend. He made the honor roll (3.1 GPA) the first semester and was a team leader on the basketball court. Carlton is a winner."

Track: Chris Bogue (Tarpon Springs), a former Times player of the year in football, has picked up a new implement at the United States Military Academy. At the Patriot League indoor championships last week at Colgate, Bogue took second place in the 35-pound weight with a throw of 57 feet, 11\ inches. His points helped the Black Knights win the team title. Earlier in the season, Bogue beat Navy with a throw of 59-1{. He is at Harvard this weekend for the Heptagonals. Bogue played football at West Point his freshman year until a severe knee injury ended his career.

Baseball: Shortstop Chris Heintz (Countryside) went 3-for-4 Monday in USF's 16-1 win over Stetson. The 6-foot-1 sophomore raised his batting average to .368. He leads the Bulls (3-2) with four doubles and has struck out only once in 19 plate appearances. Scott Kanehl (Dunedin High) is USF's backup shortstop.