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Women's Swimming & Diving Headline

Freshman Gemma Spofforth broke her own school record in the 100 back on Friday.

Friday March 9, 2007Spofforth Lowers School Standard As Gators Hold Top-10 Position At Women's NCAA Championships

Minneapolis, MN

Freshman Gemma Spofforth broke her own school record in the 100 back on Friday.

Freshman Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) established a new school record in the 100 back for the third time in two days, and junior Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) posted another top-five finish, to lead the University of Florida’s attack on day two of the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. The Gators will head to the final day of competition in eighth place with a total of 137 points.


“We actually had a pretty solid day today, despite not being as good in some events as we would have liked,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “We swam really well in the freestyle and backstroke. We’ve put ourselves in position to make a run tomorrow, and I think that will be our best day. We just have to come in and get the job done.”


Spofforth’s school-record time of 52.94 in the 100 back was good for a fourth-place finish and the first individual All-America honor of her career. She is only the fifth UF freshman in the last five years to earn All-America recognition in an individual event, and the first since Burckle in 2005. Fellow freshman Sarah Peterson (Franklin, Tenn.) also picked up an All-America honor in the 100 back, earning honorable mention accolades with a 16th-place finish (54.44).


Burckle also earned a spot on the medal stand on Friday night, as she captured her second individual All-America honor of the meet with a fifth-place finish in the 200 free (1:45.37). Burckle now owns 14 career All-America distinctions, having earned two on the first day of competition and a trio on Friday. She recorded a time of 1:45.75 in prelims to win her heat and earn the sixth seed in the finals session.


Gemma is a hard worker, and she listens well,” Troy said. “She had two good swims in the 100 back today, and she’s doing all we can ask of her at this point. Caroline Burckle is carrying the standard for us. She racing tough, and we have to keep sending her to the blocks if we want to be competitive.”


Junior Natalie Pike (Boca Raton, Fla.) also earned All-America recognition in the 200 free when she touched third in the consolation final, and 11th overall, with a time of 1:46.01. Pike’s mark represented a new career best in the event, and vaulted her to eighth place in the school record books. Her latest All-America performance was the sixth of Pike’s, and her first in an individual event.


UF started the night on a high note when the 200 MR squad of Spofforth, Burckle, freshman Lauren Winter (Perth, Australia) and freshman Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.) won the consolation final with a time of 1:39.75. The ninth-place effort ranked the group as the fourth-fastest 200 MR in school history. The same quartet posted a time of 1:40.15 in the morning session to qualify 13th.


The night came to a close with an eighth-place UF finish in the 800 FR, as the squad of Burckle, Pike, junior Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.) and junior Kim Larson (Longwood, Fla.) turned in a time of 7:09.70. The All-America distinction earned by the four juniors was the fifth of the meet for Burckle and the second for each of the team’s other members.


The morning’s prelims saw Retrum and senior Ashley Carusone (High Springs, Fla.) represented the Gators in the 400 individual medley, with the former posting a season-best time of 4:15.72 to place 19th. Carusone finished 25th in the event with a time of 4:18.01.


In the 100 back, junior Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) posted a time of 54.33 that was good for 20th place. The performance not only marked a career-best time, but also bumped Vanderbilt up to eighth in school history in the event. Larson finished 35th in the 200 free with a career-best time of 1:48.47, while freshman Elizabeth Kemp (Potomac, Md.) tied for 51st with a clocking of 1:49.42. Winter added a 43rd-place showing in the 100 fly after recording a time of 55.25.


Women’s swimming action will continue from University Aquatics Center on Saturday at noon EST, and the divers will hit the water at approximately 1 p.m. EST. See below for schedule of events. Live results can be found at


Team Top-10 Through Day Two

1. Arizona – 375 pts.

2. Auburn – 343

3. California – 261.5

4. Stanford – 250

5. Georgia – 195

6. Texas A&M – 167.5

7. Texas – 156

8. FLORIDA – 137

9. Michigan – 119

10. Tennessee – 94


Day Two Event Winners


Name (School)


200 MR

Degolia, Chandler, Jackson, Kelly (Arizona)


400 IM

Ava Ohlgren (Auburn)


100 Fly

Dana Vollmer (California)


200 Free

Lacey Nymeyer (Arizona)


100 Breast

Jessica Hardy (California)


100 Back

Rachel Goh (Auburn)


3M Dive

Cassidy Krug (Stanford)


800 FR

Vollmer, Silver, Hayter, Reilly (California)


^ - Denotes NCAA record

@ - Denotes American record

# - Denotes US Open record

% - Denotes pool record

& - Denotes NCAA meet record


Day Two Prelims Winners


Name (School)


200 MR

Boritzke, Chandler, Jackson, Kelly (Arizona)


400 IM

Alicia Aimesegger (Priceton)


100 Fly

Dana Vollmer (California)


200 Free

Emily Kukors (Auburn)


100 Breast

Jessica Hardy (California)


100 Back

Hailey Degolia (Arizona)


3M Dive

Cassidy Krug (Stanford)



Florida Finishes

400 IM

19. Leah Retrum – 4:15.72

25. Ashley Carusone – 4:18.01


100 Fly

43. Lauren Winter – 55.25


200 Free

5. Caroline Burckle – 1:45.37

11. Natalie Pike – 1:46.01

35. Kim Larson – 1:48.47

51. Elizabeth Kemp – 1:49.42


100 Back

4. Gemma Spoffort – 52.94

16. Sarah Peterson – 54.44

20. Samantha Vanderbilt – 54.33


Schedule of Events – Day Three

200 Back

100 Free

200 Breast

200 Fly

400 Free Relay

Platform Dive

1,650 Free




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