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Thursday March 19, 2009Spofforth Captures UF Record, Finishes Fourth in 200 IM; Florida in 11th After Day One at NCAAs

College Station, Texas

Junior Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) swam to a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley (1:54.73), re-setting her own UF record, as the Lady Gators stand in 11th place (43 points) following the first day of competition at the 2009 NCAA Championship Meet from the Student Rec Center Natatorium in College Station, Texas.

 

Spofforth held the lead through the breaststroke leg of the race when Stanford’s Julia Smit closed the gap in the eight-man field. Spofforth rallied for fourth place, setting a career-best mark in the event and improving her existing UF record (1:55.39) set at the 2009 SEC Championship meet. At last year’s NCAA meet in Columbus, Ohio, Spofforth placed 13th in the 200 IM.

 

In distance freestyle action, Florida’s Laurabeth Guenthner (Wellington, Fla.) competed in the consolation final of the 500-yard free, clocking a 4:42.76, 14th-place finish, improving from her 16th-place prelims seed.

 

The Gators’ 200-yard free relay, composed of junior Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Spofforth, and freshmen Lily Ramirez (Gainesville, Fla.) and Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) swam to a ninth-place tie in the consolation finals of the event, tying for first in the heat with the team from Wisconsin. The Gator quartet swam to a 1:29.21, the second-fastest time in UF history.

 

Florida closed out day one of competition with a 14th-place (3:33.75) finish in the 400-yard medley relay consolation final. The quartet, composed of Spofforth, freshman Lindsay Rogers (Fishers, Ind.), freshman Jemma Lowe (Hartlepool, England) and junior Liz Kemp (Potomac, Md.) improved upon their morning preliminary mark (3:33.79) with the swim.

 

Directly after competing in 1M diving preliminaries early Thursday afternoon, junior diver Kara Salamone (Hollywood, Fla.) hit the diving boards for the consolation final of the one-meter springboard. Salamone improved her score from the prelim round, achieving 289.65, good for a 14th-place finish overall in the event.

 

The 2009 NCAA Championship meet continues Friday. Preliminaries of the 200 MR, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, three-meter diving and the 800 FR are set to begin at 11 a.m. (CT). Gator fans can follow the meet live here or visit www.GatorZone.com following both prelims and finals for complete results and a recap of the day’s swimming and diving action.

 

Finals Results (Winner and UF Finishers) (Thursday Evening Session)

200 Free Relay

1. Arizona: 1:26.20 – NCAA, NCAA Meet, U.S. Open and American Record

T9. Napier, Spofforth, Ramirez, Bateman: 1:29.21

Leadoff Split (Napier): 22.58

 

500 Free

1. Allison Schmitt, Georgia: 4:35.17

14. Laurabeth Guenthner: 4:42.76

 

200 Individual Medley

1. Julia Smit, Stanford: 1:52.79 – NCAA, NCAA Meet, U.S. Open and American Record

4. Gemma Spofforth: 1:54.73 – Career-best mark, UF Record

 

50 Free

1. Lara Jackson , Arizona: 21.40 – NCAA Meet Record

 

400 Medley Relay

1. Arizona: 3:28.31 – NCAA, NCAA Meet, U.S. Open and American Record

14. Spofforth, Rogers, Lowe, Kemp: 3:33.75

Leadoff Split (Spofforth): 51.21

 

One-Meter Diving

1. Anastasia Pozdniakova, University of Houston: 351.15

14. Kara Salamone: 289.65

 

 

 

Florida Preliminary Results (Thursday Morning Session)

200 Free Relay

9. Napier, Spofforth, Kemp, Bateman: 1:28.80

Leadoff Split (Napier): 22.59

 

500 Free

16. Laurabeth Guenthner: 4:41.06

34. Stephanie Proud: 4:44.78

44. Kristen Beales: 4:47.04

54. Melani Costa-Schmid: 4:49.91

 

200 Individual Medley

6. Gemma Spofforth: 1:55.85

22. Kirsten Smith: 1:58.22 – UF career-best swim

25. Jemma Lowe: 1:58.53 – UF career-best swim, enters UF all-time top-10 list

 

50 Free

29. Stephanie Napier: 22.50

38. Sarah Bateman: 22.61

T52. Liz Kemp: 22.83 – UF career-best swim

 

400 Medley Relay

T10. Spofforth, Rogers, Lowe, Kemp: 3:33.79

Leadoff Split (Spofforth): 51.75

 

One-Meter Dive

12. Kara Salamone: 275.60

28. Monica Dodson: 255.60

 

-UF-

 

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