Friday March 20, 2009Spofforth Repeats in 100 Back, Wins UF's 99th National Title; Florida in 8th After Day Two
College Station, Texas
College Station, Texas
Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) became the second Gator to win back-to-back national titles in the 100-yard backstroke following her first-place victory (50.55) at the Student Rec Center Natatorium in College Station. After also winning the 100-yard back title in 2008, Spofforth repeated Friday, reeling in UF’s 99th national title overall and claiming the fourth individual national crown of her career.
Spofforth, who is also the 200 back NCAA record-holder and reigning champion, joins former Florida swimmer Kristen Linehan as the only two Gators to earn back-to-back titles in the 100 backstroke event. Linehan won in both 1989 and 1990, and the two Gators own UF’s only four national titles in the race.
Under Spofforth’s leadership, the Gators improved from 11th place to eighth place (136) following the second day of NCAA competition. In addition to Spofforth’s national title, a broken UF record in the 400 IM by freshman Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken , Pa.) rallied the No. 5 Gators to finish day two strong.
“We swam pretty well today,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “After a slow start yesterday, we had some very good races today and got better each time. Gemma swam an outstanding race and we had some really great races from some of our freshmen who stepped up, notably Jemma Lowe and Teresa Crippen. Stephanie Proud also had a good IM race.”
Crippen and junior Stephanie Proud (Durham, England) represented the Orange and Blue in the championship final. After both Crippen and Proud swam career-best times in the distance medley race in preliminaries, the duo turned around to place sixth and seventh in the finale. While neither swam a career-best time in finals, their two preliminary marks stand as the first and second-fastest times in UF history in the event.
Freshman Jemma Lowe (Hartlepool, England) swam the championship final of the 100-yard butterfly after qualifying in prelims with a 51.76. The 2009 SEC Champion and UF record-holder in the event clocked a 52.49 finals swim to place seventh overall in the eight-woman championship heat.
Prior to UF’s individual swims, the Gator 200-yard medley relay kicked off the finals session with an eighth-place finish, improving upon their prelims mark to swim the third-fastest time in UF history in the relay. Spofforth swam a 24.16 opening backstroke leg, while freshman Lindsay Rogers (Fishers, Ind.) swam breast, Lowe the fly leg and junior Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.) the anchor freestyle leg.
Likewise, the Gators closed out day two of the championship meet with a 10th-place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Composed of Crippen, junior Liz Kemp (Potomac, Md.), freshman Melani Costa-Schmid (Palma de Mallona, Spain), and Proud, Florida swam to a 7:06.78, the sixth-fastest time in the UF record books.
Florida will wrap up the 2009 NCAA Championship campaign Saturday with prelims and finals of the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 butterfly, 400 FR, platform diving and the mile. Prelims are slated to begin at 11 a.m. (CT), while finals commence at 7 p.m. Gator fans can follow the meet live here or visit www.GatorZone.com following finals for complete results and a recap of the day’s swimming and diving action.
NCAA Team Scores (Top-10) Through Day Two
1. California, 302
2. Georgia, 295.5
3. Arizona, 282.5
4. Stanford, 213.5
5. Auburn, 195
6. Texas, 169
7. Texas A&M, 144
8. Florida, 136
9. Southern California, 116
10. Indiana, 114
Friday Finals Results (UF Top Eight Finishers and Event Winners)
200 Medley Relay
1. Georgia: 1:36.45
8. Spofforth, Rogers, Lowe, Napier: 1:37.28 – Third-fastest time in UF history
Leadoff Split (Spofforth): 24.16
1. Julia Smit, Stanford: 4:00.56 – NCAA, NCAA Meet, U.S. Open and American Record
6. Teresa Crippen: 4:06.77
7. Stephanie Proud: 4:07.25
1. Amanda Sims, California: 51.28
7. Jemma Lowe: 52.49
1. Dana Vollmer , California: 1:42.09 – NCAA Meet Record
1. Rebecca Soni , Southern California: 58.36 – NCAA Meet Record
1. Gemma Spofforth: 50.55
1. Christina Loukas, Indiana: 437.75
800 Freestyle Relay
1. California: 6:52.69 – NCAA, NCAA Meet, U.S. Open and American Record
10. Crippen, Kemp, Costa-Schmid, Proud: 7:06.78
Leadoff Split (Crippen): 1:46.18
Florida Preliminary Results
200 Medley Relay
6. Spofforth, Rogers, Lago, Napier: 1:37.64
Leadoff Split (Spofforth): 24.32
4. Teresa Crippen: 4:05.00 – Career-best, UF Record
7. Stephanie Proud: 4:07.00 – Career-best
18. Kirsten Smith: 4:10.64
33. Laurabeth Guenthner 4:15.31
36. Angelina Ballatore 4:15.53
40. Anna Pold: 4:16.49
44. Kristen Beales: 4:17.83
7. Jemma Lowe: 51.76
25. Julilanne Lago: 52.79
48. Liz Kemp: 1:48.00
54. Melani Costa-Schmid: 1:48.41
44. Lindsay Rogers: 1:02.66
1. Gemma Spofforth: 51.45
25. Lily Ramirez: 53.18 – Career-best time
31. Sarah Peterson: 53.45
54. Sarah Bateman: 54.77 – Career-best time
57. Julianne Lago: 55.11
21. Kara Salamone: 291.95
29. Monica Dodson: 261.40