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Saturday March 21, 2009UF Finishes Seventh at NCAAs, Wins 100th National Title After Sweeping 200 Back

College Station, Texas

The No. 5 Gators closed the 2009 NCAA Championship meet with their 100th national event title, two school records and a seventh-place finish overall (239.5 points) in College Station. On the final day of competition, junior Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England), freshman Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) and junior Stephanie Proud (Durham, England) went 1-2-3 in the 200-yard backstroke, racking up 53 points for the Gators in the second race of the evening from the Student Rec Center Natatorium. Cal (411.5), Georgia (400.5), Arizona (389), Stanford (312.5) and Texas (307) rounded out the top five 2009 team finishers.

 

“We had a really good season and we couldn’t have asked for it to be any better at the end,” head coach Gregg Troy said of the team’s NCAA performance. “We battled every day and every race this entire meet, we just started a little slow the first day. We’ll go back and evaluate what we can do in the future to start off better. We are so fortunate with such a great coaching staff and with the leadership from our upperclassmen. Gemma Spofforth has been outstanding, not only in the pool, but as a leader of this team. Stephanie Proud has been a great leader for us too. Our divers really performed well throughout the meet too. We have a promising future because we probably had the most freshmen at this meet and the good news for us is they’re all returning.”

 

“We just did an outstanding job throughout this entire week,” diving coach Donnie Craine said. “We were able to step up and score some points for the team and  I couldn’t be more proud about how we came together.”

 

In all 13 Gators garnered All-America honors or Honorable Mention All-America status at the 2009 NCAA Championship Meet, with a staggering 34 honors from the 13 Lady Gators. UF’s seventh-place team finish marks the ninth-straight year the Gators have secured a top-10 finish at the National Championship showdown.

 

The first-through-third sweep in the 200 back marks the second time this season the trio has swept the event in a championship meet, as Spofforth, Crippen and Proud accomplished the feat at the 2009 SEC Championship Meet in Auburn, Ala., in February.

 

The national title was Spofforth’s fifth individual national championship, her third in the 200 back, and Florida’s 100th national title all-time. Spofforth is one of four women in NCAA history, joining Sue Walsh (UNC, 1982-84), Betsy Mitchell (Texas, 1986-88) and Natalie Coughlin (Cal, 2001-03), to win the 200-yard backstroke three-consecutive years.

 

After also winning the 100-yard back Friday evening, Spofforth became the second Gator, joining former UF swimmer Kristen Linehan, to win both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke races in back-to-back seasons, as Linehan did so in 1989 and 1990.

 

After securing the U.S. Open and NCAA record (1:48.34) as the 200-yard back SEC Champion in February, Spofforth additionally took claim over the NCAA meet record with her 1:49.11 swim Saturday. Both Crippen (1:51.59) and Proud (1:51.81) swam career-best times in the sweep. The three Gators now own the three fastest times in UF history in the event.

 

Freshman Jemma Lowe (Hartlepool, England) continued the fast swimming for Florida on the final night of the NCAA meet, racing to a fourth-place, 1:53.60, mark in the 200-yard fly, tying with Cal’s Amanda Sims. Lowe improved from seventh place in prelims to her fourth-place final standing Saturday evening.

 

In distance freestyle action, senior Laurabeth Guenthner (Wellington, Fla.) rallied for the Orange and Blue in the mile, swimming to an eighth-place finish (16:00.44) overall in the championship heat of the first event of the evening.

 

Prior to the kick-off of the evening’s swimming and diving finals, the consolation round of the platform took place. Sophomore Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) dove to a 214.05 finish to place 16th overall after turning in a 231.70-point preliminary finish. In the championship final Saturday evening, junior Kara Salamone (Hollywood, Fla.) hit a 271.95, good for seventh overall in the event.

 

The Florida 400-yard freestyle relay, comprised of Spofforth, junior Liz Kemp (Potomac, Md.), Proud and junior Stephanie Napier (Chattanooga, Tenn.) closed out the meet with a 3:15.81, 11th-place finish in the last event of the meet.

 

A replay of the 2009 NCAA Division I Championships is slated to air on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD from 3:30-5 p.m. (ET) Thursday, March 26. For complete results from the 2009 NCAA Championship Meet, click here.

 

UF NCAA All-Americans (13 athletes, 34 honors [including honorable mention])

1. Gemma Spofforth (7 honors): 200 IM, 100 back, 200 back, 200MR, 200 FR (hon. mention), 400 MR (hon. mention), 400 FR (hon. mention)

2. Jemma Lowe (4 honors): 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, 200 MR, 400 MR (hon. mention)

3. Stephanie Proud (4 honors): 400 IM, 200 back, 400 FR (hon. mention), 800 FR (hon. mention)

4. Teresa Crippen (3 honors): 200 back, 400 IM, 800 FR (hon. mention)

5. Stephanie Napier (3 honors): 200 MR, 200 FR (hon. mention), 400 FR (hon. mention)

6. Liz Kemp (3 honors): 400 MR (hon. mention), 400 FR (hon. mention), 800 FR (hon. mention)

7. Laurabeth Guenthner (2 honors): 1,650 free, 500 free (hon. mention)

8. Lindsay Rogers (2 honors): 200 MR, 400 MR (hon. mention)

9. Sarah Bateman (1 honor): 200 FR (hon. mention)

10. Kara Salamone (2 honors): Platform, 1M (hon. mention)

11. Monica Dodson (1 honor): Platform (hon. mention)

12. Melani Costa-Schmid (1 honor): 800 FR (hon. mention)

13. Lily Ramirez (1 honors): 200 FR (hon. mention)

 

 

Florida Records Set at the 2009 NCAA Championships

1. 200-yard individual medley: Gemma Spofforth, 1:54.73

Old Record: Gemma Spofforth, 1:55.39, 2009

 

2. 400-yard individual medley: Teresa Crippen, 4:05.00

Old Record: Stephanie Proud, 4:07.56, 2009

 

2009 NCAA Team Results (Top-10)

1. California, 411.5

2. Georgia, 400.5

3. Arizona, 389

4. Stanford, 312.5

5. Texas, 307

6. Auburn, 281.5

7. Florida, 239.5

8. Texas A&M, 186

9. Southern California, 157

10. Indiana, 152

 

Saturday Finals Results (UF Top Sixteen Finishers and Event Winners)

200 Backstroke

1. Gemma Spofforth: 1:49.11 – Meet Record

2. Teresa Crippen: 1:51.59 – Career-best time

3. Stephanie Proud: 1:51.81 – Career-best time

 

100 Freestyle

1. Dana Vollmer , California: 47.17

 

200 Breaststroke

1. Rebecca Soni , Southern California: 2:05.52

 

200 Butterfly

1. Elaine Breeden, Stanford: 1:50.98 – NCAA Meet Record

T4. Jemma Lowe: 1:53.60

 

400 Freestyle Relay

1. California: 3:09.88 – NCAA, NCAA Meet, U.S. Open and American record

11. Kemp, Spofforth, Proud, Napier: 3:15.81

Leadoff Split (Kemp): 49.41

 

1,650 Freestyle

1. Wendy Trott, Georgia: 15:45.49

8. Laurabeth Guenthner: 16:00.44

35. Kristen Beales: 16:27.57

 

Platform Diving

1. Kristin Davies, NC State: 339.65

7. Kara Salamone: 271.95

16. Monica Dodson: 214.05

 

 

Florida Preliminary Results

200 Backstroke

1. Gemma Spofforth: 1:51.55

2. Stephanie Proud: 1:52.25

3. Teresa Crippen: 1:52.60

44. Anna Pold: 1:57.23

47. Sarah Peterson: 1:57.79

 

200 Breaststroke

35. Kirsten Smith: 2:12.89 – Career-best, fourth-fastest in UF history

 

200 Butterfly

5. Jemma Lowe: 1:53.87

22. Teresa Crippen: 1:56.53 – UF career-best

36. Julianne Lago: 1:59.03

40. Anna Pold: 2:02.06

 

400 Freestyle Relay

15. Kemp, Spofforth, Napier, Bateman: 3:17.55

Leadoff Split (49.40)

 

Platform Diving

5. Kara Salamone: 292.25

16. Monica Dodson: 231.70

 

-UF-

 

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