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Friday October 23, 2009Lady Gator Swim & Dive in First Place After Day One at SMU Classic

Dallas, Texas

The Lady Gator swimming and diving team completed the first day of competition at the 2009 SMU Classic Friday evening in first place (178 points) at the Joe Perkins Natatorium on the SMU campus in Dallas. Louisville (156), SMU (140), Wisconsin (139), Florida State (125) and Rice (90) round out the six-team competition after day one.

The squad of eight Florida swimmers and senior diver Kara Salamone (Cooper City, Fla.) are matching up with five other swimming and diving powerhouses at the two-day invitational meet, including Southern Methodist, Florida State, Louisville, Rice and Wisconsin.

A strong first day with multiple NCAA provisional marks propelled Florida to its first-place standing, led by multiple Gator event victories. Sophomore Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) clocked the fastest time in the 400-yard IM (4:17.23), a NCAA provisional qualifying mark, while sophomore Kirsten Smith (Cary, N.C.) won the consolation final in 4:19.70.

Sophomore Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.), last week’s www.CollegeSwimming.com National Collegiate Swimmer of the Week, was victorious with an NCAA “B” standard in the 200 free (1:48.14), while freshman Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) took first in the consolation final (1:49.33), the two fastest times in the event.

It was Jemma Lowe (Hartlepool, England) and Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England), the Team Great Britain teammates, who came through for the Gators in the 100-yard fly, Lowe with the win in championship finals (55.13) and Spofforth with the consolation victory (55.78). The duo clocked the first and third-fastest times in the event.

Salamone represented UF on the one-meter diving board, turning in a 289.85 second-place finish, just four points behind the first-place finisher from Louisville.

Stafford and Crippen led the way in the 100-yard back, Stafford finishing second with her second NCAA provisional mark of the meet, a 54.87 mark, while Crippen took the consolation win in 57.60.

In the 100-yard breast event, sophomore Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) took fourth (1:04.67) and Smith took third in the consolation heat (1:06.06), while Spofforth finished third in the 50 free (23.99) and sophomore Lily Ramirez (Gainesville, Fla.) clocked a 23.93 to finish second in the consolation final.

While Florida opened with a second-place 400-yard medley relay (Spofforth, Bateman, Lowe, Stafford; 3:43.76), the Gators closed out the first night of competition with an 800-yard free relay victory with contributions from Lowe, Crippen, Bohunicky and Smith. The quartet turned in a 7:25.99, nearly six seconds ahead of second-place Louisville.

Florida has matched-up with all five squads competing at the SMU Classic at NCAAs, but has dueled with only Southern Methodist and Florida State. The Gators own a 6-1 all-time record over the Mustangs, while holding a 37-1 record over Sunshine State rival, Florida State. Four of the five teams in Dallas achieved top 25 finishes at the 2009 NCAA Championships, with Florida leading the way (7th), Wisconsin in 14th, SMU in 19th and Louisville in 22nd.

Day two of competition at the SMU Classic is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday in Dallas. Complete results and a recap will be available on www.GatorZone.com following competition.

Gators at SMU Classic

Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.)

Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.)

Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken , Pa.)

Lily Ramirez (Gainesville, Fla.)

Jemma Lowe (Hartlepool, England)

Kirsten Smith (Cary, N.C.)

Kara Salamone (Cooper City, Fla.)

Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England)

Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.)

While the nine Lady Gators continue competition in Dallas, the remainder of the women’s swimming and diving squad will take on Arkansas and Kansas in a double-dual meet at the Arkansas Natatorium in Fayetteville, Ark., beginning at 3 p.m. (ET) Saturday.

-UF-

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