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Thursday March 17, 2011Beisel and Bateman Qualify for Evening Finals on Day One of NCAA Championships


AUSTIN, Texas – Freshman Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) qualified for the finals of the 500-yard freestyle, while junior Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) qualified for the finals of the 50 free, at day one prelims of the 2011 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Thursday at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.


“We weren’t very good this morning,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “We had some opportunities that we let slip away from us. We weren’t firing on all cylinders. We’re going to have to get a whole lot better the rest of the way.”


Finishing the 50-yard freestyle in 22.16, both Bateman and junior Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.) tied for eighth in the 50-yard freestyle prelims. For Stafford, her swim in the last individual event of the first session tied her personal best from last year’s NCAA’s, while also tying the second-fastest mark in school history. Bateman won the swim-off between the two teammates with a time of 22.13, advancing to the finals.


Beisel became the first Gator to qualify for the evening finals by clocking 4:38.37 in the 500-yard freestyle. Sophomore Corinne Showalter (Sarasota, Fla.) was UF’s next-highest finisher in the race with a 24th-place time of 4:42.39, while sophomore Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) took 25th with a time of 4:42.51. Junior Angelina Ballatore (Gainesville, Fla.) and freshman Alicia Mathieu (Marlborough, Conn.) also competed in the race, coming in 39th (4:45.73) and 43rd (4:46.19), respectively.


In the 200-yard individual medley, junior Kirsten Smith (Cary, N.C.) was UF’s highest finisher, touching the wall in 1:58.97 to finish 21st. Freshman Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland) finished five spots later with a time of 1:59.22, while sophomore Sarra Lajnef (Tunis, Tunisia) took 53rd with a time of 2:02.46.


To start the morning prelims, the Gators just missed making the A finals in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a ninth-place time of 1:29.09. The mark qualified UF for the B finals but fell just short of Georgia’s eighth-place time of 1:28.98. The Florida foursome of Bateman, Stafford and freshmen Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) and Alana Pazevic (Mill Creek, Wash.) swam the fifth-fastest in school history and the fastest time for the Gators this season.


In the last event of the prelim session, the Gators’ quartet of Beisel, Luthersdottir, Bateman and Stafford took 14th in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:35.56. Beisel’s leadoff split of 53.73 in the 100-yard backstroke marked a personal best and ranks eighth all-time in school history.


For complete results from the day one prelims, fans can click here. Select pictures from the morning session can be found here. Gator fans are also encouraged to follow the swimming and diving program via Twitter or Facebook.


Gators Qualifying for Evening “A” Finals

500 Free – Elizabeth Beisel

50 Free – Sarah Bateman


Gators Qualifying for Evening “B” Finals

50 Free – Shara Stafford

200 Free Relay – Team

400 Medley Relay – Team

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