Women's Swimming & Diving Headline
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 8 University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team concluded the first day of competition at the 2011 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in 10th place with 53 points Thursday evening at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas. Georgia leads the overall competition with 129 points, followed by Southern California (122), Stanford (116), California (115), Arizona (99), Auburn (80), Texas (68), Minnesota (67), Wisconsin (56) and Florida.
“We swam a lot better tonight than we did this morning,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “We have to regroup, come back tomorrow and race tough. We have a long ways to go.”
The UF women opened the night winning the “B” final of the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:28.56. The Florida foursome of juniors Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) and Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.), along with freshman Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) and sophomore Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) picked up UF’s first points of the meet and combined to swim the third-fastest time in school history. Bateman’s 22:09 split was just shy of her school-record and personal-best 22.00 set at this year’s 2011 SEC Championships in Gainesville.
Freshman Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) followed the relay race by picking up her first career All-America honor in the 500-yard freestyle. Beisel’s time of 4:42.18 placed her eighth on the podium.
Up next for the Orange and Blue was the 50 free, where Bateman improved her eighth-place prelim finish, taking sixth on the medal stand with a time of 22.15. Placing fourth in the “B” finals was Stafford, who touched the wall in 22.45. The All-America honor for Bateman was her fifth, while Stafford’s honorable mention All-America honor gave her a team-best tying seven career All-America nods.
The Gators concluded the first evening of competition with a sixth-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay. The quartet of Beisel, freshman Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland), Bateman and Stafford finished in 3:35.61, just shy of their morning time (3:35.56).
Following the first day of competition last year, the Gators stood in fourth place with 107 points behind Stanford (142.5), Georgia (134) and California (122). Florida went on to win its first national championship in 28 years.
Day two begins with prelims at 12 p.m. ET, followed by finals at 8 p.m. ET. For complete results from day one fans can click here. For select pictures of today’s meet, click here. Gator fans are also encouraged to follow the swimming and diving program via Twitter or Facebook.
TOP-10 TEAM STANDINGS THROUGH DAY ONE
1. Georgia - 129
2. Southern California – 122
3. Stanford - 116
4. California – 115
5. Arizona – 99
6. Auburn – 80
7. Texas - 68
8. Minnesota – 67
9. Wisconsin – 56
10. Florida - 53