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Thursday March 15, 2012Third Time Is The Charm For Bateman, Gators Gather Points On First Night Of NCAAS

Auburn, Ala.

Senior Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) continued her stellar performance at the 2012 NCAA Championships when she steadily accelerated as the night went on. Earlier this morning, the Orlando native cracked her own school-leading record when she led the 200 freestyle relay with a 21.95, 50-split. She continued to gain speed as the night wound down…not once, but twice.

 

First, in tonight’s finals when she swam the fastest opening split of the 200 freestyle relay’s consolation heat and put the Gators ahead with the first 50-yards under her belt, shaving five-hundredths of a second off her freshly-set record just hours earlier and clocking in at 21.90.

 

The second was clocked during tonight’s consolation-winning swim in the 50 free when she touched the wall in 21.89. The final 50 free of her career in the Orange and Blue, solidified her place in the Florida record books

 

“It was great to finally go under 22 – I had been stuck there for a while, so get under that marker felt really great,” explained Bateman on her record-breaking performances. “It hasn’t really set in that I swam my last 50 as a Gator yet, but as of now I’m looking forward to the rest of the meet.”

 

The feat marked only the third time in Florida history that a Gator swimmer has clocked in under 22 flat, with each of those time recorded by Bateman in each of her swims today.

 

On the first night of competition at the 2012 Division I Swimming and Diving Championships the Gators had three appearances in the consolation finals with both the 200 freestyle and 400 medley relays making appearances in the water, as well as an individual swim by Bateman in the 50 free.

 

“We’re a little disappointed with some of the swims that we had today – there were some highs and lows – you have those at pretty much every meet, however,” remarked head coach Gregg Troy. “On the flip side there were also some very strong performances from our swimmers. Our relays swam the best that they have all year.”

 

Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.), had some terrific relay swims in events she normally doesn’t compete in, and Sarah was just stellar in all her 50-free swims, breaking her own school-record each time,” added Troy on tonight’s performances.

 

The women’s 200 freestyle relay stopped the clock at 1:29.09 in the consolation finals to finish 12th overall on the first night of championship swimming here in Auburn. Bateman who kick-started the race was followed by teammates, junior Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.), sophomore Kaitlin Frehling (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and senior Crippen, who all combined to record the sixth-lowest time in school history and put points on the board for the Gators.

 

Beisel led the 400 medley relay with a personal-best, opening 100 back split after she touched the wall in 52.41. The sophomore was followed by fellow underclassmen Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland) swimming the breaststroke, Crippen swimming the fly leg of the race and Bateman anchoring with the 100-free split.

 

Together, the quartet combined to stop the clock at 3:32.93, for eleventh overall in the field.

 

For complete results from day one of the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships, please click here.

 

After the first full day of competition, the top-10 teams are as follows, from first through 10th: Cal Berkeley (132), Stanford and USC tied for second with 118 points, Arizona (107), Auburn (94), Georgia (91), Texas A&M (89), Texas (74), Tennessee (73) and Missouri (44). Florida settles in at 13th with 31 points after the first night.

 

“We have to do a better job and work harder heading into tomorrow’s races,” explained Troy on previewing tomorrow’s races, although he reassured that “the Gators still have a lot of good, strong swimming ahead” of them. 

 

Day two of the 2012 NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships will continue tomorrow with prelims beginning at 11 a.m. CT and finals taking off at 7 p.m. CT. Live times can be found by following this link. Free, live streaming of Friday morning’s prelims will be provided free of charge by clicking here. ESPN will be streaming the finals at www.WatchESPN.com.

 

For all the latest information on Florida women’s swimming and diving at the NCAA Championships, please log on to www.GatorZone.com/swimmingdiving/women or, for up-to-the-minute updates from Auburn, Ala., follow swimming and diving on Twitter @GatorZoneSwimDv. You can also follow the Gators on Facebook.

 

 

200 Free Relay, 12th, 1:29.09

Sarah Bateman, 21.90

Jamie Bohunicky, 22.45

Kaitlin Frehling, 22.34

Teresa Crippen, 22.40

 

50 Free

Sarah Bateman, 8th, 21.89

 

400 Medley Relay, 10th, 3:32.93

Elizabeth Beisel, back, 52.41

Hilda Luthersdottir, breast, 1:00.95

Teresa Crippen, fly, 51.49

Sarah Bateman, free, 48.08

 

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