Saturday March 17, 2012Five Gators Set to Swim on Final Night of NCAAs
One final session remains of the 2012 Division I Swimming and Diving Championships at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center in Auburn, Ala., and it will feature five Gator swimmers along with the 400 free relay in tonight’s finals.
Just two points behind tenth-placed Arizona State, Florida looks to crack the field and enter the top-10 with its five swimmers and 400 freestyle relay team diving into the pool later tonight.
The duo of Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) and Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) will be swimming in tonight’s 200 back championship finals. Beisel turned in the quickest time of the morning when she touched the wall at the 1:51.44 marker on the clock, Crippen will follow her with the fifth-lowest time heading into the championship finals at 1:52.92.
Following her swim at the 2012 SEC Championships, Beisel posted the fourth-fastest time in NCAA history when she clocked in at 1:49.82 behind NCAA record holder, and Gator Gemma Spofforth in the Florida record books (1:49.82). With that swim she became only the fifth swimmer in NCAA history to hit the sub-1:50 marker. If she looks to not only repeat, but better that performance she could swim past Spofforth’s NCAA and Florida record (1:48.34), as well as Elizabeth Pelton’s American record (1:49.16).
At last year’s NCAA Championship meet, the pair finished right behind one-another in the 200 back as Beisel finished third in 1:51.60 and Crippen fourth in 1:51.61.
Crippen, who has an extremely tough night ahead of her, will swim a double appearing in both the 200 back and 200 fly championship finals on the last night of NCAA Championship competition. After a 1:54.70 swim in the morning prelims, Crippen will vie for a top-eight finish in tonight’s finals.
The senior All-American will be joined by defending champion Katinka Hosszu from Southern California who turned in a 1:52.84 in the morning prelims to enter the race as the top-seeded swimmer; Texas A&M’s Cammile Adams, Cal’s Sara Isakovic, Southern Cal’s Tanya Krisman and Tennessee’s Kelsey Floyd will swim ahead as the one through five seed, respectively. Crippen will look to best her sixth-place finish from last year’s NCAA Championships where she touched in 1:54.37.
Senior Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) continued her speedy sprints again this morning after she touched in a career-low 48.49 to win her respective heat in the 100 free. With the time, Bateman will swim down for the Gators as the 12 seed in tonight’s consolation finals. Not only did Bateman record a personal-best swim in one her final 100-free races as a Gator, she improved her standing in the Florida record book from seventh to fifth overall, and will look to improve again in tonight’s finals.
Also swimming down for the Gators will be sophomore Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland) in the 200 breast. A few tenths of a second off her won career-low swim, at 2:10.59, Luthersdottir scraped into the consolation final as the 16 seed and will vie for points for the Orange and Blue.
Senior Kirsten Smith (Cary, N.C.) closed out her appearance at the NCAA Championships with a 2:14.94 effort in the 200 breast that pinned her 48th overall. While junior Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) added a 1:58.43 swim in the 200 fly that gave her a 31st-place overall finish in the event.
In the final race of the morning, Bateman joined forces with Bohunicky, Beisel and Kaitlin Frehling (St. Petersburg, Fla.) in the pool for the 400 free relay. The quartet combined to touch in 3:15.72 – the fourth fastest time in school history and earn the right to swim again tonight. The time was just a few seconds short of making the championship finals, as the Gators will swim as the top-seed in the consolation final.
The 2012 NCAA Championships will conclude tonight from the James E. Martin Aquatic Center in Auburn, Ala. For live stats, please follow this link. ESPN will be providing a stream of tonight’s events atwww.WatchESPN.com. Gators will be swimming in every event on the night: 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay.
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.
Elizabeth Beisel, 1st, 1:51.44
Teresa Crippen, 5th, 1:52.92
Sarah Bateman, 12th, 48.49
Hilda Luthersdottir, 16th, 2:10.59
Kirsten Smith, 48th, 2:14.94
Teresa Crippen, 6th, 1:54.79
Jamie Bohunicky, 31st, 1:58.43
400 Freestyle Relay, 9th, 3:15.72
Sarah Bateman, 48.58
Jamie Bohunicky, 48.80
Elizabeth Beisel, 49.33
Kaitlin Frehling, 49.01