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Thursday April 19, 2012Gators Welcome Canadian National Record Holder Sinead Russell in 2012

Gainesville, Fla.

University of Florida head swim coach Gregg Troy announced today that Canadian national record holder Sinead Russell has signed a letter of intent to swim for the Orange and Blue beginning in the fall of 2012.

“Sinead is probably the best all-around swimmer in this year’s recruiting class. Even though she is known as a world class backstroker, she can swim a wide variety of events, and is also an excellent medley swimmer,” explained Troy on his latest signee. “She’s the total package.”

Just a few weeks after making the 2012 London Olympic Squad at the Canadian Olympic Trials in Montreal, Russell solidified the next step in her young swimming career with her decision to attend the University of Florida. A native of Burlington, Ontario, Russell adds more depth to the Gators’ already talented roster.

“She’ll be a great complement to the team and signing class that we already have,” said Troy. “She is very much on the same level as Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) and Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.). Sinead not only swims a lot of different events, but she swims them all well. Even though she is known as an elite backstroker, she has great speed in the freestyle. She’ll fill a rather large role on the relays with the loss of Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) next year.”

Russell is no stranger to elite competition in the pool, with several international competitions and podium finishes already under her belt before her graduation from Burlington Central High School.

“With my training background, I thought it fit better with the University of Florida, from what I’ve seen,” Russell said of her decision. “I also felt really comfortable when I was there.”

Most recently, she earned her first career bid to the Olympics in record-setting time at the Canadian Olympic Trials after she took down the Canadian record in the 200 back with a swift time of 2:08.04 to earn her second individual swim in London and first individual National Championship of 2012. Currently, her record in the 200 back is the fifth fastest in the world this year, behind Belinda Hocking (2:06.68), Meagan Nay (2:07.83), Elizabeth Simmonds (2:07.92) and Missy Franklin (2:07.97).

Russell will also represent Canada in the 100 backstroke at the 2012 Olympic Games.

The eighteen year old swam alongside future Gator teammate, Beisel, this past summer at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China when she finished ninth in the 200 backstroke, setting the previous Canadian national record at 2:08.80. While in China, Russell also recorded the lowest time nationally in the 100-meter backstroke after she stopped the clock at 59.68 during the semifinals, and went on to finish eighth in her first final appearance at the World Championships.

Added to her resume are swims at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy, the 2010 Pan Pacs in Irvine, Calif., and the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.

Russell will join Delaney Dye, Natalie Hinds, Sierra Kuhn, Ashlee Linn, Lindsay McKnight, Emily Mosher and Taylor Roy as part of the 2012 University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team.

50M Free:
100 M Free:
200M Free: 1:59.70
400M Free: 4:22.66
800M Free: 9:01.34
50M Back: 28.84
100M Back: 59.68
200 M Back: 2:08.04
200M IM: 2:12.44
400M IM: 4:53.05

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