Saturday March 23, 2013Seven Gators Set to Swim on Final Night of NCAA Championships
The final night of the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships will take place tonight at the IU Natatorium at 7 p.m. ET in Indianapolis, Ind. The Gators will have seven swimmers participating tonight, along with one relay. Florida will look for their 12th-straight top-10 finish as they are currently eighth in the standings with 189 points.
Starting off the final day with a bang, all three Gators in the 200 back prelims advanced to tonight’s final. Freshman Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario) who finished second in the 100 back last night posted a solid time of 1:51.80 and will head into the championship final as the third seed.
The 2012 defending champion, junior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) also made it into the championship final with her time of 1:52.83 as the seventh fastest time in the morning session. Moving on to the consolation final will be freshman Ashlee Linn (Southfield, Mich.). She finished in a time of 1:54.16 qualifying 15th overall.
Beisel won the NCAA title in the 200 back last season with a personal-best 1:49.82. She will look to repeat in the event and if she does so she will be the first Gator to win two NCAA titles in one year since Conor Dwyer did it in 2010. The last female swimmer to do it was current school record holder Gemma Spofforth in 2009.
The Gators kept the momentum going into the 100 free where they will have two more swimmers in the championship final. Freshman Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) made her first A-Final of the meet as the third-fastest time, touching the wall in 48.04. Also making it in was junior Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) who tied for seventh with a time of 48.20.
Sophomore Natasha Fung (Edmonton, Canada) also competed in the 100 free for the Orange and Blue during the morning session. Fung finished 39th overall in a time of 49.51.
In the 200 breast, junior Hilda Luthersdottir (Harfnarfjordur, Iceland) clocked in with a time of 2:10.94 to finish fifth in her heat and 23rd overall and sophomore Rebecca Rainer (Richmond, Va.) swam a time of 2:15.01 to finish 48th in the event. They do not advance to the finals tonight.
Senior Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) swam in her final individual event as a Gator with her appearance in the 200 fly prelims. Bohunicky touched the wall in a time of 2:00.66 to finish 47th.
Closing out the prelims was the 400 free relay. The Gators’ group of Zalewski, Russell, Fung and Hinds put together a solid time of 3:13.53 to advance to tonight’s championship final as the fourth place seed. It was the third fastest time in school history. Florida set the school record previously this season at the 2013 SEC Championships. Hinds swam a blistering 100 split of 46.84, the fastest leg of anyone this morning to anchor the relay.
The final night of competition at the 2013 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships will begin at 7 p.m. ET in Indianapolis, Ind. The session will air live on ESPN3 or you can follow the live results here. They will swim in the 1,650 free, 200 back, 100 free and 400 free relay.
For the 1,650 free, all but the fastest heat will swim right before finals begin. Florida will have freshman Jessica Thielmann (Newcastle, England) and junior Alicia Mathieu (Marlborough, Conn.) in the event and both will swim in the top seeded heat during finals tonight.
Sinead Russell, 3rd, 1:51.80
Elizabeth Beisel, 7th, 1:52.83
Ashlee Linn, 15th, 1:54.16
Natalie Hinds, 3rd, 48.04
Ellese Zalewski, 7th, 48.20
Natasha Fung, 39th, 49.51
Hilda Luthersdottir, 23rd, 2:10.94
Rebecca Rainer, 48th, 2:15.01
Jamie Bohunicky, 47th, 2:00.66
400 Free Relay
3:13.53, 4th, advance to championship final