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Thursday March 20, 2003W. Swim & Dive In Seventh After Day 1 of NCAA's

Gainesville, FL

Junior Sara McLarty (Deland, Fla.) finished third in the 500-yard freestyle and both relay teams had top-five finishes as the University of Florida women's swimming and diving team is currently in seventh place with a team score of 79 at the 2003 NCAA Championships Thursday evening at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center in Auburn, Ala. Auburn is currently in first place with a team score of 168.5.

"It was a good first day," head coach Gregg Troy said. "Sara McLarty's swim was outstanding and we swam some great relay's. This is the weakest day of the Championships for us, but we knew that."

McLarty finished in third place in the 500-yard freestyle with a career best time of 4:39.42, which is third best in Florida school history. McLarty and Southern Cal's Kaitin Sandeno went head-to-head throughout the race as Sandeno touched the wall just ahead of McLarty with a time of 4:39.31. McLarty was the top qualifier in the morning prelims with a time of 4:39.58.

After breaking their own school record in the morning prelims (3:35.87), the 400-yard medley relay team consisting of Maureen Farrell (Northridge, Calif.), freshman Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfeld, Germany), senior Renate duPlessis (Capetown, South Africa) and junior Chantal Gibney (Dublin, Ireland) finished in fifth place with a time of 3:36.79.

The 200-yard freestyle relay team consisting of sophomore Farrell, duPlessis, Gibney and senior Diane Tennison (Lafayette, La.) also finished in fifth place as they swam a time of 1:30.58.

Bernhardt and junior Jaime Ellis (Spring, Texas) both swam in the consolation finals of the 200-yard individual medley finishing in 13th and 14th place with times of 2:00.21 and 2:00.77, respectively.

The second day of competition will begin Friday morning at noon Eastern Time with the preliminary races. The finals of day two are set to begin at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

Day 1 Finals Results

Team Scores (top 10)

1. Auburn 168.5

2. Georgia 123

3. Texas 114

4. SMU 104

5. Stanford 81.5

6. Southern Cal. 81

7. Florida 79

8. California 62

9. UCLA 45

10. Virginia 37

Individual Results

200-yard Freestyle Relay

1. Georgia 1:28.96 (pool record)

5. Florida 1:30.58

(Farrell, duPlessis, Gibney, Tennison)

500-yard Freestyle

1. Flavia Rigamonti, SMU 4:37.72

3. Sara McLarty, UF 4:39.42

23. Meredith Green, UF 4:48.02

45. Jamie Tannhauser, UF 4:53.10

200-yard Individual Medley

1. Maggie Bowen, Auburn 1:55.33 (Pool record)

13. Vipa Bernhardt, UF 2:00.21

14. Jaime Ellis, UF 2:00.77

30. Katie Kennedy, UF 2:02.22

T59. Rebecca Harper, UF 2:05.09

T59. Cara Teague, UF 2:05.09

50-yard Freestyle

1. Maritza Correia, Georgia 21.83 (pool record)

22. Maureen Farrell, UF 23.06

34. Chantal Gibney, UF 23.22

One-Meter Diving

1. Yulia Pakhalina, Houston 339.70

400-yard Medley Relay

1. Auburn 3:31.45 (NCAA record)

5. Florida 3:36.79

(Farrell, Bernhardt, duPlessis, Gibney)

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