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Friday December 5, 2003Swimming First After Day One At U.S. Open

Federal Way, Wash.

University of Florida senior Sara McLarty (DeLand, Fla.) and sophomore Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) helped lead Florida into first place after the opening day of the 2003 U.S. Open at the King County Aquatic Center on Thursday.

Competing against several Olympians from a multitude of countries, the Gators ended the day in first place with a combined score of 173 points. Washington was second with 60. On the women’s side, Florida also held the top spot with 106 points with Auburn in second with 20. The men stood in second place with 67 points – 73 behind Michigan (140).

McLarty finished fifth in the 400-meter freestyle and 10th in the 200-meter individual medley to stand in third place in the standings for the Female High Point Award with 21 points. Lochte was second in the 200-meter individual medley and was tied for ninth in the race for the Male High Point Award with 17 points – just four behind the leader.

The highest finish for the women came in the 800-meter freestyle relay where the Gator team of McLarty, sophomore Mary Uhle (South Ingbert, Germany), senior Janelle Atkinson (Jamaica) and senior Jaime Ellis (Spring, Texas) placed third with an NCAA provisional time of 8:19.53.

McLarty swam a pair of Olympic trial qualifying times in the 400-meter freestyle, with her fifth-place time in the finals (4:14.61) also standing as an NCAA automatic mark. Uhle took fifth in the B final of the event with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 4:20.70 after swimming 4:19.76 in the prelims.

Freshman Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.) finished fifth in the 200-meter backstroke with an Olympic trials qualifying time of 2:17.68. That came on the heels of her prelim time of 2:16.30, which stands as the seventh-fastest time in Florida history and was also an NCAA provisional time. Sophomore Maureen Farrell (Northridge, Calif.) placed eighth in the event with a time of 2:19.29 in the finals after swimming 2:18.75 in the prelims.

Sophomore Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfeld, Germany) recorded the fastest time in Florida history in the 100-meter breaststroke in the prelims with a time of 1:11.01. For an encore, she re-set the record again in the finals with a time of 1:10.67 to finish seventh. Both times were NCAA automatic qualifying marks.

McLarty also finished second in the B final of the 200-meter individual medley with an Olympic trials and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 2:17.61.

After recording the eighth-best time in the preliminaries (2:06.98) in the 200-meter individual medley, Lochte shaved more than four seconds off his time to touch the wall in 2:02.53 and finish second. Both times were Olympic trials qualifying marks and the latter was an NCAA automatic qualifying time.

Florida’s 800-meter freestyle relay team of Lochte, senior Carlos Jayme (Goias, Brazil), junior Adam Sioui (Ontario, Canada) and junior Gabriel Mangabeira (Piratininga, Brazil) placed fifth with a time of 7:46.42.

Senior Chris Kellam (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) cut more than a second off his prelim time in the 200-meter backstroke (2:07.35) to finish third in the B final with a time of 2:05.93. Sophomore Brian Hartley (Indianapolis, Ind.) took fifth in the C final in the event with a time of 2:08.59.

Jayme barely missed making the finals of the 50-meter freestyle with a prelim mark of 23.55 and finished third in the B final with a time of 23.67.

Freshman Bill Mrazek (Tallahassee, Fla.) recorded the 24th-fastest prelim time in the 100-meter backstroke (1:06.79) and followed up by winning the C final, touching the wall in 1:05.59. Junior Scott Kaufmann (Sparks, Nev.) swam the 19th-best prelim time in the 400-meter freestyle (4:03.73) and took third in the C final (4:01.65) with an NCAA provisional time.

The U.S. Open continues through Saturday. For event-by-event results via the World Wide Web, go to


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