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Sunday December 7, 2003Men & Women's Swimming Wins U.S. Open

Federal Way, Wash.

University of Florida senior Sara McLarty (DeLand, Fla.) won the Female High Points Award, while sophomore Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) finished second in the race for the Male High Points Award as both helped Florida finish first in the final day of the U.S. Open Saturday night at the King County Aquatic Center.

Florida won with a combined male and female score of 458 points, while Michigan came in second with 359. Florida also finished first on the womenís side with 248 points, while the menís team came in second to Michigan (357) with 210 points.

McLarty won the Female High Points Award with 71 points, while Lochte missed winning the title for the second straight year by just three points after finishing with 66 to Canadaís Brian Johnsí total of 69.

The womenís 400-meter freestyle relay team recorded the highest finish of the night for the Gators. The team of McLarty, senior Jaime Ellis (Spring, Texas), freshman Brittany Johnson (Winston Salem, N.C.) and sophomore Mary Uhle (Sankt Ingbert, Germany) placed fifth with a time of 3:54.22.

McLarty added a top-10 finish in the 200-meter butterfly by finishing seventh with a time of 2:17.34 after swimming an Olympic Trials and NCAA provisional time of 2:15.73 in the preliminaries. Junior Rebecca Harper (Richmond, Va.) finished fifth in the B final with a time of 2:16.83, while freshman Ashley Carusone (Gainesville, Fla.) was fifth in the C final (2:19.43) and Johnson was right behind in sixth with a time of 2:19.44.

In the 800-meter freestyle, McLarty took eighth with an Olympic Trials qualifying time of 8:49.87, while senior Janelle Atkinson finished 11th with a time of 8:51.90.

Sophomore Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfeld, Germany) finished first in the B final of the 200-meter breaststroke with an NCAA provisional time of 2:32.92.

Senior Carlos Jayme (Goias, Brazil) led the menís team with a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter freestyle with an NCAA provisional time of 50.93. Lochte finished second in the B final of the event with a time of 51.57.

Lochte picked up another top-10 finish in the 1,500-meter freestyle by placing seventh with an NCAA provsional mark of 15:39.15. Junior Scott Kaufmann (Sparks, Nev.) was 12th with a time of 16:03.05, while junior Jan Wolfgarten (Frankfurt, Germany) was 17th (16:11.06), sophomore Michael Berger (Frankfurt, Germany) finished 19th (16:12.57) and junior Steve Friedlander (Coral Springs, Fla.) was 24th (16:20.48).

In the 200-meter breaststroke, freshman Bill Mrazek (Tallahassee, Fla.) finished second in the C finals with a time of 2:25.47, while junior Corey Welch (Larksville, Pa.) was right behind in third with a time of 2:26.71.

Both the menís team and the womenís team will return to action Jan. 3 when the Gators host Kentucky in a dual meet set for 10 a.m. at the Stephen C. OíConnell Center.

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