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Thursday March 18, 2004Women's Swimming in 4th at NCAA Championships

COLLEGE STATION, Texas

After day one of the 2004 NCAA Division I Womenís Swimming and Diving Championships, the No. 3 Florida Gators are in fourth place with 84 points. The Gators recorded three top-four finishes and earned 12 All-America honors.

Defending national champion Auburn is in first place with 188 points. Georgia is close behind with 135 points, followed by Arizona (86), Florida (84) and Stanford (82) to round out the top five.

"We swam pretty well for our first day," Florida swimming head coach Gregg Troy said. "We were a little disappointed that our 400 medley relay team didnít make it to the finals. We felt like today might be our weakest day, so hopefully we can come out tomorrow and stay on top of things."

Florida earned 12 All-America honors, including five honorable mention All-America honors. Junior Maureen Farrell (Northridge, Calif.), senior Chantal Gibney (Dublin, Ireland), sophomore Mary Uhle (Sankt Ingbert, Germany) and senior Jaime Ellis (Spring, Texas) each picked up an All-America honor as members of the 200-meter freestyle relay. Ellis also earned All-America status in the 200-meter individual medley. Senior Sara McLarty (DeLand, Fla.) earned her 12th career All-America honor in the 400-meter freestyle. Junior Katie McCann (Walpole, Mass.) was tabbed honorable mention All-America in the 200-meter individual medley. Also earning honorable mention All-America in the 400-meter medley relay were Farrell, sophomore Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfeld, Germany), junior Rebecca Harper (Richmond, Va.) and Ellis.

The Gators got off to a good start, finishing third in the 200-meter freestyle relay. Farrell, Gibney, Uhle and Ellis swam a school-record time of 1:40.60, bettering the previous school record (1:04.94) they set Thursday morning.

McLarty finished third in the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 4:05.60, the second fastest time in school history.

Bettering the school record she set Thursday morning, Ellis finished fourth in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 2:10.68. Ellisí time was faster than the previous NCAA record of 2:10.68, however Southern Californiaís Kaitlin Sandeno set the NCAA record at 2:08.11 en route to winning the event. McCann finished runner-up in the consolation finals with 2:13.16, the second-fastest time in school history.

Capping off the night, the relay team of Farrell, Bernhardt, Harper and Ellis finished runner-up in the consolation finals of the 400-meter medley relay, swimming the fastest time in school history (4:03.98).

The Gators return to the pool Friday morning for the preliminary competition, which will begin at Noon (11 a.m. CT) and finals will begin at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CT).

Florida Results (Finals)

200-meter freestyle relay

3. Farrell, Ellis, Gibney, Uhle 1:40.60

400-meter freestyle

3. Sara McLarty 4:05.64

200-meter individual medley

4. Jaime Ellis 2:10.68

10. Katie McCann 2:13.16

400-meter medley relay

10. Farrell, Bernhardt, Harper, Ellis 4:03.98

-UF-

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