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Friday March 19, 2004Swimmers Advance to Finals at NCAA Championships

COLLEGE STATION, Texas

The second morning of the 2004 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships saw school records fall as the No. 3 Florida Gators advanced six swimmers and two relay teams to Friday night’s championship and consolation finals.

Florida recorded two top-three finishes as sophomore Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfeld, Germany) swam her way to a third-place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke with a school-record time of 1:07.26. Bernhardt’s time was .14 seconds shy of the second-place finisher.

Florida rewrote the record books in the 400-meter individual medley, as UF’s seven participants in the event swam a top-10 time in school history. Senior Sara McLarty (DeLand, Fla.) finished fourth in the 400-meter individual medley with a school-record time of 4:38.07. Freshman Ashley Carusone (Gainesville, Fla.) advanced to the consolation finals with a 16tb-place finish with a time of 4:43.52, the second-fastest time in school history. Freshman Leah Retrum’s (Columbus, Ind.) time is third-best in school history (4:44.03), followed by junior Meredith Green (Chapel Hill, N.C.) (4:45.35), freshman Brittany Johnson (Winston-Salem, N.C.) (4:45.72), junior Katie McCann (Walpole, Mass.) (4:45.73) and junior Katie Kennedy (Ft. Myers, Fla.) (4:52.35).

The 200-meter medley relay team of junior Maureen Farrell (Northridge, Calif.), Bernhardt, senior Jaime Ellis (Spring, Texas) and senior Chantal Gibney (Dublin, Ireland) was just .16 seconds shy of qualifying for the championship finals as they finished in ninth place with a school-record time of 1:52.66. The relay team will swim in the consolation finals Friday night.

Sophomore Mary Uhle (Sankt Ingbert, Germany) and Ellis advanced to the consolation finals in the 200-meter freestyle. Ellis finished 13th with a time of 1:59.55, the second-fastest time in school history. Uhle finished 15th with a time of 1:59.83, the third-fastest time in UF history.

Farrell finished 11th in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:00.58, the fastest time in UF history.

Florida’s 800-meter freestyle relay team will compete in the first of three heats of the timed finals.

Florida Results (Prelims)

200-meter medley relay

9. Farrell, Bernhardt, Ellis, Gibney 1:52.66

400-meter individual medley

4. Sara McLarty 4:38.07

16. Ashley Carusone 4:43.52

18. Leah Retrum 4:44.03

23. Meredith Green 4:45.35

24. Brittany Johnson 4:45.72

25. Katie McCann 4:45.73

44. Katie Kennedy 4:52.35

100-meter butterfly

40. Rebecca Harper 1:02.10

200-meter freestyle

13. Jaime Ellis 1:59.55

15. Mary Uhle 1:59.83

100-meter breaststroke

3. Vipa Bernhardt 1:07.26

100-meter backstroke

11. Maureen Farrell 1:00.58

-UF-

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