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Women's Swimming & Diving Headline

Senior Rebecca Harper took home titles in the 100 and 200 fly.

Tuesday November 16, 2004W. Swimming and Diving Takes Title in Meet Against Seminoles

Tallahassee, FL

Senior Rebecca Harper took home titles in the 100 and 200 fly.

After winning 33 years in a row, the University of Florida women's swimming and diving teams took to tradition, and in that, took home the Florida State/Florida swimming and diving title again, moving its record against the intrastate rival to 34-0, a winning streak that began at the birth of the Gator program in 1972. The women ran away with the event held in Tallahassee at the Bim Stults Aquatics Center, winning the meet, 166-130.

"It was a long day. Everyone had class and then had to come compete," head coach Gregg Troy said. "I was very please at how we competed today. Leah Retrum and Katie Ball were both exceptional and Jamie Reid did some really great things today. I think she is starting to really come around."

The women swept 10 of the 16 events and finished in the top two spots in seven of the events. The No. 3 CSCAA ranked Gators now move to 4-1 in dual-meet action and 1-1 in the Southeastern Conference.

On the diving board for UF, junior Jessica Ranieri (Huntington Valley, Pa.) took home third place in the one- and three-meter events. Ranieri scored 260.48 on the one-meter, while taking a season-high tally of 278.70 points on the three meter. Maureen McGinty (Orlando) and Sarah Ellerby (Olsmar) also competed in the events, finishing the one-meter in fifth (215.93) and sixth (169.35) places and the three-meter in fourth (257.40) and sixth (180.68), respectively.

In the women's 1,000-yard freestyle event, sophomore Katie Ball (Cincinnati, Ohio) won top honors with her time of 9:55.24. In second place, senior Meredith Green (Chapel Hill, N.C.) finished with a 10:06.62 effort. Finishing one, two in the 200 free was sophomore and All-American Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.) and freshman Natalie Pike (Boca Raton) who touched the wall in 1:50.78 and 1:50.85, respectively. Pike topped her season best in the 200 free by one-hundredth of a second. Freshman Kim Larson (Longwood) also competed in the event and took fourth with a time of 1:54.46.

Taking first in the 100 back was freshman Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) who swam the race in 57.53. On her heels and a tenth of a second behind, sophomore Jamie Reid (Orlando) clocked the swim in 57.63. Placing first for Florida in the 100-yard breaststroke was junior and Olympian Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfeld, Germany) with a 1:02.72 pool performance, a NCAA 'B' qualifying time and a new season high for the junior. Also in the race were freshmen Amanda Hartley (Tallahassee) and Ingrid Haiden (Cape Town, South Africa) with times of 1:05.68 (third-place) and 1:07.95 (fourth-place).

One, two again for the Gators was senior Rebecca Harper (Richmond, Va.) and sophomore Ashley Carusone (High Springs) with the top-two times of 2:01.91 and 2:05.80, respectively. Taking second in the women's 50-yard fly was senior Maureen Farrell (Northridge, Calif.) who clocked 23.89 in the event. Farrell also finished second in the 100 free (51.48).

In the 200 back event, Reid captured first with her swim time of 2:02.61 while senior Katie McCann (Walpole, Ma.) bested her season top-time with a second-place clocking of 2:02.66. Taking the title in the breaststroke against was Bernhardt, touching the wall in 2:22.07, just in front of teammates Hartley (2:23.99) and Haiden (2:24.02). Sophomore distance free swimmer, Ball, shined again with her 4:52.50 win in the 500-yard free. Green finished third in the race (4:57.64), while Carusone took fifth (5:02.47).

Claiming her second title of the night, Harper clocked 56.23 in the 100 fly for a first-place showing and the best performance in the 100 fly so far this season. Bernhardt and Retrum also competed in the event and finished in third and fourth places with times of 56.34 and 56.75, respectively.

First through third place in the 200 IM belong to the Orange and Blue. McCann took home the gold with a 2:03.95 effort in the IM, while Katie Kennedy (Ft. Myers) claimed second place, clocking 2:06.61. On their heels, Pike owned third with a 2:08.14 showing. The relays for UF faired just as well as the rest of the meet. The team of Retrum, Bernhardt, Harper and Farrell finished the 400-medley relay in second place (3:48.50), while in the 400-free relay, Farrell, Pike, Carusone and Retrum finished with the second-best clocking of 3:27.11.

"We left some people at home this meet due to classes and the flu," Troy said. "But we will be competing soon at Georgia Tech and we are trying to get everyone rested and ready for that."

The Gators' next meeting will be a three-day tryst in the Georgia Tech Invitational. The meet is slated to begin on Nov. 18 and last until Nov. 20, with the event times to be announced. Stay tuned to GatorZone.com for more information on the upcoming event.

-UF-

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