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Leah Retrum finished second in the fastest final heat of the 200m back.

Thursday December 2, 2004W. Swimming Completes Day One of US Open

San Antonio, TX

Leah Retrum finished second in the fastest final heat of the 200m back.

Several members of the University of Florida women's swim team completed competition during day one of the three-day U.S. Open today, held in San Antonio, Texas. The women swam in five preliminary events this morning, and ended the evening session with six of the Gators in the finals of their event.

In lane six for UF, senior Katie McCann (Walpole, Mass.) finished fourth in the first heat of the women's 200-meter individual medley. McCann swam 2:20.65 for a fifth-place showing. Also in that event, junior Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfelt, Germany) took fourth place in the second heat of the finals, clocking the swim in 2:21.99. Freshman Natalie Pike (Boca Raton) finished seventh in the final heat of the 200 IM with a 2:24.66 effort for the Gators.

Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.) was one of two Gators who made it onto the finals of the 400-meter freestyle race. Her clocking of 4:20.21 was good for runner-up in the second heat of the finals, just .61 of a second away from the title. In the third heat of the 400 free featured UF sophomore Katie Ball (Cincinnati, Ohio), who took home the bronze with her 4:25.12 effort.

Finishing second in the fastest heat of the women's 100-breaststroke final was Bernhardt, the only Gator who advanced onto the evening session of the 100 breast after the morning's preliminary round. Her time of 1:11.20 was just six-hundredths of a second away for the winner.

One Florida representative swam in each of the three final heats of the 200-meter backstroke. In the first and fastest heat, Retrum clocked 2:16.37 for a fourth-place finish, while sophomore Jamie Reid (Orlando) took third in the second heat (2:19.05). McCann finished fourth as well in the final heat of the 200 back, her time of 2:21.68 was just 1.23 seconds behind the heat winner.

The six Gator swimmers ended day one of competition at the 2004 Open with each swimmer finishing no worse than seventh place in the final heats. Tomorrow, the pool will host four more individual events and one relay event, with the preliminaries slated for the morning and the evening session will feature the day's finalist in those events.

For more information on the U.S. Open and the Gator participants, stay tuned to GatorZone.com or check out the results as they happen at Omegatiming.com.

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