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Leah Retrum closes her play at the 2004 U.S. Open with a 200 fly win.

Saturday December 4, 2004Gator W. Swimming Ends 2004 U.S. Open with Two More Titles

San Antonio, TX

Leah Retrum closes her play at the 2004 U.S. Open with a 200 fly win.

Completing its final day of competition at the three-day U.S. Open, the University of Florida women's swimming team captured two more event titles as the Gators finished the third and final round of the national meet. The final laps of the Open were also the final laps of the women's 2004 swimming season.

The UF women had a solid performance in the finals of the 200-meter butterfly. The trio of Leah Retrum (Columbus, Ind.), Rebecca Harper (Richmond, Va.) and Meredith Green (Chapel Hill, N.C.) swam a fierce heat as the three took the top times in the event. Retrum clocked the swim in 2:17.62 for the title, while Harper took runner-up to her teammate with a 2:17.98 showing, just .36 of a second behind the lead. Green finished third in the trio, clocking 2:18.68 in the fly.

Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfelt, Germany) advanced onto the fastest heat of the women's 200-meter breaststroke finals after her showing in this morning's preliminary round. Her final time of 2:31.56 warranted the junior first place among the swimmers. Swimming solo for Florida, Natalie Pike (Boca Raton) finished fourth in her final heat of the 100-meter freestyle, touching the wall in 58.49, just half a second behind the event winner.

Retrum and Green teamed up to finish in the top 10 of the 800 free. Retrum performed a 8:53.35 effort for the Gators, good for a fifth-place showing among the ranks. Green took home a 10th-place finish with her time of 8:57.67 in the 800-meter race.

Competing in the last and final event of the 2004 U.S. Open, the team of Pike, Bernhardt, Retrum and Katie McCann (Walpole, Mass.) took home a fifth-place finish as the 100-meter freestyle relay team combined for a 3:57.51 showing in the race.

The Gators will return to the water on Jan. 7, 2005, after a month break to train and prepare for the 2005 season. The team will travel to Coral Gables, Fla., to compete in the Miami Invitational, and will face the Hurricanes in a dual match the following day.

-UF-

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