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Senior Vipa Bernhardt

Thursday December 1, 2005W. Swimming Advances Two To Finals In Day One Of U.S. Open

Gainesville, FL

Senior Vipa Bernhardt

Following the morning preliminary events at the U.S. Open in Auburn, Ala., two Gator women advanced to the evening finals session in three individual events during day one, held at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center.


Senior Vipa Bernhardt (Bad Hersfeld, Germany) swam a 2:22.56 in the 200-meter individual medley, to take seventh place in the B-final of the event.  In the 100-meter breaststroke, Bernhardt took top honors in the B-final and bettered her prelim time from earlier in the day with an NCAA provisional time of 1:11.96.


In the 200-meter backstroke freshman Kelsy Smith (Cary, N.C.) posted a 2:18.96, an improvement on her prelim time by nearly three seconds, to claim second place in the C-final.


The Gator women took second place in the finals of the 800-meter freestyle relay in a time of 8:30.91.  The team of Natalie Pike (Boca Raton), Smith, Bernhardt and Mandy Huff (Gold Hill, N.C.) combined in the runner-up effort.


“With this being more of an individually focused meet we’re just trying to get some international exposure on an international course this weekend,” said head coach Gregg Troy.  “The women were okay today, they didn’t do anything particularly fantastic, had some decent swims and are gaining experience at this level.  Vipa had some good swims in the breaststroke and IM, and we raced a real good relay at the end.”


Morning Preliminary Results

In day one preliminary action, which kicked off at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, six Gators competed for a berth into the evening finals in assorted events.  Bernhardt clocked a 2:21.52 in the 200-meter individual medley to finish in 11th place, while Pike posted a time of 2:24.71, good for 29th place.


Bernhardt went on in the 100-meter breaststroke prelim to finish ninth with an NCAA provisional time of 1:12.49, while Huff and Amanda Hartley (Tallahassee) notched times of 1:16.68 and 1:16.79 to finish 58th and 59th, respectively.


In the 200-meter backstroke prelim Smith touched the wall in 2:21.87 to finish in 21st-place and Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) claimed 35th in a time of 2:24.97.  Pike rounded out the day one prelim competitors with a 25th place showing in the 50 freestyle in a time of 27.40 seconds.


Action continues at the U.S. Open at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning with preliminary heats of the 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 400-meter individual medley and 400-meter medley relay.  Finals of the same events are slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday.


Day One Finals Winners





200-meter individual medley

Katie Hoff

North Baltimore


400-meter freestyle

Hayley Piersol

Auburn University


100-meter breaststroke

Tara Kirk



200-meter backstroke

Margaret Hoelzer

Auburn Aquatics


50-meter freestyle

Amanda Weir

Swim Atlanta


800-meter freestyle relay


Auburn University




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