Gators finish 7th at 2011 NCAA women’s swimming and diving championships

AUSTIN, Texas – For the 11th consecutive season, the No. 8 University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team placed in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships, finishing seventh with 226 points Saturday night at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas. California won the national title with 424 points, followed by Georgia (394.5), Southern Cal (351), Stanford (272), Arizona (266), Texas (232) then Florida.

“I’m extremely proud of how the team competed,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “We fought hard all weekend long. As a staff, we probably didn’t do as good of a job as getting them prepared as we would have liked, but it was tremendous effort on their part. They showed a lot of character and mental toughness in the adversity they overcame, not only this week, but the entire season.”

Freshman Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) and junior Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) were Florida’s highest finishers on the final night, finishing third (1.51.60) and fourth (1.51.61) in the 200-yard backstroke, respectively. Beisel finished her first NCAA meet with five All-America honors. Crippen’s All-America honor in the 200 back was added to her honor in the 200-yard butterfly, where the junior finished seventh in 1:54.37. The seventh-place mark gave Crippen her fourth All-America honor of the meet and 11th of her career.

Fellow junior Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.) picked up her team-high seventh All-America honor of the meet by placing 15th overall in the 100-yard freestyle. Stafford’s time of 48.60 gave the Kansas native her second straight All-America accolade in the event, while her 13 career honors ranks first among active Gator females.

Also picking up honorable mention All-America honors was freshman Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland), who swam the second-fastest time in school history in the 200-yard breaststroke to take 13th overall in the event. The freshman’s time of 2:10.19 was a personal best and UF season-best time, while marking the fastest time by a UF swimmer in the event since Vipa Bernhardt set the school record by going 2:09.13 in 2003. Luthersdottir finished her first NCAA meet with four career All-America honors.

In the 1,650 free, sophomore Corinne Showalter (Sarasota, Fla.) and freshman Alicia Mathieu (Marlborough, Conn.) picked up their first career All-America honors, placing ninth and 16th in the event, respectively. Showalter’s time of 16:02.36 was a UF season best and personal best, while ranking seventh in school history. Mathieu’s time of 16:07.46 was the eighth-fastest time in school history.

Senior diver Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) wrapped up her All-American career at Florida with her second All-America honor of the meet (fifth career) by placing 12th on the platform with a score of 319.95.

In the last event of the evening, Florida’s foursome of sophomore Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.) and juniors Stafford, Kirsten Smith (Cary, N.C.) and Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) took 11th overall in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:16.54. The time tied for the seventh-fastest in school history.