Women ready to swim at NCAAs

The No. 2 Florida women’s swimming and diving team will look to end the season by making waves at the 2012 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at the Martin Aquatic Center in Auburn, Ala. The three-day event begins Thursday and concludes on Saturday.

“I think we’re going to have some great individual performances,” UF coach Gregg Troy said. “The women look good and they’ve done a good job training the last couple weeks so we feel pretty comfortable that we’re going to have some fantastic swims.”

Seniors Sarah Bateman, Teresa Crippen, and Kirsten Smith will swim for the final time for the orange and blue. Teammates Jamie Bohunicky, Elizabeth Beisel, Kaitlin Frehling, Hilda Luthersdottir, Alicia Mathieu, and Natasha Fung will join them in Auburn. Ellese Zalewski qualified for the NCAAs but is competing in Australia to make the Australian Olympic Team.

Frehling and Fung will be competing in their first NCAA Championships. There are seven All-Americans who have earned 38 honors for Florida over the years.

Besiel is coming off being named SEC Female Swimmer of the Year and won the Commissioner’s Trophy for her high point total. At the SECs, Beisel had the best time in the 200 back and 400 IM by touching the wall at 1:49.82 and 3:58.85, respectively.

“She is an outstanding competitor,” said Troy about Beisel. “Elizabeth is a fantastic racer also racing against some of the best competition so it’ll bring out the best in her. She thrives in that dynamic.”

The last time the Gators were in the pool was at the SEC Championships where they earned three titles and had eight swimmers named to the All-SEC squad.

On Thursday, the action will start at 11 a.m. CT with finals at 7 p.m. CT. The day one events are: 200 freestyle relay, 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 400 medley relay, and one-meter diving.

Gator Country reporter Sara Ladwig can be reached at sladwig@gatorcountry.com