NCAA Division I Women’s Championships: Florida’s Gemma Spofforth Wins Third Straight 100 Back Title

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana, March 19. FLORIDA's Gemma Spofforth had just too much in the tank after the final turn for Indiana's Kate Fesenko en route to winning her third straight 100 back NCAA title.

Spofforth clocked a swift 50.92, just missing her pool record of 50.82 set during the relay leadoff of Florida's 400 medley relay. The 50.92 ties with a Natalie Coughlin effort for 13th all time in the event. Spofforth's personal best in the event is a 50.46 set as a relay leadoff last year at the NCAA Championships.

The win moved Spofforth into second all time in the event's history at the meet with three titles. Stanford's Lea Loveless, Texas' Betsy Mitchell and North Carolina's Sue Walsh are the other three-time winners. Natalie Coughlin of California is the lone four-time victor in the event.

"This is my fourth year, my final year and it's really great to have two national championships under my belt, one with my relay yesterday and this one today," Spofforth said. "There are two more races left in the meet so I'm going to focus on those. It's really great to win this one."

The title gave Florida its fifth in program history in the event, tied for second with California and Texas. Stanford owns the most wins with six. Spofforth broke a tie with Kristen Linehan, who won the 100 back in 1989 and 1990 for the Gators.

Fesenko turned in a scorching fast time of 51.15 to take second place. She lowered her previous personal best of 51.32 set during prelims. She moved even closer to Ana Agy (51.13) as the fourth fastest performer of all time.

Former Indiana swimmer, now Southern California Trojan Presley Bard, took third overall in 51.89, just missing her lifetime best of 51.71 set during relay duty in the 400 medley relay this weekend.

Stanford held onto its lead with 240.5 points. Arizona moved into second with 237.5 points, while Georgia fell back to third with 222.5 points. California (222) and Florida (191) made up the rest of the top five.

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