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Florida Women Receive Four Letters Of Intent -- November 19, 2003

GAINESVILLE, Fla,, November 19. UNIVERSITY of Florida women's swimming head coach Gregg Troy announced Wednesday the signing of four athletes to National Letters of Intent. Natalie Pike (Boca Raton, Fla.), Kim Larson (Longwood, Fla.), Colleen Healy (Cape Coral, Fla.) and Amanda Hartley (Tallahassee, Fla.) will join the team for the 2004-05 season.

"We are really pleased with this group," Troy said. "We filled in a lot of speed needs and added a lot of quality people."

Pike, a four-time state champion, holds high school team records in the 100, 200, 500-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard butterfly and 200 individual medley. She was named a NISCA All-American Scholar Athlete. Pike also qualified for the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Trials. In 2000, she was named Sun-Sentinel High School Swimmer of the Year. Pike won the Junior National Championship in the 100-yard freestyle.

"Natalie is one of the best sprint freestyle swimmers in the state of Florida," Troy said. "She can step in and help immediately."

Larson is a two-time state champion in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle. Her high school team won the state championship in 2001 and 2003. Larson was also a member of the state champion 400-yard freestyle relay team. The six-time All-American holds the school record in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle. Larson qualified for Senior Nationals in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle.

"She is probably the most improved swimmer in Florida," Troy said. "We have a couple of kids from her program, and she came highly recommended. She's a great racer."

Healy won the state championship in the 100-yard butterfly. Healy holds school records for the 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard freestyle. Healy was the recipient of the Oerter Trophy, which honors the high school athlete who best epitomizes Al Oerter's philosophy of excellence in an individual sport, excellence in academics, and commitment to a drug free lifestyle which reaches out to help others.

"She has tremendous fly speed," Troy said. "She's one of the fastest girls in the state."

Hartley is the state champion in the 100 breast (2003) and a senior national qualifier. She broke six school records (four individual and two relay) and was named Big Bend Swimmer of the Year in 2002 and 2003.

"She's got great natural ability," Troy said.

Florida signed Samantha Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) and Caroline Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) Tuesday and will join Pike, Larson, Healy and Hartley as members of the freshman class.