College Conference Carnival: Florida Leads After First Day, Gemma Spofforth Sets Pool Record

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, January 16. UPON completion of the initial evening of swimming at the Swimming World Magazine College Conference Carnival, the No. 6 Florida Gators led the way with 149 points.

No. 14 North Carolina placed second with 92 points, while Richmond (83) and Rutgers (77) will head into the second day of swimming in third and fourth at the meet held at Rutgers.

Meanwhile, Gemma Spofforth smashed the Sonny Werblin Recreation Center record in the 200 back.

The women's meet features No. 6 Florida, No. 14 North Carolina, Richmond and Rutgers competing for the title as streamed live by SwimmingWorld.TV on both our home page and the event landing page. The Swimming World/Rutgers partnership has revived the Yale Carnival concept created by Swimming World founder Robert Kiphuth.
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400 medley relay
The Florida squad of Gemma Spofforth (53.40), Lindsay Rogers (1:04.52), Sarah Bateman (55.26) and Shara Stafford (49.92) ripped off a quick time of 3:43.10, just missing the pool record of 3:42.52 set back in 2006.

Richmond's quartet of Alex Helland (56.46), Lauren Beaudreau (1:04.78), Katie Sieben (53.82) and Charlotte Brackett (51.11) emerged from a battle for second in 3:46.17. North Carolina's team of Megan Steeves (56.05), Alison Clemens (1:04.68), Layne Brodie (56.57) and Rebecca Kane (49.94) clinched third in 3:47.24.

With the performance, Florida picked up 28 points to take the team lead. Richmond stood second with 18 points, while Rutgers (14) and North Carolina (12) completed the team race.

500 free
Battling it out, neck-and-neck, throughout the entire middle-distance fight, Florida's Teresa Crippen edged North Carolina's Katura Harvey, 4:47.02 to 4:47.66, for the victory as the crowd erupted during the exciting finish. The swims came up just short of Ashley Steenvoorden's facility record of 4:46.53. Florida's Stephanie Proud made it a 1-3 finish for the Gators with a time of 4:50.06.

Florida pushed its leading tally out to 43 points, while Richmond picked up second with 26 points. North Carolina (23) and Rutgers (17) stood third and fourth after the event.

200 breast
North Carolina's Laura Moriarty cleared 2:15 for the victory with a time of 2:14.91. That readout came within a second of Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Soni's facility standard of 2:14.20 set in 2004. Richmond's Lauren Beaudreau picked up second-place honors with a time of 2:15.26, while North Carolina's Layne Brodie demonstrated the Tar Heels' depth in the event with a third-place 2:18.87.

Florida saw its lead over North Carolina cut to 52-38, while Richmond (36) and Rutgers (20) were third and fourth after the race.

200 back
Florida's Gemma Spofforth provided the meet its first pool record when she clocked a sterling time of 1:54.93. That performance crushed the 1:56.63 set by Kelly Harrigan of Rutgers in 2005. Rutgers' Cat Whetstone joined Spofforth under 2:00 with a second-place effort of 1:58.35, while Florida's Jennie Smith touched third in 2:00.97.

Florida moved its top tally to 67 points, while Richmond leapfrogged North Carolina, 43-42, for second. Rutgers held fourth with 30 points.

Girls 11-12 200 medley relay
The age groupers took to the pool following the facility record by Florida's Gemma Spofforth, and the proud parents in attendance could definitely be heard loud and clear. The swimmers in attendance did not disappoint.

The Central Jersey Aquatics foursome of Anne Skimmons, McKayla Conti, Helen Grossman and Hayley Masi edged the Elite Swim Club quartet of Alli Dorneo, Juliet Felsen, Lindsay Stearns and Regan Kology, 1:59.60 to 1:59.69. The Somerset Valley YMCA team of Melissa Gibson, Brianna McKenna, Lindsay Temple and Julieyanna Parker placed third in 2:02.15.

Boys 11-12 200 medley relay
The Elite Swim Club contingent of Ryan Sebastian, Zach Katz, Matthew Hong and Jeffrey Dong swam away with the triumph in a 1:55.76 clocking. Red Bank Branch YMCA's Christopher Tucker, Edward Healy, Robert Seraji and Matthew Farkouh took second in 1:59.13.

One-meter diving
In the one-meter diving break, Rutgers' Erin Saunders held off a pair of Florida Gators for the title with 280.15 points. Jeanna Bartell (274.04) and Whitney Stern (269.50) of Florida rounded out the podium.

Florida hit 80 points while staying in the lead with North Carolina in second with 51 points. Richmond (45) and Rutgers (42) wrapped up the rest of the team race after diving.

100 free
Shara Stafford of Florida sprinted to the crown with a time of 50.37, while a pair of Tar Heels took second and third. North Carolina's Megan Steeves (50.87) and Rebecca Kane (50.90) were the only other sub-51 finishers in the heat.

Florida extended its lead with 91 points, while North Carolina owned 64 points after the race. Richmond (54) and Rutgers (46) remained third and fourth.

200 fly
Florida's Teresa Crippen remained on fire as she cleared 2:00 with a swift time of 1:59.94 for the win. North Carolina's Nuffy Swanson (2:00.29) provided her closest competition as the pair swam in lane seven and six, respectively. Florida's Elizabeth Kemp completed the top three with a time of 2:03.11.

Florida cracked the 100-point threshold with a tally of 106 points. North Carolina held second with 76 points, while Richmond (57) and Rutgers (53) completed the totals after the 200 fly.

200 IM
Florida won another tightly-contested race, this time when Sarah Bateman touched out Richmond's Lauren Beaudreau, 2:02.03 to 2:02.19, for the sprint medley victory. Florida's Jennie Smith made it 1-3 for the Gators with a third-place 2:03.98.

Florida's top tally improved to 121 points, while North Carolina had 84 points after the race. Richmond (65) and Rutgers (59) were battling for third.

200 free relay
Florida's team of Stephanie Napier (24.00), Shara Stafford (23.14), Gemma Spofforth (22.96) and Sarah Bateman (23.04) gave the facility standard a run for its money, but fell just short with a time of 1:33.14. The standing pool record is 1:32.14 set by Rutgers in 2005.

Richmond's Charlotte Brackett (24.13), Jill Smaniotto (24.74), Alex Helland (23.55) and Katie Sieben (23.16) placed second in 1:35.58, while Rutgers' foursome of Kasey Kesses (24.43), Michaela Nilsson (23.88), Brianne Lindblad (23.49) and Cat Whetstone (23.94) finished third in 1:35.74.

Florida finished the night in the lead with 149 points, while North Carolina held second with 92 points. Richmond (83) and Rutgers (77) head into the second day in third and fourth, respectively.

Gemma Spofforth wins 200 Backstroke at 2008 NCA Championships.