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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 20, 2010

College swimming: Florida edges Stanford in the pool

Associated Press

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Florida won its first women's swimming and diving NCAA championship since 1982, holding off Stanford by 2 points in the second-closest finish in the history of the competition.

Florida finished with 382 points to Stanford's 379.5 points. In 2006, Georgia beat Stanford by 1 points.

"It's kind of a Cinderella finish," Florida coach Gregg Troy. "I can't say enough about these girls. It was a total team effort."

Florida came into the third and final day in fifth place with 236 points. Heading into the final event the 400-yard freestyle relay Florida had 350 points to Stanford's 339.

"The NCAA is a relentless meet," Stanford coach Lea Maurer. "This isn't something you could begin to script in fiction. We just came up 2 points short, but it was a monumental finish."

Stanford won the final relay event, adding 40 points, but Florida's 32 points for third-place finish was enough to keep the lead.

"We were close to perfect," Maurer said. "There's nothing I would change, I just wish I could give them a gold."

Florida had Kara Salamone (16 points in third place) and Monica Dodson (11 points in eighth) pick up key points in the diving that made the difference between the Gators and Cardinal.

IUPUI's Chen Ni was the first athlete to qualify for an individual NCAA championship appearance and won a national championship in the platform diving event after recording a 325.5.

Texas A&M's Julia Wilkinson won the individual 100-yard freestyle championship after spending the past year recovering from shoulder surgery. She was injured at the 2008 Olympics.