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March 20, 2004

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – University of Virginia second-year Rachael Burke (Bethesda, Md./Good Counsel) finished second in the 1500-meter freestyle Saturday night (March 20) at the 2004 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, which were held at Texas A&M’s Student Rec Center Natatorium. As a team, UVa finished 19th at the NCAA Championships.

Burke registered a time of 15:55.27 in finishing second to Southern Cal’s Kayln Keller (15:49.14), and in the process, earned first-team All-America honors for the second consecutive year. Burke was seventh in the 1650-yard freestyle at the 2003 NCAA Championships. Keller broke former UVa swimmer Cara Lane’s NCAA record of 16:03.59, set in 2000 and Burke also bettered Lane’s previous NCAA mark. Burke wasn’t the only Cavalier to capture first-team All-America honors in the 1500-meter freestyle, as first-year Kimi Kelly (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Ursuline School) placed sixth with a time of 16:04.99. It marked the first first-team All-America certificate Kelly has garnered.

Virginia finished 19th in the NCAA Championships with 53 points, marking the team’s seventh consecutive top 20 finish at the national meet. Auburn scored 569 points to win the 2004 NCAA Championship and successfully defend its 2002 and 2003 NCAA team titles. Georgia finished second with 431 points, while Arizona (369), Florida (253) and Stanford (237) rounded out the top five.

In the 200-meter backstroke, second-year Brielle White (Philadelphia, Pa./Springside School) turned in a 10th-place finish to capture honorable mention All-America accolades. She touched in 2:10.07 in the consolation final after posting a time of 2:10.66 in the preliminaries. Earlier in the NCAA Championships, White placed fourth in the 100-meter backstroke, which is her best event.

In addition to Burke and Kelly, first-year Rory Schmidt (Phoenix, Ariz./Arcadia) competed in the 1500-meter freestyle and finished 29th with a time of 16:37.30.

Several Cavaliers competed in the morning preliminaries, but did not advance to the evening session. In addition to the 1500-meter free, Kelly swam the 200-meter butterfly and placed 22nd with a time of 2:13.33. Second-year Corey Berg (Hyde Park, N.Y./F.D. Roosevelt) clocked a time of 2:12.74 to place 22nd in the 200-meter backstroke.

First-year Jenny Steiner (Lawrenceville, N.J./Lawrence) and fourth-year Amy Baly (Atlanta, Ga./Marist School) competed in the 200-meter breaststroke and finished 43rd and 44th with times of 2:36.09 and 2:38.59, respectively.

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