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March 16, 2006

ATHENS, Ga. – University of Virginia fourth-year Rachael Burke (Bethesda, Md./Good Counsel) just missed advancing to the consolation finals of the 500 freestyle Thursday (Mar. 16) during the first day of the 2006 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. The three-day NCAA meet is being held at the University of Georgia’s Gabrielsen Natatorium. Burke finished 17th in the preliminaries of the 500 free, while fourth-year Katie Gordon (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) and second-year Anna Steenrod (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Latin) also competed during the first day of the NCAA Championships.

Burke, who was seeded 27th in the 500 free, turned in a time of 4:47.60 in the preliminaries to finish 17th. Burke was just 18 hundredths of a second behind UNC’s Whitney Sprague, who took 16th place and advanced to the consolation finals, which will be held Thursday evening.

Gordon also competed in the 500 free with Burke and finished in 31st place with a time of 4:50.48. Steenrod swam in the prelims of the 200 individual medley and turned in a time of 2:03.40 to place 49th in her first NCAA Championship event.

Gordon and Steenrod both swim in the prelims of the 400 individual medley Friday (Mar. 17), while Steenrod will also compete in the 100 breaststroke. Fourth-year Brielle White (Philadelphia, Pa./Springside School) begins her final NCAA Championship on Friday by competing in the 100 backstroke. White is the third seed in the 100 back.

The 2006 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships continue Thursday evening with finals beginning at 7:00 p.m. Day two preliminaries begin Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. with Friday night’s finals commencing at 7:00 p.m.

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