Helen Silver Wins 200 Back Title on Final Night of NCAA Championships

March 18, 2006

ATHENS, Georgia - Senior Helen Silver won the 200-yard backstroke title in a pool-record time, and the California women's swimming team finished fourth overall at the 2006 NCAA Championships at the University of Georgia's Gabrielsen Natatorium Saturday.

Silver, who also won the 200 back at the Pac-10 Championships, set a new lifetime best with a time of 1:53.01 in the final. She was seeded first in the final after clocking a 1:54.25 - then, a lifetime best - in the morning preliminary. It is the second individual title for the Golden Bears at the 2006 NCAA meet. Freshman Jessica Hardy won the 100 breaststroke race Saturday.

'I felt completely relaxed before the race, completely confident,' Silver said. 'I told my coach that my entire swimming career had been a warm-up for this night. It might be my last race, I don't know if I'll keep swimming or not, but I had my coaches, my friends, and my family supporting me tonight.'

Auburn won the team title with 518.5 points, followed by Georgia (515.5), Arizona 415 and Cal (291).

Sophomore Emily Silver, Helen's younger sister, finished third in the 100 freestyle in 48.47 - .01 seconds faster than the lifetime best she clocked in the prelim.

The Golden Bears took sixth in the 400 freestyle relay (3:17.49), with juniors Sherry Tsai, Lauren Andrews and Emily Silver swimming.

Sophomore Rachel Ridgeway took eighth in the championship final of the 200 fly (8 Ridgeway, Rachel, 1:59.79).

Freshman Lauren Rogers was first in the consolation final (9th overall) of the 200 back (1:56.74). Reilly was fifth in the consolation final (13th overall) of the 100 free (49.40).

2006 NCAA ChampionshipsAthens, GeorgiaDay 3 Finals

200 yard backstroke1 Silver, Helen, 1:53.01 (pool record)9 Rogers, Lauren, 1:56.74

100 freestyle3 Silver, Emily, 48.4713 Reilly, Erin, 49.40

200 butterfly8 Ridgeway, Rachel, 1:59.79

400 free relay6 California, 3:17.49Tsai, Sherry; Andrews, Lauren; Reilly, Erin; Silver, Emily

Final Team Standings1. Auburn 518.52. Georgia 515.53. Arizona 4154. California 2915. Stanford 2096. USC 1937. Southern Methodist 161.58. Texas 1519. Wisconsin 14610. Florida 135

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