Conway Places Fourth At World Championships

MONTREAL - Laura Conway has gone from being a walk-on swimmer for the University of Georgia to being one of the best in the world.

Conway, a rising senior for the Lady Bulldogs, finished fourth on Tuesday at the FINA World Championships in the 1,500-meter freestyle. She clocked in with a personal-best time of 16 minutes, 17.17 seconds. On Monday, the Macon native qualified for the final with a time of 16:17.97.

³I couldn¹t be more proud of Laura,² said Georgia coach Jack Bauerle, who is serving as the head coach for the United States women¹s squad at the World Championships. ³I¹m just so happy for her because she¹s come such a long way. And she¹s such an easy young lady to pull for. She works hard, she¹s humble and she¹s unassuming.²

Conway trailed only American Kate Ziegler (16:00.41), Flavia Rigamonti of Switzerland (16.04.34) and Brittany Reimer of Canada (16.07.73).

³L.C. knocked out that swim in tough circumstances. The two swimmers beside her got out in front, and she never got clear water,² Bauerle said. ³This swim was pretty impressive, but so was the one on Monday because it was unexpected. She really gave our team a lift.²

Also on Tuesday, the Lady Bulldogs¹ Sarah Poewe, representing Germany, placed seventh in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:08.47. Australia¹s Leisel Jones won with a time of 1:06.25.

³Sarah was a little disappointed,² Bauerle said, ³but she¹s taken a big step forward this summer and will be an important swimmer for Georgia this year.²

Georgia¹s Sebastien Rouault, swimming for France, qualified fifth in the men¹s 800-meter freestyle with a time of 7:52.04. Teammate Miguel Mendoza, representing the Philippines, failed to qualify as he wound up 34th at 8:28.73.

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