Bel Air native and University of North Carolina swimmer Allison Barnes remained hospitalized yesterday after experiencing "some level of distress" during practice the day before, a university athletic spokesman said.

Barnes, 19, swam for the same North Baltimore Aquatic Club program that produced Olympians Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff. She was also a cross country star at C. Milton Wright and graduated in 2007.

Teammates and coaches noticed that Barnes was struggling during practice Tuesday afternoon and immediately called 911, university spokesman Steve Kirschner said. She was taken by ambulance to a university hospital.

Some media reports said the sophomore freestyle swimmer was in critical condition, but Kirschner said he did not know the source of that information. The hospital would not reveal her condition.

Kirschner said Barnes' parents, Keith and JoEllen, were with her at the hospital.

Barnes was Harford County's Runner of the Year as a freshman and sophomore. She passed out 200meters from the finish line during the 2004 state cross country championship meet. She then dropped cross country to focus on swimming.

In her profile on the Tar Heels' athletics Website, she listed Paul Yetter, the coach she shared with Hoff, as one of her greatest influences. Barnes also noted her love of crabs and fellow Harford County product Cal Ripken Jr.

Yetter said he didn't know any specifics about Barnes' condition yesterday but described her as a "great kid." He said she had never suffered from any medical or endurance problems while swimming for him.