An Australian swimmer completed a more than 100-mile crossing between Cuba and the Florida Keys on Monday, just 24 hours after she left Havana.

Susie Maroney came ashore on the small sandy beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park on Key West shortly after noon. It was her second attempt to cross the Florida Straits.About 150 people greeted the sunburned Maroney as she emerged from the surf with the help of one man.

Her team claimed that she was the first ever to complete the swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys, but that claim was being disputed before she reached shore. Some record books show that Walter Poenisch, who was then 64, made the swim in 1978, but that also has been chal-lenged.

The 22-year-old made the swim with the aid of a shark-proof cage fastened to the escort boat, the "Reel Lady." Team members had to work to repair a cage that deteriorated overnight, but Maroney abandoned the cage about 100 yards from shore.

In June, Maroney covered 107 miles in 381/2 hours. She gave up 12 miles short of her goal because of seasickness and dehydration.

Things went better this time. Despite the fear of nearby sharks, Maroney felt strong enough to swim past her original destination of Sand Key, an uninhabited island about six miles south of Key West.

"Her spirits are real good," said Joe Pignatiello, a team member aboard the escort boat.