Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Monday, March 04, 2024

As the women's swimming and diving team races for the last time at the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, there are a couple of things the it has in its favor.

The team is coached by the Southeastern Conference Women's Coach of the Year, Gregg Troy.

The Gators finished the season ranked third in the country during the dual-meet season.

At the SEC Championships, the team nabbed a second-place finish behind defending national champion Auburn and set four new SEC records along the way.

The NCAA Championships, which start Thursday in Columbus, Ohio, is the premier opportunity for the team to showcase its talent against the rest of the nation.

"We've got a good group here, and they're excited to be here," Troy said.

The women's team brings 14 swimmers and two divers, Monica Dodson and Jeana Bartell, to Columbus.

So far this season, the women's team has posted an 11-1 record, including a win against Auburn. Despite the No. 3 ranking, Troy and his team know the dual-meet season has no real bearing upon the next couple of days.

"In the championship season, you find out who the real swimmers are," Troy said.

Senior Caroline Burckle, who enters the meet after swimming the fastest 500-yard freestyle in the country for this year, said the rankings up to now don't matter.

"It just matters at NCAAs, because whoever can pull it off there is obviously the best team," she said.

Though most students spent last week taking a breather from the daily grind of classes and all that is academia, the team has had no such luxury.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

"We spent the last three weeks just trying to sharpen up on some things and talked about this just being another opportunity to improve upon where we already were," Troy said. "I just want to approach it the same way."

Burckle feels confident about the team and said there isn't a weak spot on it.

"I think we have a good shot, but it'll take a lot, so we're going to keep our minds in gear," she said.

If the women are to finish as one of the top five teams in the nation, let alone national champions, they will have to swim mistake-free and one-up the performance they had at the SEC Championships.

"It's time for the season to be over," Troy said. "We need to see where we're at."

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.