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Sunday, March 03, 2024
<p>UF swimmer Jan Switkowski won three individual competitions to help the Gators men's swimming and diving team beat Georgia on Friday for the first time since 2013.</p>

UF swimmer Jan Switkowski won three individual competitions to help the Gators men's swimming and diving team beat Georgia on Friday for the first time since 2013.

It had been almost four years since the Gators men’s swimming and diving team defeated the Bulldogs. On Friday, Caeleb Dressel and Jan Switkowski were determined to change that.

Switkowski picked up three victories and Dressel picked up two as the No. 3 men’s team defeated the Bulldogs 179-121, in its first win against Georgia since 2013. Sophomore Khader Baqlah won twice as well, with senior Ben Lawless picking up the Gators’ final victory. While relays have been a problem for the Gators in their past few meets, the men’s team won both the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay.

“I think the team as a whole raced pretty well,” Lawless said. “I mean, this is our third meet in a week and a lot of guys and girls have been getting faster every meet, and that contributes to their focus.”

Lawless praised his freshmen teammates in particular, who have shown progress through the early stages of the season.

“A lot of them are getting a lot better,” he said. “It’s good to see them stepping up…it’s good to see.”

Women’s team falls to Georgia:

Coming into this fall, the No. 20 UF women’s swimming and diving team hadn’t beaten Georgia since 2006. The No. 6 Bulldogs notched another win on Friday, as they defeated the Gators 182-118.

“It was a tough day against Georgia,” sophomore Sherridon Dressel said. “They’re a good team obviously, but I think we put up a good fight and raced very well.”

It wasn’t all struggles for Florida, the team placed first in the 200 medley to start the meet, and sophomore Emma Ball had the lone individual victory for the women, placing first in the 100 backstroke.

And while Florida didn’t bring home a win, Dressel welcomed the competition.

“It’s definitely one we look forward too because we know that they’re gonna be tough competitors getting into the big meets like that,” she said. “So it’s definitely exciting to race them.”

UF prevails on diving boards:

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The Gators notched yet another victory in diving after the diving-only meet on Thursday. Junior Teya Syskakis took the top spot in the 3-meter dive with a score of 313.53, leading a sweep which featured senior Olivia Ball taking second and sophomore Brooke Madden placing third. On the men’s side, redshirt senior Dalton Goss placed third in the event with a score of 324.00. While the men’s diving team hasn’t quite matched the success of the women’s, sophomore Alex Farrow knows what work needs to be done.

“We’re always a little under, just by a couple of points,” Farrow said. “We’re gonna work to get a little more sharp and be on top next time.”

You can follow River Wells on Twitter @riverhwells, and contact him at rwells@alligator.org.

UF swimmer Jan Switkowski won three individual competitions to help the Gators men's swimming and diving team beat Georgia on Friday for the first time since 2013.

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