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Sunday, June 23, 2024
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-d4f376bb-7fff-40f0-91f7-d117e82d27e9"><span>Sophomore Taylor Ault finished third in the 500-yard freestyle during Day 1 of the Georgia Tech Invitational. She posted a time of 4:42.08.</span></span></p>

Sophomore Taylor Ault finished third in the 500-yard freestyle during Day 1 of the Georgia Tech Invitational. She posted a time of 4:42.08.

Day 1 of the Georgia Tech Invitational saw the Gators send multiple swimmers to the finals after Thursday’s preliminary rounds.

Both UF squads, which competed against 10 other teams including host Georgia Tech, finished in first after Thursday’s events at the McAuley Aquatic Center. The Gators had a few program-record and personal-best swims on the day.

The 10th-ranked Florida women started right where they left off from earlier in the month, riding the momentum of a three-meet winning streak into Atlanta on Thursday.

Freshman Vanessa Pearl won the 200-yard individual medley final with a 1:55.25 swim, a personal best in the event for the McKinney, Texas, native. It’s also the program’s third-fastest time ever in the 200 IM. Pearl’s teammate, junior Kelly Fertel picked up bronze in the same event after a 1:56.05 finish.

Freshman Leah Braswell dazzled with a first-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle behind a 4:37.83 time, fourth-fastest in program history. Taylor Ault, the sophomore from La Habra, California, finished in third (4:42.08)

In the women’s relay, juniors Emma Ball, Kelsey Dambacher, Bella Garofalo and Sherridon Dressel placed fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a combined time of 1:30.35. That time is the fastest by a UF women’s relay team so far this season.

Similar to the women, the fourth-ranked men’s team comes into this weekend’s meet having won its last three contests.

Junior Khader Baqlah recorded his best swim of the season in the 500-yard free due to a 4:14.58 time in the final. Freshman Trey Freeman picked up silver, touching the wall with 4:16.34 on the clock.

In the 200-yard IM final, junior Grant Sanders took second place after swimming a season-best 1:44.54.

The men’s relay team of freshman Will Davis, junior Maxime Rooney, redshirt senior Bayley Main and freshman Kieran Smith brought home bronze in the 200-yard free relay final after a time of 1:18.06.

Both teams will be back in the pool today in Day 2 of the invitational. The meet will begin at 10 a.m with the finals happening later in the day.

Follow Evan Lepak on Twitter @evanmplepak or contact him at elepak@alligator.org.

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Sophomore Taylor Ault finished third in the 500-yard freestyle during Day 1 of the Georgia Tech Invitational. She posted a time of 4:42.08.

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