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Sunday, June 23, 2024
<p>Hilda Luthersdottir (pictured) held the school record for the 200 breast until freshman Vanessa Pearl topped it on Saturday.&nbsp;</p>

Hilda Luthersdottir (pictured) held the school record for the 200 breast until freshman Vanessa Pearl topped it on Saturday. 

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Both UF swimming and diving teams came away with convincing first-place finishes, competing in the final day of the Georgia Tech Invitational on Saturday. A dominant performance allowed both teams to finish all three days atop the leaderboard.

Pearl posts fastest 200-breast time in school history

The 10th-ranked women’s swimming and diving team finished with a total of 1,266 points after Day 3, winning handily over second-place Auburn (886.5) and third-place Alabama (626.5).

Freshman Vanessa Pearl put herself at the top of the Florida record books on Saturday, winning the 200 breast A final with the fastest time in school history. Her time of 2:08.04 broke the old record held by Hilda Luthersdottir (2:08.37), which dated back to 2013.

Freshman Leah Braswell continued her solid weekend in Atlanta with a second-place finish in the 1,650 freestyle, thanks to a personal-best time of 15:59.47. Sophomore Taylor Ault followed close behind with a fourth-place finish (16:14.26).

Freshman Mabel Zavaros had a great day in the pool, winning the 200 back A final with a 1:53.10 swim. She also did well in the 200 fly A final, bringing home fifth place after her fastest time in the event so far this season (1:58.43).

Florida’s relay team (juniors Bella Garofalo, Sherridon Dressel, Kelsey Dambacher and Tori Bindi) finished the 400-free relay in fourth place behind a group time of 3:18.10.

“I can’t be any more proud of the spirit, passion, and competitiveness that the team displayed throughout the three-day competition,” women’s coach Jeff Poppell said in a release.


No. 4 Florida men run away from rival FSU and Georgia Tech

The Florida men outlasted a couple of ACC opponents on Saturday to leave the McAuley Aquatic Center at the top of the leaderboard. The Gators racked up 1,224.5 points, outdoing second-place Florida State (876) and third-place Georgia Tech (764.5).

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Freshman Robert Finke touched the wall first in the 1,650-free final, completing the event with a time of 14:55.39. Fellow freshman Trey Freeman finished in third place with a personal-best swim of 15:10.95.

Sophomore Clark Beach took third in the 200-back final. He finished with a time of 1:41.97. Junior Grant Sanders finished in sixth place in the same event (1:44.80).

The 100-free A final saw junior Maxime Rooney finish in second place behind a 42.50 swim. Junior Khader Baqlah won the 100 free B final with his season-best time of 43.08.

The relay team of Rooney, Baqlah, freshman Kieran Smith and senior Christoph Margotti completed the 400-free relay in third place after a combined finish of 2:50.70, the 10th-fastest time in program history.

“This was a tremendous team win for our men in Atlanta,” men’s coach Anthony Nesty said in a release. “Our fall invitational is always a good test for us. I am pleased with the team’s effort and attitude during all six sessions.”


Follow Evan Lepak on Twitter @evanmplepak or contact him at

Hilda Luthersdottir (pictured) held the school record for the 200 breast until freshman Vanessa Pearl topped it on Saturday. 

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