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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
<p>The UF swimming and diving teams had 28 NCAA-qualifying times on the men's side and seven times on the women's team.</p>

The UF swimming and diving teams had 28 NCAA-qualifying times on the men's side and seven times on the women's team.

Countless UF swimmers had already earned spots to compete in the upcoming NCAA Championships, but this weekend served as an ever-important opportunity for those not already qualified to earn their invitations.

The Gators men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hosted a last chance meet this weekend at the O’Connell Center, a final chance for swimmers and teams to earn spots to compete in this month’s NCAAs.

The No. 5-ranked men’s team collected 28 NCAA qualifying times times over the course of the two-day competition.

On the women’s side, the No. 8 ranked squad tallied 7 NCAA cut times.

In order to qualify for the championships, swimmers needed to match or beat benchmark times set prior to the start of the season by the NCAA, referred to as A-Cut and B-Cut times.

All A-Cut times met earn an invitation to compete at the national championships. In the instance where there are an insufficient number of A-Cut swimmers in a particular event, the remaining slots will be filled by the highest B-Cut times.

The Gators men’s team was joined by William & Mary, while the women competed alongside Miami and Florida Gulf Coast, all vying for final NCAA spots.

For the men, freshmen Dillon Hillis and Miguel Cancel, junior Tyler Silver, and senior Brennan Balogh all racked up three B-Cut times each.

Three more UF swimmers, sophomores Ethan Beach and Erge Gezmis, and junior Matthew Anderson each notched two B-Cut times in their respective events.

The women’s team aso fared well this weekend.

In the 100-meter freestyle, juniors Kelsey Dambacher and Bella Garofalo earned B-Cut times.

Also for the Gators, sophomore Gabby Hillis and juniors Tori Bindi and Georgia Darwent all secured B-Cut times in the 50 Free, 200 Free and 1,650 Free, respectively.

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Darwent also added a B-Cut time in the 200-meter backstroke, and sophomore Adrianna DeBoer clinched a B-Cut time in the 100-meter breaststroke.

The next time the Gators enter the pool in competition, the stakes will be significantly higher.

The NCAA Championships, held in Austin, Texas, from March 27-30, will see a dominant season for both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams come to a close.

Both Gators teams will be seeking their third national championship, with the men’s most recent title coming in 1984, and the women’s in 2010.

Follow Jack Braverman on Twitter @jack_braverman and contact him at  jackbraverman@alligator.org.

The UF swimming and diving teams had 28 NCAA-qualifying times on the men's side and seven times on the women's team.

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