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Monday, June 17, 2024

The Gators men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both moved to 4-0 after a successful trip north to Minnesota.

UF continued its dominance against the Golden Gophers, creating wide margins of victory in the pool.

The No. 7 men’s squad captured their fourth win of the season by a score of 178.5-116.5 against the No. 18 Gophers.

UF’s No. 10 women’s team scorched Minnesota in the pool, tabbing a 202-97 victory.

Here are some notables from both squads after a successful Friday night dual meet at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.


Leah Braswell and Sherridon Dressel led the women against Minnesota.

Of the Gators’ 12 individual wins and two relay victories, the tandem combined for five first-place finishes.

Braswell cracked open the can of victories for the Gators by winning the opening event, the 1,000 free (9:49.24). 

She won the 500 free, as well, finishing at an impressive 4:50.57.

Dressel collected three wins on Friday, being the first to hit the wall in the 100 back (52.21), 200 back (1:55.86) and the 100 fly (53.88).

The Gators would finish in great spots behind Braswell and Dressel all evening, taking top-three spots in four different events.

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Other Gators notables from Friday include Nikki Miller, Talia Bates and Ashley McCool.

Miller won her third event of the season, placing first in the 200 fly in 2:02.63.

Bates, a freshman, won her fifth even of the year in the 100 free at 55.03.

McCool dominated the diving board on Friday, taking the 1- and 3-meter events in commanding fashion. She scored 305.85 in the 1-meter dive and 338.4 in the 3-meter.

Coach Jeff Poppell said he was impressed with his athletes’ performances.

The women will face their next challenge next weekend on Oct. 18 against No. 6 Missouri.

It will be their final away dual meet of the season before returning to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for two home meets against No. 8 Georgia and No. 24 Florida State.


The Gators competed well against the Gophers, and Kieran Smith, Marco Guarente and Khader Baglah led the attack for the orange and blue.

Smith tacked on three wins for UF, winning the 200 free (1:35.13), 100 free (44.07) and the 200 IM (1:47.27).

Guarente added two wins to his 2019 resume, taking the 100 breast (54.97) and the 200 breast (2:02.05).

Baglah posted a personal best in his 200 fly victory, finishing at 1:47.72.

The rest of the team made some noise, too. 

Robert Finke, Clark Beach, Eric Friese and Alex Farrow all made immense contributions to the Gators’ final score.

Finke won his first event of the season on Friday in the 1,000 free, hitting the wall at 9:05.79.

Beach placed first in the 200 back at 1:44.25. He also won the 200 back with a terrific 48.47 time.

Friese picked up his fourth and fifth wins of the season, earning first-place finishes in the 50 free (20.42) and the 100 fy (48.46).

The Gators’ efforts on the diving board was led by Farrow. He placed second in the 1-meter at 328.08, just three points behind a first-place finish.

He collected fourth place at 318.38, which was only .28 points from a top-three placement.

The Gators also won both of their relays. UF took the 200 medley relay with a 1:28.65 time, and ended the dual meet with a 2:59.06 finish.

Coach Anthony Nesty commended his athletes’ execution after a long trip up north.

“They performed well, especially after a long travel day yesterday,” he said. “We are continuing to focus on our goals with each practice and are preparing for our first SEC battle next week at Missouri.”

The men will join the women in their trip to face No. 13 Missouri on Oct. 18. 

The Gators will return home to swim against tough opponents in No. 15 Georgia and No. 17 Florida State.

Follow Dylan O'Shea on Twitter @dylanoshea24. Contact him at

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