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Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Gators had mixed results in their first SEC dual meets of the year.

UF’s No. 10 women’s team (5-0) delivered a 176-124 victory over No. 6 Missouri on Friday, while the No. 7 men’s squad (4-1) suffered its first defeat to No. 13 Missouri by a score of 190.5-109.5.

Here are some notables from the Friday morning matchup at the Mizzou Aquatic Center in Columbia, Missouri.

Women earn fifth win

The women climbed to 5-0 for the first time since the 2003-04 season thanks to dominant efforts by Leah Braswell, Sherridon Dressel, Kelly Fertel and Ashley McCool.

Braswell led the way in the swimming events, again picking up two victories against Missouri. She recorded a season-best in the 500 free at 4:46.38 and also won the 200 free with a personal-best swim of 1:47.13.

Dressel continued to impress in her dominant performance against the Tigers. The senior won the 100 fly event with an outstanding time of 53.74 seconds. She also earned a runner-up nod in the 100 back at 52.35.

Fertel posted the fifth-fastest time in the nation in her 200 IM victory at 1:58.76. She also posted a runner-up finish in the 200 fly at 1:59.73.

Finally, McCool ruled the pool in the diving events. The junior and two-time SEC Women’s Diver of the Week swept the events for the fourth time this season. She won the 1-meter with a score of 293.93 and the 3-meter with a 344.78 tally. 

“They did a fantastic job of rising above and competing tough, which should benefit us greatly at the end of the season,” coach Jeff Poppell said in a release.

The women will return to the O’Connell Center for their first home meet of the season against No. 8 Georgia on Nov. 1.

Men stumble for first time

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The No. 7 men’s team did not fare as well as the women, as it suffered its first loss of the season to No. 13 Missouri. 

UF’s matchup against the Tigers did have some bright spots, however.

All-Americans Robert Finke and Kieran Smith led the charge for the Gators and kept them in contention throughout the meet.

Finke took both of his distance events with season-best finishes, winning the 1,000 free by almost 10 seconds at 9:02.26 and the 500 free with a time of 4:26.25.

Smith followed with two personal-best times of his own. The sophomore and reigning SEC Men’s Swimmer of the Week won the 100 free at 44.07 and the 100 back at 48.07. Smith also finished second by the length of his fingernails, .07 seconds behind Missouri’s winner in the 200 IM.

UF struggled in the relay portion of the meet, however. Friday marked the first time Florida failed to record a relay victory this season. 

The men will join the women in Florida’s first home meet of the year on Nov. 1 against Georgia.

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

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