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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Over the course of three days, select athletes from Florida’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams made their way to Auburn, Alabama, to compete in Auburn’s Last Chance Invitational. The event, which had no team scoring, provided an additional opportunity for competitors to post qualifying times for a wide slate of events.

Florida’s No. 9-ranked men’s team had eight members spend the weekend in Alabama, while 11 members of the No. 8-ranked women’s team competed as well.

Day 1: Friday

Posting a B-cut time in the 500 free, freshman Alfonso Mestre posted a time of 4:21.96, five seconds faster than his prelim swim that morning.

Fellow freshman Ethan McCloud was the only Gator to compete in the 200 individual medley. McCloud nabbed a third-place finish in the event and posted a new personal-best time of 1:49.80.

For the women, heading into the 500 free with the best prelim time of 4:56.67, junior Bettina Boszormenyi touched the wall second in the event.

Later, the 200 individual medley finals saw a Gator-heavy lineup. The event featured four swimmers representing the orange and blue. Junior Adrianna DeBoer posted a personal-best time of 2:02.89, good for a third-place finish. Sophomore Ellie Zweifel also swam a personal-best with a time of 2:04.41 and a sixth-place finish.

Day 2: Saturday

A tight race between two of Florida’s men in the 400 IM highlighted Saturday’s action for the Gators.

Freshmen Tyler Watson and Brennan Gravely both posted personal-bests in the 400 IM with times of 3:52.63 and 3:53.54, respectively.

For the women, Florida had three top finishers.

Sophomore Celi Guzman won the 100 fly after posting a personal-best 53.97. Senior Kelsey Dambacher touched the wall in 1:48.52 in her season-best swim in the 200 free. DeBoer also found a top swim and season-best in the 100 breast with a time of 1:02.11.

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Day 3: Sunday

To round out the weekend, three of Florida’s men tallied individual wins on Sunday, all good for B-cuts.

For the first time this season, Brennan Gravely swam the 1,650 free distance and beat the field by nearly seven seconds with a time of 15:08.68. McCloud also picked up a personal-best swim in the 200 back with a time of 1:46.23.

Rounding out the freshman trio, Tyler Watson found his second victory of the weekend with a personal-best swim in the 200 fly with a time of 1:46.93.

Celi Guzman and Ellie Zweifel shined for the women on day three.

Guzman secured her second win of the weekend in the 200 back. Her time of 1:57.00 in the finals won the field but her 1:56.42 posting in the prelims was a personal-best for the sophomore.

Meanwhile, with a lifetime-best swim, Zweifel won her first event of the invitational with a 2:17.17 in the 200 breast.

What’s next:

Both Gator teams will compete at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center in Auburn, Alabama, as they enter the postseason with the SEC Championships on Feb. 18-22.

Follow Ainslie on Twitter @AinsliesTwoBits and contact her at

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