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Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Women's Swimming backstroke
Women's Swimming backstroke

Florida’s women’s swimming and diving team will compete in their second meet of the season against Miami at the Marie Rogers Swimming and Diving Pool inside the O’Connell Center Thursday. After a tough loss to No. 4 ranked Georgia, the Gators look to bounce back against an unranked Miami team in their 2020 home opener.

Last week, the Gators mainly struggled in taking the first-place spot against the Bulldogs, which made the point margin too wide to make up. In fact, when it came to swim, the Gators only managed to win one event, Lain Shahboz’s win in the 100-yard backstroke. 

Heading into Thursday's meet, the Gators will need to focus on earning the top spot in more events. This goal does not seem so far-fetched, pending continuous strong performances from Shahboz and sophomore transfer Katie Mack. 

Mack looked especially strong last week in her first meet in a Gator swimsuit. She finished in second place in both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races, falling behind Georgia’s Maxine Parker in both races. Both Mack and Shahboz also aided in the Gators’ A-team second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. 

One major key for the Gators on Thursday will be the improved performance of junior Vanessa Pearl in her breaststroke events. Against Georgia, Pearl took third place in both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke races. Even though she was the only Gator to crack the top three in those events, which did not make as much of an impact due to the success of Georgia’s swimmers. 

Gators newcomers were impressive in their first SEC stint, but veterans’ success will be imperative in bouncing back with a win against Miami. 

On the diving front, the Gators were very successful in the first meet of the season. In the 3-meter event, the Gators took first, second and third place. In the 1-meter event, the Gators took both first and second place. 

Elizabeth Perez and Ashley McCool earned the top two spots in both events. Perez took first in the 3-meter and second in the 1-meter while McCool took second in the 3-meter and first in the 1-meter. Emma Whitner also made a splash for the Gators with a third-place finish in the 3-meter and a fifth-place finish in the 1-meter.

The meet on Thursday will begin with the diving at 10:30 a.m., followed by swimming at noon. While no general fan attendance will be permitted at the meet, live updates will be found via @GatorsSwimDv on Twitter and the MeetMobile app.

Contact Sara Kate Dyson at skatedyson@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter @sarakatedyson.

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