The Gators launched themselves into the pool against the Florida Atlantic Owls to kick off the 2021-2022 swim season, and they did not disappoint.
The Florida men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams looked dominant Saturday in Boca Raton, Florida, taking down the host team with 685.9 and 655.8 points, respectively.
The women’s team won all 16 of their events, with the men only dropping the 100-yard fly to FAU to clinch 15 events. The team combined to sweep 13 of the 32 total events Saturday.
“Today was a good start to the season,” men’s and women’s head coach Anthony Nesty said in a release. “This gives us the baseline we need to work from. We have a lot of work ahead of us and will continue to focus on our team objectives daily.”
The Gators started off the day strong, with both the men and women touching the wall first in the 200-meter medley relay. The women’s relay group of senior Kirschtine Balbuena, junior Talia Bates, and sophomores Cecilia Porter and Amanda Ray finished with a time of 1:43.73. The men’s group, led by seniors Dillon Hillis and Will Davis, finished with a time of 1:27.95.
Junior and German olympian Eric Friese impressed at the opening meet, earning a victory in the 200 medley relay, 400 free relay, and both the 100 breast and free. Junior Tylor Mathieu authored a strong performance of her own for the women’s team, capturing wins in the 200 free and breast.
Florida also saw support from a group of newcomers in the win against FAU. Freshmen Raphael Rached Windmuller, Anna Auld, Oliva Peoples and Joaquin Gonzalez Pinero all took their first win as Gators.
“This meet gave the freshmen their first opportunity to travel and experience competition on the road,” Nesty said about the group.
Redshirt junior transfer Maha Amer also earned her first win with the team in the 3m dive.
Head diving coach Brian Gillooly had high praise for the team’s performance.
“Excellent job by everyone today,” Gillooly said. “They showed a lot of class. It was the perfect start to our season.”
But the Gators know there is work to be done and plenty of competition left.
“On Monday, we will be back to work,” Nesty said.
Florida takes on Georgia at the O’Connell Center, Oct. 29 at 10 a.m.
Contact Jackson Castellano at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jaxacastellano.
Jackson Castellano is a junior sports media journalism student at UF and the Senior News Director at The Alligator for Fall 2023. In the past, he's served as the Sports Editor, Assistant Sports Editor and a Sports Reporter covering Football, Men's basketball and Baseball.