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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Gators swim and dive earn 16 event wins at Auburn Last Chance Meet

Florida divers took home all six springboard competitions

<p>Florida&#x27;s swimming and diving program competed last week in the NCAA National Championships, finishing in 13th place.</p>

Florida's swimming and diving program competed last week in the NCAA National Championships, finishing in 13th place.

Florida swimming and diving sent 36 athletes to the Auburn Last Chance Meet this weekend in Auburn, Alabama, competing across 42 events. The meet served as their final opportunity to secure spots in next week’s SEC Championships.   

The No. 15 (men’s) and No. 19 (women’s) ranked Auburn Tigers stood out alongside the No. 4 and 17 Gators in a competition field that also included Florida State, Alabama and Emory University. 

The Tigers and Gators won 21 and 16 events respectively. Auburn dominated the majority of the relay and freestyle events, while Florida took the top positions in each of the six diving competitions.

This was a solid rebound for the Tigers, who were coming off a lackluster performance in the season’s final dual-meet against the Gators Jan. 22 in Gainesville. 

Auburn secured six event sweeps over the Friday and Saturday invitational with wins from its men’s and women’s teams in the 400-yard medley relay, 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle relay and 800-yard freestyle relay.

Auburn freshmen Anastasia Makarova and Avery Bargeron, along with sophomore Mikkel Gadgaard and graduate student Mykenzie Leehy, were victorious in multiple events for the Tigers. 

Florida’s diving teams continued their season-long success by sweeping the men’s and women’s 1-meter, 3-meter and platform dives. Junior Leonardo Garcia scored 411.70 points to win the 3-meter event, less than two points shy of his season-high. This was the sixth 3-meter win of the season for Garcia, who also earned the top spot on the men’s platform dive.

Gators senior Elizabeth Perez took home both titles for the women’s 1- and 3-meter dives with scores of 316.40 and 339.90 respectively. Senior Leah Braswell and freshman Joaquin Gonzalez-Pinero also won multiple events for the orange and blue. 

The Gators now turn their attention to the SEC Championships, which will be held in Knoxville, Tennessee, Tuesday, Feb. 15, through Saturday, Feb. 19. The Diving Zone Competitions and NCAA Championships will be held in March.

Contact Ethan Eibe at Follow him on Twitter @EthanEibe.

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Ethan Eibe

Ethan Eibe is a second-year UF sports media major and covers Gators baseball for The Alligator. Outside of his writing, Ethan is a play-by-play broadcaster for UF student radio and has spent two summers announcing professional baseball with the Alpine Cowboys. He is a long-suffering Miami Marlins fan.

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