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Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Gators women’s swim and dive wraps up season at NCAA Championships

Florida earned 10 All-American honors last week in Atlanta

<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.

Nine members of the No. 14 Florida women’s swim and dive team competed at the NCAA Championships from March 16-19.

The McAuley Center in Atlanta, Georgia was filled to the brim to watch titans stroke through the water with ease.

The Gators swam their laps but with a missing grace, finishing in 13th place after accumulating 115 points. It is Florida’s best finish since the 2014-15 season, when the squad finished ninth in the nation with 129 points.

Florida made its presence felt on day one with an All-American effort in the 800-yard free relay. Juniors Talia Bates and Tylor Mathieu, alongside freshmen Ekaterina Nikonova and Micayla Cronk placed sixth with a six-minute, 56.98-second time, the second-fastest in program history. Nikonova was the difference-maker for Florida, completing her 200 yards in 1:43.87. 

It was the first of three All-American accolades for the Gators quad-squad. The free relay team placed ninth in the 200-yard event Thursday and seventh in the 400-yard race Friday to complete their season. 

Redshirt junior Maha Amer ensured Florida diving was represented on the national stage. The Cairo, Egypt, native earned a pair of All-American honors in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard dives. 

Mathieu and Bates joined the All-American parade with four individual top-16 finishes. Mathieu placed 11th in the 500-yard freestyle (4:38.62) and 12th in the 1650-yard freestyle, the meet’s longest swim. Bates specialized in the shorter freestyle races, finishing 11th in Friday’s 200-yard and 16th in Saturday’s 100-yard race. 

Sophomore Mabel Zavaros rounded out the Gators’ national performance with a sixth-place effort in the 400-yard individual medley.

With the women’s season now in the books, the Florida men will head to Atlanta for the National Championship. March 23-26. The No. 6 Gators will send 15 athletes to the competition, taking place Wednesday through Saturday. The meet will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Contact Ethan Eibe at eeibe@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @EthanEibe.




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