After a year with the Arizona Wildcats and then a year off from NCAA swimming, Florida native Grant Sanders has decided to swim for the Florida Gators starting next season.
Sanders, originally from Clearwater, FL, swam his freshman year with the Arizona Wildcats in the Pac-12 conference. There, he ended his season with B final appearances in the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 back, though he was DQ’d in the 200 IM final. Since leaving ‘Zona, Sanders has swum with St. Petersburg Aquatics, a club situated on the Tampa Bay, where Olympian Melanie Margalis trains.
The year off has been very rewarding for Sanders’ performance. At the 2017 Florida Senior Champs in February, he went best times in the 100, 200, and 500 frees, the 200 back, and the 400 IM. Two weeks later at the Florida Area 3 Champs, he went best times in the 50 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, and 200 IM. Since then, Sanders has also progressed in long course, going lifetime bests in the 50 through 400 frees, the 100 breast, the 100 and 200 fly, and the 400 IM.
Notably, he went 2:02.96 in the 200 fly, 4:21.90 in the 400 IM, and 50.96/1:51.03/3:58.65 in the 100/200/400 free, all LCM, at the 2017 Atlanta PSS in May. Considering that was a May training meet, Sanders could certainly have more drops at Worlds Trials this week– he’s entered in both IM’s, the 200 and 400 free, and the 200 back.
- 100y free 44.34
- 200y free 1:35.23
- 500y free 4:20.94
- 200y back 1:45.40
- 200y breast 2:00.80
- 200y fly 1:47.67
- 200y IM 1:45.68
- 400y IM 3:44.94
Sanders is incredibly versatile, and while his best events are the IM’s, his mid-distance free times make him an archetypal Florida Gator. Gregg Troy is known for developing IM’ers and mid-distance freestylers, and Florida always has plenty of top IM’ers and a great 4×200 free relay. Sanders, who would’ve scored in SEC B finals of the 200 free and 200 IM as well as the A final of the 400 IM, will join Mark Szaranek and Jan Switkowski in a stacked Florida IM group, as well as freestyler Maxime Rooney (along with Szaranek and Switkowski, who are both amazing 200 freestylers as well).
Sanders is a little over a second off of the B final cut off at the 2017 NCAA Champs.