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Palm Harbor, Florida native Andrew Taylor has announced his intention to swim for the University of Florida beginning in the fall of 2023:
“It is with great pride and humility that I announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and swim careers at the University of Florida. I would like to thank my coaches, my family and friends for all their support and love. Special thank you to the UF coaches and Staff for providing me this opportunity. The journey continues…..Go Gators!”
A junior at Countryside High School, Taylor is the top distance swimmer and our overall 7th-ranked recruit from the class of 2023. As a sophomore last season, he placed 2nd in the 500 free (4:26.20) and 3rd in the 200 IM (1:51.73). (Mason Laur, currently a freshman at Florida, was the winner of that event.) Just after high school season, competing with his club team Tampa Bay Aquatic Club at the Winter COVID Classic, he lowered his PB in the 200 free (1:40.58), 200 breast (2:08.59), and 100 fly (52.33). Then, at the Florida Swimming Spring Senior Championships-South, he cracked all-new times in the 500 free (4:22.23), 1000 free (9:05.00), 1650 free (15:13.87), 100 back (51.57), 200 back (1:49.31), and 400 IM (3:51.51).
Two weeks later, he won the LCM 800/1500 free (8:16.81/15:46.55) and 400 IM (4:29.03) at the ISCA International Senior Cup, with lifetime bests in all three events. Taylor wrapped up his summer at Speedo Summer Championships-East, where he lowered his PBs to 3:58.95 in the 400 free, 8:10.93 in the 800, 15:43.23 in the 1500, and 4:28.098 in the 400 IM.
Top SCY times:
- 1650 free – 15:13.87
- 1000 free – 9:05.00
- 500 free – 4:22.23
- 200 free – 1:40.58
- 400 IM – 3:51.51
Florida is the top distance program in the country right now, led by head coach Anthony Nesty and his seniors Bobby Finke (double Olympic gold medalist in the 800/1500 free and NCAA Record holder in the 1650 free) and Kieran Smith (NCAA and American Record holder in the 500 free and Olympic bronze medalist in the 400 free). This was underscored when Katie Ledecky announced she was moving to Gainesville to join the post-grad group.
Taylor fits the Florida mold nicely, with a mile time that is only about 12 seconds off what it took to be invited to the 2021 NCAA Division I Championships. He will miss overlapping with Finke and Smith, as well as current juniors Alfonso Mestre, Tyler Watson, and Brennan Gravely, but he will overlap with Jace Crawford, Jack VanDeusen, and incoming freshman Oskar Lindholm, a distance specialist from Denmark.
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