2014 Cal All-American Sophia Batchelor is transferring to the University of Florida, the school announced today.
At the end of September, SwimSwam reported that Batchelor was taking recruiting trips after just one season with the Cal Golden Bears. She has wound up as part of the Florida recruiting class and will join fellow Kiwis Corey Main and Erik Kahr in Gainesville.
Batchelor very nearly qualified for the 2012 New Zealand Olympic Team; the federation stirred some controversy when they denied her a spot after missing the New Zealand (but not FINA) qualifying standard by .01 seconds.
She did make her home country’s squad for the 2013 FINA World Championships, however, where she was 11th in the 50 meter fly.
In her freshman season at Cal, she was primarily a butterflier and backstroker. Her yards bests as a freshman were 52.15 in the 100 fly, 1:56.46 in the 200 fly, and 1:54.46 in the 200 back. She wound up scoring in 16th place in the 100 fly, finished 21st in the 200 back, and finished 17th in the 200 fly in a tough final-day double at the 2014 NCAA Championships.
She also swam on Cal’s prelims 400 medley relay, where she split 51.62 over 100 yards of butterfly – the fastest morning split of a team that finished in the top 8 and qualified for the A-Final. She was replaced by Rachel Bootsma in finals, who was slightly faster as Cal took 5th overall.
She is the current New Zealand Record holder in the 50 and 100 fly in long course (26.30/58.71, respectively), and the 100 fly in short course meters (58.24).
The Florida women, after the graduation of Ellese Zalewski, are very thin in their butterfly group this year. When Batchelor joins the team, be that this season or next (the release did not specify, and Florida has been known to bring in big names mid-season with little announcement), it will allow Natalie Hinds to return to her anchor leg on the Florida medleys and immediately make them significantly better relays.