Disclaimer: Dolfin Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Dolfin Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
One big question mark from Florida’s mid-season rest meet: where was Vanessa Pearl? The 2019 freshman NCAA scorer was expected to be a big part of the Gators post-season attack, but didn’t compete with Florida at the Georgia Tech Invite in late November.
There’s still no explanation of her absence, but Pearl returned to competition this week in a quad meet with Liberty, Vanderbilt and North Florida, putting up two season-bests in a strong rebound showing. Pearl was 1:58.64 in the 200 IM and 1:02.15 in the 100 breast, winning the two races easily, and gathering up momentum for the second-semester road to the NCAA Championships.
Pearl went 1:53.98 in the 200 IM last season, but outside of post-season and Florida’s mid-season invite, was never faster than 1:59.82. That puts her more than a second ahead of her pace from last year. In the 100 breast, Pearl went 59.9 in a February dual last season, but didn’t swim the event in the postseason.
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