University of Florida Intrasquad
- O’Connell Center Pool, Gainsville, FL
- SCY (25 yards)
The University of Florida held an intrasquad on Saturday, January 8th. Florida was supposed to host Texas A&M that Saturday but the University of Florida announced the meet was canceled “due to the recent spike of COVID-19 around the country.”
The meet featured both the University of Florida athletes as well as the pro group training in Gainesville. Some swimmers swam their main events whereas others swam some of their “off” events.
Some of the pro-swimmer highlights include Caeleb Dressel swimming to times of 19.18 in the 50 freestyle as well as 47.32 in the 100 butterfly. Katie Ledecky also competed and swam to times of 49.51 in the 100 freestyle, 9:15.18 in the 1000 freestyle, and 4:08.27 in the 400 IM. Ledecky was just beat out in the 100 freestyle by new arrival to the Florida pro-group, Natalie Hinds. Hinds swam to times of 49.20 in the 100 freestyle, 1:48.88 in the 200 freestyle, and 53.68 in the 100 butterfly.
At the collegiate level, Kieran Smith, known for his distance freestyle, swam to victories in the 400 IM (3:49.62), 100 backstroke (47.57), and 200 backstroke (1:43.13). Fellow distance freestyler, Bobby Finke, also opted for the backstroke events and the 400 IM with times of 48.58 in the 100 and 1:46.91 in the 200. Finke also swam a 3:52.79 in the 400 IM.
On the women’s collegiate side, Talia Bates swam a victory in the 50 freestyle (22.47). Bates was also just out-touched by Hinds in the 100 butterfly as she swam to a time of 53.69, only .01 seconds behind Hinds. Rosie Zavaros swam the fastest time in the 200 backstroke (1:58.06). She also finished second behind Ledecky in both the 400 IM (4:16.21) and the 1000 freestyle (9:52.65).
Florida also had a few members of the team make their debut. On the women’s side, Russia’s Ekaterina Nikonova swam to times of 22.73 in the 50 freestyle, 49.54 in the 100 freestyle, and 1:47.56 in the 200 freestyle. SwimSwam had previously reported that Nikonova had finally arrived on campus for the Gators. On the men’s side, graduate student Alberto Mestre made his debut as well. Mestre completed his undergraduate degree from Stanford in the fall and has now transferred to Florida. He swam to times of 20.08 in the 50 freestyle, 44.03 in the 100 freestyle, and 1:40.85 in the 200 freestyle.
Other men’s event first place finishes include:
- 200 freestyle: Trey Freeman (1:37.70)
- 500 freestyle: Alfonso Mestre (4:21.15)
- 1000 freestyle: Jack Vandeusen (9:09.13)
- 100 breaststroke: Amro Al-Wir (56.50)
- 200 breaststroke: Peter Bretzmann (2:02.14)
- 200 butterfly: Dillion Hillis (1:48.55)
- 200 IM: Julian Smith (1:51.06)
Other women’s event first place finishes include:
- 500 freestyle: Taylor Mathieu (4:45.62)
- 100 backstroke: Katie Mack (55.29)
- 100 breaststroke: Olivia Peoples (1:02.44)
- 200 breaststroke: Olivia Peoples (2:15.06)
- 200 butterfly: Amanda Ray (1:59.14)
- 200 IM: Aris Runnels (2:05.26)
The Gators next meet is scheduled for Saturday, January 22nd at home against Auburn.