Emma Ball Blasts 23.9 Backstroke Split as Florida Sweeps Tennessee

Florida vs Tennessee

  • Saturday, February 2nd
  • O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL
  • Short Course Yards
  • Results



  1. FLORIDA – 173
  2. TENNESEE – 127


  1. FLORIDA – 190
  2. TENNESSEE – 108

Florida hosted Tennessee on February 2nd, coming out on top in both the men’s and women’s meets by a huge margin. Florida’s Emma Ball posted some impressive relay splits, starting with a 23.97 to lead-off the winning Florida medley relay. She was followed by Vanessa Pearl (27.37), Sherridon Dressel (23.54), and Isabella Garofalo (22.64), respectively, posting a final time of 1:37.52. Tennessee’s A relay was fueled by a stellar breastroke leg from Nikol Popv, coming in at 26.99. Ball went on to post a 48.88 on the 400 free relay, which was the 2nd fastest split in the field, behind only Erika Brown (48.33). Ball’s best flat start 100 free comes in at 49.93 from November of 2017.

Brown took all 3 of her usual events, with the 100 fly being her biggest margin of victory. In the 100 fly, Brown swam a 53.22, which was actually her slowest 100 fly of the season, but she still managed to get her hands on the wall first by nearly a second. In the 50 free, Brown posted a 22.21, which comes in as her 4th fastest 50 of the season. She beat out Ball, who came in 2nd with a 22.67, just .05 seconds off her best time. Brown’s tightest race came in the 100 free, where she swam a 48.92, which Sherridon Dressel coming in not far behind, at 49.25.

Dressel also won the 100 back, posting a 52.95 to win the event in dominant fashion, finishing nearly 2 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Vanessa Pearl went on to sweep the breaststroke events in a big way, taking both the 100 and 200 by 2.5 seconds. In the 100, Pearl broke 1:00 for the first time in her career, posting a 59.94. She went on to win the 200 breast with a 2:11.62.

In the men’s meet, Trey Freeman, Marco Guarente, and Kacper Stokowski each won 2 individual events for Florida. Freeman was a dominant force in the men’s distance events, taking the 1000 with a season best 8:59.42. He also negative split the race, clocking 500s of 4:31.77/4:27.65, for a pretty significant negative split. He then swam his fastest dual meet time in the 500 free, swimming a 4:21.54 to win by 6.5 seconds.

Guarente handled the breaststroke events, posting a 54.00 for a new season best, while Tennessee newcomer Michael Houlie swam a 54.36 for 2nd in the 100 breast. In the 200 breast, Guarente swam a dual meet season best of 1:59.05, winning that race by over half a second. Stokowski threw down an impressive 46.40 to win the 100 back, marking his 2nd fastest 100 back of the season. In the 100 fly, Stokowski swam a 47.93 to edge out teammate Will Davis, who touched in 48.06. Isaac Davis was 3rd in 48.25.

Khader Baqlah posted a 1:34.50 in the 200 free, marking his 4th fastest 200 of the season , and his 2nd fastest in a dual meet. Kieran Smith swam his fastest dual meet time this season in the 200 IM, blazing to a 1:46.71.


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Go Gators !


Did not see this absolute beatdown coming after the Vols terminated Georgia last week. Hard to explain but a minor hiccup in the GirlVol and BoyVol run to the podium as we still can win BOTH SEC TEAM TITLES!!! Looked sorta like the HeGators and SheGators rested in a desperate attempt to untrack the Big Orange Tennessee Diving and Swimming Machine. Of course UT did not have their super stars divers ZipZheng-Fung-foo and Rub-em-out Rubadue who woulda won 1m, 3m and 10m which would have made the meets much closer. Were the Gators suited, clipped, shaved or what???


Rocky bottom !


Or maybe Florida just whooped Tennessee. Look I like a few people from both teams. Heck I’m from Tennessee but root for Florida. If Tennessee wins the men’s sec title I will eat my shoe with a side of ketchup

If Tennessee wins the SEC title it’d be unexpected. But when you break down the numbers, I’m not sure it’s “eat my shoe with a side of ketchup” unexpected…

The swimming only Swimulator has Missouri well ahead of everyone, then A&M, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia within 100 points. And Tennessee has the best diving in the conference. If we’re presuming Missouri continues their usual pattern of pushing pretty hard through SECs then that becomes a really tight 5 team meet.


Please explain the Swimulator. Does it have the South African Mid-Year Flash included for TN Volmen?


suited, clipped, AND shaved for sure!

Coach Cwik

The truth is the Vols swim great every year on Senior Day. Either Georgia or Florida get the meet of the year on that day. The Vols do anything and everything needed to say goodbye to their Seniors and win the meet. The difference between the Gators, Dogs and Vols is on Senior Day the Dogs and Gators stand up and race after doing practice ( long 90 minute, 6,000 meter workout.) If you think Anthony would shave or suit up for a dual meet, you don’t know swimming. If you think Jack would taper for a dual meet three weeks before SEC’s, you don’t know swimming. Kudos for the Vols beating the Dogs on Senior Day, it is what… Read more »

The data doesn’t support what you say. Tennessee men were thumped by Florida on senior day last year. The year before, both the men and women were thumped by Georgia on senior day. In fact, this was the first year since 2012-2013 that Tennessee earned a sweep on senior day – and usually the meets are lopsided against them. This year, the wins over Georgia were fairly close, especially on the men’s side, and this is a down year for Georgia and an up year for Tennessee – Tennessee would be favored in all scenarios where both teams entered the meet with the same amount of rest. The Tennessee women should beat out Georgia and Florida at both SECs and… Read more »


None of the guys were suited. Ball was suited the whole meet, Pearl was suited for the 100 breast and 200MR only, and Fertel was suited for the 200 free. This was primarily to help decide third events for SECs. It would not have affected the score. 2nd place in the 200 was also a Gator, and Pearl took out the 200 breast faster than the second place finisher swam in the 100. Tennessee had third stringers on the men’s and women’s side suited.


Coach P admitted the She-Gators had 5 swims suited and I dun seen 1 SheVol with suit on the video. Agree with your other comments, although not sure this is a HeVol up year. After SECs we will gauge how this years FR do versus last years SR class for the mighty TN barefootboy HeVols. Suffice it to say it is a down year for HeGators and UGADawgs.


UF men were not suited. They suited a few girls for one or two events to see what their third event might be for SECs and what their relay possibilities would be. Pearl was suited for the 100 breast and 200 MR, Fertel was suited for the 200 free, and Ball was suited for all of her events. It wouldn’t have affected the outcome as the 2nd place finisher in the 200 was from UF, Vanessa Pearl took out her 200 breast faster than the second place finisher of the 100 swam so she still would have won without the suit, and Tennessee won the relays. Tennessee’s third stringers on the men’s and women’s side were suited.


Rooney won the 100 in 43.4 and Baqlah was just behind at 43.5. Kieran Smith also went 1:35.0 in the 200 behind Baqlah. This was a FAST men’s meet. Florida looks good for SECs. The women are going to surprise a lot of people. Vanessa Pearl is a major game changer, and Sherridon Dressel is on a new level which is going to amp up the relays in a big way.


Maybe or maybe UF rested big time for the meet? Maybe TN will come back at em with a vengeance like a spider monkey all jacked up on Mt Dew!!!!!