When the Florida Gators travel to face rivals Florida State in Tallahassee this weekend, they’ll unveil a new weapon as they charge toward March: German 22-year old redshirt freshman Theresa Michalak, who will swim her first official career race in the NCAA at the meet.
Michalak unveiled the news on her official Facebook Fanpage on Thursday, writing in part in German (translated to English):
A new year begins…
New revolutions, goals, improvements and changes; all of these things are on my list and your list for 2015. I have the honor to start for the first time for the University of Florida. In exactly 24 hours, I will be on the bus on the way to my first competition of this year. Even if a 10-day training camp in Barbados is still in my muscles and bones, I can dive, well prepared, into the water….
Michalak would go on to talk about her resolutions for the new year and make other personal statements, including expressing a statement of support for freedom to love anyone she wants, and the hopes that despite “not being a superstar” or “Olympic Champion,” that she can be a role-model for others.
Michalak has been in Florida for a full calendar year now, despite not officially competing in any college meets to this point.
The swimmer raced at the German Short Course Meters National Championships in November, the only meet we can find a record of from the fall for her, where she swam a 1:06.2 in the 100 breast, 59.2 in the 100 IM, and 4:33.2 in the 400 IM: all National Championships.
The IM’s, of every distance, are Michalak’s specialty, and in that regard the Gators hope that she can at least replace the individual scoring load lost from the graduated Elizabeth Beisel at the end of last season.
Michalak, who is a typically-versatile IM’er, might also provide a boost to a thin Florida breaststroke group – though that’s a group that has grown to be better than it looked on paper at the season’s beginning.
The meet begins at 1PM U.S. Eastern Time on Saturday, which is 7PM in Germany.
Note: The meet start time has been pushed back.