Florida Adds Walk-On Diver Caroline Pagac To Roster For Fall 2021

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It’s the rare case of a true walk-on for Caroline Pagac, who earned her way onto the Florida Gators dive roster for the 2021-2022 season.

Pagac was a late-comer to competitive diving, but a fast riser across college recruiting boards. She started diving as a freshman at Park Vista Community High School, and even then with a limited training schedule. But after qualifying for the Florida high school state meet in 2018 and 2019, Pagac quickly jumped onto the college recruiting radar, taking official visits to schools from the Division III level up to a Division I mid-major program.

But Pagac, from Lake Worth, Florida, had her eyes on the University of Florida – a campus and school she knew well through her older sister, a Florida alumna.

“I had been visiting the campus since I was about 7,” Pagac said. “It was my dream to go there.” The Gator diving program hadn’t recruited Pagac and didn’t have any roster spaces left by the time Pagac was accepted to the school. But diving or no diving, Pagac says, she knew Florida was where she wanted to be.

Luckily, Pagac was able to remain connected to the sport, training with the mostly-high-school-aged club diving program that trains out of the University of Florida. Throughout her freshman year (2020-2021), Pagac continued to improve. And this month, the Gators announced that they’d be adding Pagac to their official diving roster beginning next fall.

Pagac was quick to thank her coaches at the high school and club level, along with Florida Gators dive coach Bryan Gilooly.

“I cannot stress enough how much I owe to them,” she said, “and I could not be more grateful!”

Florida will graduate two divers this year, seniors Ashley McCool and Emma Whitner. Both were SEC scorers last year – Whitner was 2nd at the conference championships on the platform and scored on 3-meter (13th), while McCool scored on all three boards: 4th on 1-meter, 4th on 3-meter, and 9th on platform.

 

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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