Florida Gators – The Midseason Review

Florida’s men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams have reached the midway point of their seasons, as each squad readies itself for its 2015 schedule.

Gregg Troy, Head Swim Coach of the University of Florida (courtesy of Tim Binning, theswimpictures)

Gregg Troy, Head Swim Coach of the University of Florida (courtesy of Tim Binning, theswimpictures)

UF last competed in Atlanta, Ga. at the Georgia Tech Invite (Nov. 20-22), where Florida’s No. 4-ranked men captured 10 individual titles and five relay victories, while the No. 7 Gator women notched eight individual and four relay event wins en route to both teams Invitational titles.

In dual meets, Florida’s men are 3-1, with Southeastern Conference victories over LSU, Kentucky and Minnesota. UF’s loss came against currently ranked No. 3 Georgia. On the women’s side, the Gators are 3-2, with SEC victories over Arkansas, LSU and Kentucky. UF’s losses came against current No. 12 Minnesota and No. 2 Georgia.

The Gators are back in action at the beginning of 2015, as the Gators travel to Tallahassee, Fla. to take on in-state rival and No. 22 Florida State on Jan. 2. Florida then heads to No. 10 Auburn on Jan. 24, before returning home a week later on Jan. 31 to finish off its regular season against No. 15 Tennessee in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium.

Florida will then travel to Auburn for the SEC Championships which will take place from Feb. 17-21. Three weeks later, Gator divers will compete at the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships in Athens, Ga. from March 11-13.

The men’s and women’s NCAA Championships are being held in separate cities again this year with the women’s championships in Greensboro, N.C., (March 19-21) and the men’s in Iowa City, Iowa (March 26-28).

Florida Gator, midseason best time, Dec 2014

Top Relay’s:

The Gators rank in top-eight of six relays, including four on the men’s side and two on the women’s. For the men, the Gators sit fifth in the 400-yard medley relay (Blyzinskyj, Dressel, Main, Solaeche-Gomez; 3:09.55) and sixth in the 400-yard freestyle relay (Dressel, Main, Wallace, Werner; 2:53.21), 800-yard freestyle relay (D’Arrigo, Main, Wallace, Werner; 6:24.27) and 200-yard medley relay (Dressel, Homer, Main, Solaeche-Gomez; 1:26.03), 400 medley relay (Blyzinskyj, Solaeche-Gomez, Dressel, Main; 3:09.55).

On the women’s side, juniors Natalie Hinds, Ashlee Linn, Lindsey McKnight and Sinead Russell rank sixth in both the 200-yard (1:28.94) and 400-yard (3:16.07) freestyle relays.

Postseason Qualifiers:

Florida notched numerous NCAA ‘B’ provisional marks during the fall season and most recently clocked five NCAA ‘A’ automatic times at the Georgia Tech Invitational, including:

· Women’s 200 FR (Russell, McKnight, Linn, Hinds – 1:28.94)

· Women’s 400 FR (McKnight, Russell, Hinds, Linn – 3:16.07)

· Caeleb Dressel (50 Free – 19.31)

· Jessica Thielmann (1,650 Free – 15:50.74)

· Dan Wallace (500 Free – 4:14.53)

Weekly Honors:

The Gators have claimed five individual weekly honors on two separate occasions throughout the fall. On Oct. 14, the Gators garnered three SEC weekly awards with two coming from the women’s squad including juniors Jessica Thielmann (SEC Female Swimmer of the Week) and Kahlia Warner (SEC Female Diver of the Week). Meanwhile, freshman Caeleb Dressel earned the SEC Male Freshman of the Week award.

The trio earned the accolades for their performances in the team’s first few weeks of action, as these were the SEC’s first weekly awards given for the 2014-15 season. Check out the complete release here.

On Nov. 25, senior Dan Wallace and Dressel were named the SEC’s Male Swimmer of the Week and Freshman of the Week, respectively, for their efforts in the Gators domination of the field at the Georgia Tech Invite. Read the complete release here.

O’Dome Dominance:

The men’s team has experienced great success at home since 2010, as the Gators are unbeaten in their last 19 dual meets in the O’Dome, including 2-0 this season. Meanwhile, Florida’s women’s squad has posted a solid 14-4 mark over the past four seasons in Gainesville. UF hosts one more dual meet this season, as the Gators will host SEC-rival Tennessee on Jan. 31 at noon.

Signing Day:

Head Coach Gregg Troy inked nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to swim or dive for Florida’s women’s squad.

Florida tapped the United States coast-to-coast and signed a pair of talented student-athletes from New Zealand for the best talent, landing a tremendous class, including Sophia Batchelor (Canterbury, New Zealand), Hannah Burns (Gainesville, Fla.), Abigail Howell (Clermont, Fla.), Georgia Marris (New Zealand), Tyla Martin (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Mollie Pulte (Troy, Mich.), Katie Rourke (Glenview, Ill.), Sydney Sell (Frankfort, Ky.), and Emma Spilman (Belleair, Fla.).

Read the full women’s signing day release here.

In addition, The UF men’s team signed seven student-athletes to NLI’s to swim or dive for the Gators.

Florida landed athletes from the United States, New Zealand and Scotland to collect the best talent, landing an excellent class, including Brennan Balogh (Lincoln, Neb.), Alexander Lebed (Fort Washington, Pa.), Bayley Main (Auckland, New Zealand), Ross Palazzo (Hudson, Ohio), Samuel Smith (Knoxville, Tenn.), Jack Szaranek (Glenrothes, Scotland) and Stanley Wu (Concord, Calif.).

Read the full men’s signing day release here.

“We are extremely excited about the quality and depth of the class,” Troy said. “We covered a lot of our needs with these student-athletes. This is an outstanding class of women that are not only extremely talented in the pool, but are great students as well.”

College Swimming News is courtesy of the University of Florida.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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