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Russian sprinter Ekaterina Nikonova has verbally committed to the Florida Gators for fall 2021.
I am beyond excited to announce my verbal commitment to the University of Florida! I am very blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing team. All of my friends, family, coaches and teachers have been so supportive in this entire process and I could not be more thankful to have them in my life and by my side. Go Gators!
TOP TIMES (LCM / SCY CONV.)
- 50 free – 25.32 / 22.36
- 100 free – 55.02 / 48.79
- 200 free – 2:00.57 / 1:46.41
- 400 free – 4:20.70 / 4:51.86
- 100 back – 1:03.07 / 54.75
- 200 back – 2:16.37 / 1:58.97
At the 2019 European Summer Juniors, Nikonova claimed the bronze medal in the 50 free. She was also seventh in the 100 free and swam on several Russian relays at the meet, including a 54.57 split on their silver medal-winning 400 free relay. She was a finalist in the 100 free at the 2019 World Junior Champs, and also swam on several Russian relays there (including a 54.48 split).
With her converted bests, Nikonova would’ve been right up at the top of Florida’s sprint free group last season. Paired with 2025 classmate Micayla Cronk (22.9/48.2/1:44.3), Florida has secured a 1-2 sprint punch for fall 2021. At the 2020 SEC Champs, Nikonova would’ve been a C-finalist in the 50 and 200 free and a B-finalist in the 100 free.
Florida had five women between 22.2 and 22.6 in the 50 free last season, and three women at 48-seconds in the 100. That was a step up from the 2018-19 season, where they had three women in 22-mid in the 50 and only one under 49 in the 100; there hasn’t been a lights-out freestyle sprinter on the Gators roster, though, since 2016 grad Natalie Hinds, who was 21.6/47.1 at her best.
Nikonova adds huge sprint potential to an already very strong class of 2025. She joins #17 Brooke Zettel, #6 Micayla Cronk, Georgia Bates, Mary Kate Kelley and HM Olivia Peoples in UF’s class of 2025.
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