Florida Newcomers Sophia Batchelor, Amelia Maughan Eligible to Compete This Semester

While Florida head coach Gregg Troy is declining to comment on whether newcomers Sophia Batchelor and Amelia Maughan will compete this weekend against Florida State, the two are both eligible to compete in the spring semester of 2015, according to a team spokesperson.

Whether those first races come this weekend or later in the semester, their additions at any time between now and March make the Florida women legitimate NCAA title contenders (though, they won’t impact our power rankings until they’ve swum their first races).

The two join Theresa Michalak, who says she is swimming this weekend, in huge mid-year pickups for the Gators.

Batchelor is a New Zealand native who is transferring to Florida after one season spent with the Cal Golden Bears. In her freshman season at Cal, Batchelor finished 16th at NCAA’s in the 100 fly individually, 21st in the 200 back, and 17th in the 200 fly, while also splitting a 51.62 in the 100 fly in prelims of the 400 medley relay. That split was the fastest of any butterflier among teams who made the A-Final, though Batchelor was still replaced by Rachel Bootsma in finals.

The Florida 200 and 400 medley relays graduated both breaststroker Hilda Luthersdottir and butterflier Elise Zalewski off of last year’s team, where both finished in the top 4 at NCAA’s. Adding possibly Michalak, and almost definitely Batchelor, to those relays along with Sinead Russell on the backstroke allows sophomore star Natalie Hinds to remain on the Gators’ freestyle leg. That’s a relay that can once again contend with the likes of Tennessee, Cal, Stanford, and Georgia for the NCAA relay titles, and might even become a favorite depending on how well the international swimmers adapt to yards swimming.

The other addition, Maughan, is not yet as well-known internationally as Batchelor and Michalak, but she’s heading that way and is still a huge addition. She was a member of Team England at this summer’s Commonwealth Games that included spots on both the 400 free relay that took silver (prelims swimmer) and the 800 free relay that took bronze (finals swimmer).

In long course, Maughan has best times of (converted times in parenthesis):

  • 50 free – 25.68 (22.4)
  • 100 free – 55.36 (48.4)
  • 200 free – 1:59.35 (1:44.6)

Those are all immediate-impact times, and she might just be the piece that Florida needs to get on top of the podium in March.

Florida didn’t have a very big class of incoming American freshman this season, indicating that coach Troy might have something up his sleeve. Including transfers and red-shirt freshmen, 7 out of 11 new competitors for the Gators are internationals (7 out of 8 if we exclude divers in the tally).

While Troy has been mum about when the influx of talent might officially begin competing, Batchelor was at home in New Zealand over the Christmas holiday.

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Weirdo
6 years ago

title contenders? Really?

Bob
Reply to  Weirdo
6 years ago

Don’t hate on Florida because you’re scared! Let swimming do the talking, UF haven’t spoke up which is the right thing to do

Sparkle
Reply to  Weirdo
6 years ago

I agree, I’m puzzled as to why Florida should be considered title contenders after these additions. Florida was 6th last year, almost 300 points behind Georgia. They have a long way to go to win a NCAA title.

The addition of Michalak, Batchelor and Maugan will help fill the holes in Florida’s lineup, especially having a sprint butterflier who isn’t Natalie Hinds and freeing up Lindsey McKnight from breaststroke duty. But there’s always uncertainty in bringing foreign swimmers in and just taking a straight conversion from their LCM to SCY times. The most recent example of this is Marina Garcia at Cal, who did not end up being the breaststroker that they needed for their medleys last season. Michalak will… Read more »

Lazy Commenters are Lazy
6 years ago

Weirdo – GOOD POINT! You definitely made an indisputable argument there. I ‘really’ like how you backed it up with facts too. More commenters could learn from your style in this forum.

CT Swim Fan
6 years ago

Can someone explain to me how someone who participated in the NCAA meet last spring, is eligible to swim now. I thought transfers had to wait a full year before participating.

Josh
Reply to  CT Swim Fan
6 years ago

Only if they’re transferring within the same conference. Batchelor is moving from the PAC-12 to the SEC. No need to wait if Teri granted her an immediate release.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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