Florida Secures Verbal Commitment from #1 Bella Sims for Loaded Class of 2027

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Henderson, Nevada native Bella Sims has announced her verbal commitment to the University of Florida for 2023-24.

“I am excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at the University of Florida! I’d like to thank God, my family, friends and coaches for all of your support in this journey! I wouldn’t be where I am today without you! A special thank you to Coach Nesty, Coach Ron and all the coaches who helped me through this process! Looking forward to the future with the Gator Nation! Go Gators!! 🐊 🧡💙”

Sims is our number one recruit in the high school class of 2023. She swims year-round under coach Ron Aitken at Sandpipers of Nevada represents the United States internationally as a member of the National Team. Sims entered 2020 Olympic Trials with qualifications in 11 of the 14 events and ended up making the Olympic team as a member of the 4×200 free relay, for which she won a silver medal.

Sims slots perfectly into the Florida universe (that produced Olympic gold medalist Bobby Finke and has become the nexus for pro swimmers such as Katie Ledecky) with a 500 free time that would have won the title at 2021 NCAA Division I Championships. In fact, she is the fastest high school sophomore in the 500 free since Ledecky, who had a 4:31.3 as a sophomore. Sims also would have been an A finalist in the 200 free, 1650 free, 200 IM, and 400 IM and a B finalist in the 200 back and 200 fly at NCAAs last season.

Sims recently dropped 37 seconds in the 1650 free. She also improved in the 200 free, 100 back, 100/200 breast, and 100 fly.

Best SCY Times:

  • 500 free – 4:32.13
  • 200 free – 1:42.59
  • 400 IM – 4:06.59
  • 200 IM – 1:56.12
  • 200 fly – 1:54.89
  • 100 fly – 52.26
  • 200 back – 1:53.66
  • 100 back – 53.85
  • 1650 free – 15:59.68
  • 1000 free – 9:32.59
  • 100 free – 49.16
  • 50 free – 22.83

Sims will join a Gators class of 2027 that also includes #6 Michaela Mattes, #9 Julia Podkoscielny, #11 Grace Rainey, #18 Lainy Kruger, JoJo Ramey, Alex Mitchell, and Catie Choate.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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2 years ago

1:42? Seesh

2 years ago

That is a HUGE class

Tea rex
2 years ago

Can we call it the Ledecky Effecty yet?

2 years ago

Her times in the 200 and 500 would be school records by about a second. The Nesty Era of UF Swimming is off to a hot start! Go Gators!

2 years ago

Stanford sucks. 🤪

2 years ago

This is simply a coach providing opportunity for swimmers who are ready excited about the future. Let’s stop analyzing It and let’s focus on how they will get better. Opportunities are in front of them.

Reply to  Coach
2 years ago

“Let’s stop analyzing it”

This is why coaches will never make swimming a big deal in this country or any other. They just don’t get it.

2 years ago

She must be one of, if not the most versatile swimmers coming out of the high school in the past decade.

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  Samboys
2 years ago

have you not seen regan smith

Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
2 years ago

Do you not know what one of means? Also Bella is a faster mid d freestyler than Reagan and probably other things as well. Sprint wise the Walsh sisters and Kate Douglass are pretty darn versatile too

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  coachymccoachface
2 years ago

well they said “if not the most”

Reply to  Samboys
2 years ago

Alex Walsh tops that list for me

2 years ago

Wow!! Huge cherry on top of what was already an incredible class. No offense meant, although I’m sure will come across as sour grapes, but after hearing him talk and pitch UF, I’m shocked this many HS girls are lining up to swim for Nesty. I guess results speak magnitudes. Congrats to Bella and the Gators!

Reply to  VFL
2 years ago

Nesty is a straight shooter who is only going to tell you the truth. He’s not going to try to blow smoke up anyone’s rear or sell/”pitch” anything to anyone. More of: “This is who we are, this is what we do. If you want on this train, here’s your chance to hop on.”

Reply to  Corey
2 years ago

And more often than not, the athletes who want to be really, really good…….that’s what they want. The truth. College swimming is not all rainbows and unicorns regardless of what some people on here think.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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