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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Jonathan Charbroiled Steak
1 month ago

I saw this one coming. Congrats Bella!

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
1 month ago

I saw this coming months ago but it’s nice to see the Stanford streak of #1 recruits (aside from Kate in 2019) get broken

Last edited 1 month ago by Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
SwimFan76
Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
1 month ago

Gretchen in 2021? UVA has gotten the last few besides Curzan

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  SwimFan76
1 month ago

Wasn’t torri #1 in 2021?

HJones
Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
1 month ago

According to SwimCloud, they were tied for 1st.

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  SwimFan76
1 month ago

2015: ledecky
2017: Forde
2018: Taylor ruck
2020: regan smith
2021: huske
2022: curzan

USA
Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
1 month ago

Courtney Harnish was #1 in 2017

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
1 month ago

UF and Texas will rule distance swimming

MCH
Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
1 month ago

Why Texas? They have Sullivan and who?? I’m not being a smart ass, but Pfeifer and Evans are the only other 2 who come to mind and they will be long gone or gone already in Evans case.

bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  MCH
1 month ago

Gemmell committed recently, she’s pretty good.

JeahBrah
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

Jillian Cox also, who was in Swimswam’s top 20 for 2023

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  MCH
1 month ago

Leah Smith is in their pro group

Braden Keith(@braden)
Admin
Reply to  MCH
1 month ago

Lydia Jacoby will be there next season.

Kelly Pash who had a pair of top 4 finishes at NCAAs last year (as a sophomore). Olivia Bray was NCAA runner-up in the 200 fly last year as a freshman. Emma Sticklen was 7th in the 200 fly last year as a freshman.

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

i was referring to distance swimmers in particular, but yeah that too

also, any word on the US open psych sheet?

MCH
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

I was referring to the “rule distance swimming” part of the comment. I forgot about Leah, although she has nothing to do with the college team.

Mike
Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
1 month ago

Olivia McMurray (8:35.3 in LC 800)

Sleeper
1 month ago

Congratulations Bella! What a class Nesty and his staff have put together. Going to be fun to watch.

dee
1 month ago

im afraid of her muscles

Swimmer
1 month ago

Grandpa Gator

PFA
Reply to  Swimmer
1 month ago

Whenever I see that shirt I always think it looks like Scrooge but if he was a gator

NCSwimFan
1 month ago

Nesty & co. are going to be coaching the entire US Olympic team before long. Congrats, Bella!

Barf- a-Scab
1 month ago

Wow – Coach Nasty and staff deservedly are piling it on the college world!

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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