Florida Sweeps FAU on Saturday, Gators Now 3-for-3 During Opening Weekend

Florida V. Florida Atlantic (FAU)

The Florida Gators’ busy opening weekend has come to a close, with both the men and women now 3-0 with their victorious meet against the FAU Owls.

Earlier in the weekend, the Florida men took over Nova Southeastern and Indian River on Friday while the women won against FIU on Thursday and Miami (FL) on Friday.

Women’s Meet

The Florida women crushed the FAU Owls 220.5-79.5, with non-winners exhibitioned in the last four events. The Gators started the meet off with a victory in the 200 medley relay (1:43.23), aided by the quartet of Emma Ball, Chade NersicioKathleen Golding, and Gabrielle Hillis.

Ball kept it rolling for the Gators later in the meet, flipping on her stomach and taking a win in the 100 fly at 56.61. FAU freshman Grace Molinaro finished in second place with a time of 57.79.

Alongside Ball, five more Gator women took home multiple victories on Saturday. Savanna Faulconer earned the meet’s first individual win in the 1000 free, touching in at 10:10.49. Faulconer switched it up into the 200 breast, winning with a 2:21.33.

Nikki Miller repped the Gators in the middle distance events, sweeping both the 200 free (1:49.79) and 500 free (4:55.71). Shortly after, Florida newcomer Talia Bates earned a victory in the 100 back with a time of 56.64. Taking second in the sprint back event was FAU’s Abby Marshall, stopping the clock at 57.77.

Bates’ second win of the meet was in the 100 free (50.50). Touching in a quarter of a second behind Bates was fellow Gator rookie Golding (50.83), who later won the 200 IM with a time of 2:02.37.

Heading into the 100 breast, Florida’s Kelly Fertel took home a win with her top time of 1:03.00, just half a second off her 2018 lifetime best of 1:02.42. FAU’s Fatimah Westbrook touched in second place with a time of 1:04.99.

Standout Florida sophomore Vanessa Pearl showed her powerful versatility by earning wins in the 200 fly (2:02.34) and 200 back (2:01.37). With now three meets under the Gators’ belts, these Saturday event victories for Pearl mark her 5th and 6th wins of the whole weekend.

Florida senior Sherridon Dressel continued her stellar meet performance streak alive on Saturday with her 50 free winning time of 22.89. Dressel was also joined by Pearl, Celismar GuzmanTori Bindi to cap off the Gators’ meet win in the 400 free relay, winning with a time of 3:23.97.

Men’s Meet

The Gator men dominated the FAU Owls on Saturday 208-90, with the final four events of the meet exhibitioned. The Florida quartet of Kieran Smith, Marco Guarente, Will Davis, and Jack Szaranek kicked off the Gator winning streak in the 200 medley relay, touching in at 1:30.51.

Florida freshman and U.S. national teamer Brennan Gravley utilized his open water endurance to earn his first collegiate meet victory in the 1000 free with a time of 9:25.80, just 6 seconds ahead of FAU runner-up Will Smith (9:31.29).

Trey Freeman later snagged a win in the 200 free with a time of 1:38.20. Dakota Mahaffey then took the top time in the 100 back, dipping under 50 seconds at 49.98. Dillon Hillis proceeded to win the 100 breast with a 55.16. Backstroker Clark Beach flipped on his stomach to win the 200 fly with a top time of 1:50.92.

Eric Friese sprinted to two event wins on Saturday. His first win was in the 50 free, stopping the clock in a time of 20.56. Taking second in the 50 free was teammate Khader Baqlah, staying under 21 seconds with a 20.75. Baqlah later took the top time in the 200 IM, touching in at 1:50.70.

In the 100 fly, Friese crushed the event with a 48.57, just ahead of teammate Tyler Silver (49.68) and FAU’s Rateb Hussein (49.69). Gerry Quinn later won the 100 free, stopping the clock at 45.32 while Grant Sanders led the 200 back with a time of 1:48.50.

After aiding the men’s 200 medley relay win, breaststroker Guarente took a dominant win in the 200 breast, winning by over 5 seconds with a top time of 2:02.49. In the same way, medley relay backstroke lead-off Smith showed his event strength and took the top 500 free time of 4:27.88.

Beach, Davis, Baqlah, and Smith teamed up to take the top time in the 400 free relay (3:01.20) and capped their third meet win of the weekend.

Up next, the Gator men and women will travel to Minnesota and face the Gophers on October 11th at 7pm CT.

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About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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