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High school junior Isabella (Bella) Lojewski has verbally committed to the University of Florida. A rising high school junior, she is scheduled to join the Gators in the fall of 2022.
Lojewski says that in spite of this being an unusual moment in history, with NCAA Division I programs still not allowing in-person visits with coaches, that for her the decision was not hard. She’s always been a Gator fan, and has known for years where she wanted to go to college.
“I’ve always wanted to attend the University of Florida, even way before I started swimming,” Lojewski says. “It has everything from academics to athletics, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a Gator!
“It was essential to making a decision early so I can start buying into UF culture and getting to know the team better as well. I chose Florida for academics and athletics, but I know that UF will make me not only a better swimmer but also a better person.”
Lojewski says that she channeled all of her disappointment from missing her spring championship meet into a small quad meet that her Windermere Lakers team raced in two weeks ago. In spite of being unsuited, unshaved, and untapered, she swam new lifetime bests in all 4 events she raced, including a new Futures cut of 2:04.64 in the 200 yard fly.
That gives her 3 total Futures cuts in yards courses, based on the 2019 meet standards, adding to previous standard-bearing swims in the 100 free (52.06) and 500 free (5:01.83). She also has 2019 Futures cuts in the 200 free (2:07.57) and 400 free (4:27.93) in long course.
“COVID made the commitment process pretty tricky since I wasn’t able to take an official visit to UF, nor any other schools,” Lojewski said. “COVID really affected me swimming wise. About an hour before our spring championship in March, we got a message saying it was canceled due to the COVID outbreak.
“This really broke my heart, and I’m sure many other swimmers’ hearts as well—especially seniors. I’ve had a hard time with swimming, particularly mentally. The meet in March was probably one of the first meets I was ready for physically and mentally.
“Instead of turning it into a negative thing, I looked on the positive side and started working even harder for my next championship meet, even though I still don’t know when that’ll be. About two weeks ago, I had a little quad meet, unsuited, untapered, and not shaved, and I posted best times in all of the events I swam as well as making a Future cut in the 200 fly. It’s exciting to see how my hard work is paying off, and I am working even harder to come into UF with pretty good time standards.”
Best Times in Yards:
- 100 free – 52.06
- 200 free – 1:53.78
- 500 free – 5:01.83
- 100 fly – 58.28
- 200 fly – 2:04.64
Depending on where she develops in the next 2 years, the Gators can use help in either their mid-distance freestyler or butterfly groups. Last year at the SEC Championships, the Gators, who were 2nd as a team in a very-competitive team battle, has relative weaknesses in the 200 free as well as both butterfly races.
Lojewski is the second commitment for the Florida women in the class of 2022, though the first commitment has not publicly announced her decision. This class follows a successful recruiting cycle in the class of 2021, where the Gators are on track to sign one of the top classes in the country, including names like Micayla Cronk, Brooke Zettel, Georgia Bates, Mary Kate Kelley, Olivia Peoples, Anna Auld, and European Junior Championships medalist Ekaterina Nikonova.
Lojewski attends Winderemere High School in Orlando, Florida. She represented her school at the 2019 Florida 3A High School State Championship meet, where as a sophomore she placed 10th in the 500 free.
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