Florida Women Scoreless at NCAAs for the First Time Ever

by SwimSwam 73

March 20th, 2017 College, National, News, SEC


For the first time in program history, the Florida Gators went scoreless at the women’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship. A young Gators’ squad of 13 women, including 7 freshmen, traveled to the meet. While they walked away with a handful of top 30 finishers, the Gators were unable to get on the scoreboard throughout the 4-day meet.

Throughout the history of their program, the Gators have never finished lower than 20th at the NCAA Championship meet, which occurred in 1997. They’ve also never scored fewer than 58 points, which came with their 19th place finish at the 2000 NCAA Championships.

At the 2010 NCAA Championships, the Florida Gators, behind legendary collegian Gemma Spofforth, won the NCAA title by 2.5 points over Stanford. In the 7 years since, Florida has dropped to 0 points, while Stanford now stands as the best collegiate program in the country.

Florida’s drop came in stages. In the years after their title win, they hovered around the bottom half of the top 10. They then fell to 19th at the 2016 NCAA Championships last season to 19th.

Florida’s finishes at the NCAA Championships Over 10 Years

  • 2007 – 7th, 203 points
  • 2008 – 6th, 277.5 points
  • 2009 – 7th, 239.5 points
  • 2010 – CHAMPIONS, 382 points
  • 2011 – 7th, 226 points
  • 2012 – 10th, 160 points
  • 2013 – 6th, 305 points
  • 2014 – 6th, 239 points
  • 2015 – 9th, 129 points
  • 2016 – 19th, 63.5 points
  • 2017 – NF, 0 points

4 Florida teams that finished higher than the Gators at NCAAs: Florida St., Florida International, Miami, and Florida Gulf Coast.

It’s worth noting that there were several adversities for the Florida women to overcome this season, including not being able to train or compete in their home facility while the Stephen C. O’Connell center was being renovated. They were also in their first season without former Associate Women’s Head Coach Martyn Wilby, who resigned from the position last May. Their roster was heavily made up of underclassmen, who hadn’t yet experienced the grueling schedule and pressure of an SEC or NCAA Championship meet.

But still – with the NCAA Championships coming up next week, the Florida men seem to have thrived in spite of similar challenges.

The Florida roster has struggled to maintain stability from year-to-year. After graduating a senior class of 9 last season, the Gators had just 3 in 2017. Their class of 2018, meanwhile, shrank from 7 to just 4, and their class of 2019. They lost 3 from their class of 2020 as well.

“It’s been a long week,” said head coach Gregg Troy in a press release. “We certainly weren’t as good as what we wanted to be point-wise, but we got a lot of experience as a really young group. I think it’s going to pay off big for them in the future. We’ve just got to go back and reevaluate and see where we are moving forward.”

Head Coach Gregg Troy will now have 3 more years to work with the several freshmen who qualified for the NCAA meet. They’ll return next season with the valuable experience of competing at NCAAs. The team also gets a sure-fire NCAA scorer in Hungarian Liliana Szilagyi, who didn’t compete this year in her freshman season. She was an Olympic finalist in both the 100 and 200 fly and is one of the best junior swimmers anywhere in the world.

For now, however, the focus turns to the men’s meet, which will take place this week back in Indianapolis, where Caeleb Dressel and the Florida men will shoot for a fourth consecutive top-5 finish.

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73 Comments on "Florida Women Scoreless at NCAAs for the First Time Ever"

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Attila the Runt

First to worst in seven years. Time for a full-time women’s coach.

Not quite worst–plenty of Div, 1 teams didn’t have anyone compete at the NCAA championships.

Sooo…. tied for worst at zero points? Is that your point?

It’s just a phrase, like “worst to first”, used to illustrate a point of how far they have fallen at NCs. Thanks for the glass half full frame of mind though…

More Parties at FSU please

It’s time coach troy stepped down from Women’s swimming, its clear he has never been able to put a strong women’s team together. He can’t recruit women especially, shame for the Gator program but you can only blame the coach at this point. A young team is a poor excuse

I think it’s a little extreme to say he’s never been able to put a strong women’s team together in the many years he’s been there. As noted in the article, Florida had been in the top 10 until 2016. The program is rebuilding with mostly freshmen and sophomores.

I agree people are making too much of this but i don’t buy the excuse that frosh and sophomores are too young to swim fast……not in our sport and not for women. That is just an excuse.

Was he not the coach when they won the championship?

You obviously are an expert. Coach anyone lately?

The problem is athletic budgets. Combined coaching staffs are touted as a financial necessity. If he quits coaching the women then he effectively quits coaching period at FL

Recruit big talents and you will have results. You can’t transform donkeys into racehorses by magic. Hopefully for Florida that Isabel Ivey will go there for example. Morgan Tankersley too. Try to recruit these great local talents. It would be a good boost. In the last few years I have the impression that 90% of the top US juniors go to Stanford or Cal. Why the best US prospects don’t go to Florida anymore? Last star at Florida? Beisel?

I say siimilar…can’t make steak out of hamburger! I think his main problem is that not everyone (especially girls) can handle his in your face style of coaching. That is why the studs aren’t looking at UF.

Speed Racer

True dat. Swimming for UF might be tough if you were not exposed to hard in your face coaching. “To your limits, in your face” coaching is who and what they are and what they always have been.

Stanford and Cal offer a higher quality education and much more prestigious degrees than Florida. That has to be a huge factor for swimmers who excel in the classroom.

I disagree. Take NC State for example, girls coming there could be considered “donkeys,” but they sure do come out as racehorses. Kayla Brumbaum went from a 1:02.5 100 breast in high school to a :58.5 scoring top 8 at NCAA’s. And that is just one example. It’s about the team, coaches, and work effort.

Bobo, I usually agree with your assessments but here you are wrong. To refer to these young women as donkeys is crass and totally out of line. Anyone making NCAAs deserves a little more respect than people seem willing to give. And it takes more than a ‘star’ to succeed. No, there was not a ‘Beisel’ in the group but even with Beisel UF failed to crack the top 5, finishing as low as 10th. That they didn’t score at this meet and some did not have a good meet does not give ANYONE the right to denigrate them.

Seems like the author of this article has some personal bias. In a time where everyone is so sensitive, an article written like this seems solely for the purpose of stirring up controversy. Talent ebbs and flows, Florida may be down now but they will be back

Hey Chris. While I understand why you might make that assumption, that’s not an accurate reflection on this piece. Several people pointed out that this was the first time they had ever gone without scoring, which is significant for a high-level program. The purpose of this site is to report on swimming news, and I did just that. If you read the article, you’ll see that I only made note of the facts. That being said, I have great respect for Coach Troy and the Florida program, and have been a Gator fan since I was in diapers. I’m sure this wasn’t the result they’d hoped for, but when considering the adverse conditions I mentioned in the article, I do… Read more »

Hey Lauren, part of the thought process to that comment was me reading that you are a FSU grad student. I know that I am assuming bias, but this is a whole article written to point out the failure of 13 women to score any points on a team that formerly won NCAA’s.

You did only make note of the facts and it is an interesting well written article. I can’t believe though that there is not more intent in this than simply an observation.

But it is your job to observe, and its a good story, so I think I’m just trolling. Keep up the good work, I enjoy the site

I am at FSU currently for grad school, but I also did 2 years of my undergrad at Florida and loved the university. While the purpose is to point out that the team didn’t score, please note that at no point did i describe their performance as a “failure.” They had almost all underclassmen and several of them performed well. They didn’t score, which is very difficult at NCAAs as an underclassman, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the swimmers or divers failed.

Glad you enjoy the site, though, and thanks for reading!

My point is that you are not an unbiased third party that wrote this article. You are a former team member and you have also chosen to engage with the comments on this article. This article was written with the intent to illicit a response. Since we know that you were involved with the program, my question is what was your intent in writing the article? Why did you leave Florida? and was your departure from the program part of the reason you decided to point this out?

The reason I chose to engage with the comments was because you made a claim that there was some sort of unfair bias, and I assumed you were bringing up that I previously swam with the team. My intent in writing the article was to do my job, as my boss requested I write a report since several people in the comments had been asking about it this weekend. In doing so, I made sure to keep my opinions out of it and only state the facts, and he thoroughly edited it to make sure the report was only based on things that couldn’t be subject to opinion. They are just the facts. As for why I left Florida, that’s… Read more »
To have a former swimmer of the program who transferred away write the article already creates a bias no matter how thoroughly edited. Of course you are not obligated to give any explanation as to why you transferred but you did go through great detail to explain how the program has been diminishing the last several years. This is a site that has a lot of following here in the US and internationally and you wrote an article about a program with a lot of notoriety, that you were part of and left. As a journalist you would have to know the type response this article would have on the opinions of the readers, the Florida program, and the coaching… Read more »

Chris, you keep on insisting Lauren is biased in writing this article however she has explained that the point of the article is purely factual and was requested by multiple commenters (see comment section of the ncaa recaps) and she has written it objectively after her boss requested her to. You keep repeating this same baseless accusation, with no evidence of any passages to support your claim. So please, leave Lauren alone and stop prying into her personal life for no reason. Respect her abilities as a journalist.

hey chris – can you get a life and leave her alone? this article is perfectly fine and the topic is well worth reporting on. any biases she may or may not have do not come through in the article, and she chose to engage with you in the comments because you questioned her integrity. i encourage you to do something productive with your life instead of trashing a good SwimSwam reporter.

Boom. Swammer, thank you. Chris, get a life or job that takes more of your time. It’s the middle of the afternoon on Monday and Lauren is just doing her job, and well.

Since the clown of the White House trashes the journalists who make their jobs, I see that it gives ideas to other people. Bash journalists. Alternative facts. Sad period.

Hi Chris, as pointed out, I edited this article before it went live, and I went to neither Florida nor Florida State. I’ve only been to the state of Florida twice in my life: once for Open Water Nationals, and once for a family vacation when I was 12. I did attend Texas A&AM, but I did not swim there, and that was before the two were in the same conference. Are there any other concerns of bias that I can address for you? If so, feel free to email me [email protected] and I’d be happy to go through them all with you one-by-one until you’re satisfied. All of our writers went to college somewhere, as I assume you did.… Read more »

time to let go now ……

It’s important to point out that “unbiased” is impossible to achieve. That being said, I do agree that this is absolutely news worthy. I think it is important to ask what happened here. All coaches, especially head coaches should be held to account for their results. After all, the athletes are. Especially in a sport like swimming, the numbers never lie. Just because a coach is highly regarded and respected, doesn’t mean it’s hands off asking the hard questions. Coach Troy is tough enough to handle it and he does need to be challenged to bring the women’s program back. As a Gator, I am saddened and embarrassed that they did not score a single point. It’s simply a great… Read more »
The Grand Inquisitor

Sorry, I respectfully disagree. It’s news and worth noting when a program which has consistently finished in the top 10 suddenly fails to score a single point. Questions need to be asked – what’s changed? Questions also need to be asked about UCLA – how can a a program so consistently under perform relative to their recruiting talent over such a sustained period of time?