Florida Women Scoreless at NCAAs for the First Time Ever

2017 WOMEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

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.

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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Attila the Runt
4 years ago

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

dmswim
Reply to  Attila the Runt
4 years ago

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

Bigly
Reply to  dmswim
4 years ago

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

coacherik
Reply to  dmswim
4 years ago

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
4 years ago

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

korn
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

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.

Uberfan
Reply to  More Parties at FSU please
4 years ago

Was he not the coach when they won the championship?

El Chopte
Reply to  More Parties at FSU please
4 years ago

You obviously are an expert. Coach anyone lately?

meeee
Reply to  More Parties at FSU please
4 years ago

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

bobo gigi
Reply to  meeee
4 years ago

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?

korn
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

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
Reply to  korn
4 years ago

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.

Apple
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

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.

underdog
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

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.

Catch22
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

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.

Chris
4 years ago

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

Chris
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

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

Chris
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

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?

Chris
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

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 »

Irviner
Reply to  Chris
4 years ago

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.

Swammer
Reply to  Chris
4 years ago

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.

Spencer
Reply to  Swammer
4 years ago

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.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Swammer
4 years ago

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.

Admin
Reply to  Chris
4 years ago

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 braden.com 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… Read more »

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Chris
4 years ago

time to let go now ……

Kim Nava
Reply to  Chris
4 years ago

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
Reply to  Chris
4 years ago

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?

Aquaman
4 years ago

On another note, I love the picture

Swimmer
4 years ago

Florida is a great school and they have a great coach. Recruiting is key these days. Recruit a few top notch swimmers and others will follow. The other swimmers on the roster will step up. It just takes a few stars to get the ball rolling. Florida will be back.

RacePaceSwimming
Reply to  Swimmer
4 years ago

It’s clear that Troy has gotten the men’s program in a place where they will be competing to win NCAA’s annually, but when they can’t keep current recruits on the roster (whether their committed or not), lot’s of coaches and parents are going to question ‘what’s going on’.

Dan
4 years ago

Why did Liliana not compete this season, does any one know?

JohnJ
4 years ago

I personally thought the article was newsworthy and relevant. It’s inexcusable for Florida not to score a point given the resources and talent they have. Something is clearly wrong. It could be coaching, motivation, injury/illness, or other variables.

As another commentor wrote, UCLA continually underperforms (to put it mildly) at all levels. Im shocked that there has not been a coaching change here over the last 10 years.

applesorangesandbananas
4 years ago

It wasn’t as if the Gators were bereft of a pool and didn’t have a pool to swim in. They had an outdoor 50m pool immediately next door to the O’Connell center, so it was not as if they had to travel an hour each way, twice a day, to practice Not having their main pool to practice in is a poor excuse for their bad performance.

A new assistant who has had great luck coaching young women at the both high school and collegiate levels, was hired this past year. Maybe it is time for Coach Troy to pass the reigns a bit sooner than he had probably anticipated.

applesorangesandbananas
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

Lauren, isn’t the Florida pool a short walk from the O’Connell center? The pool I mentioned is immediately adjacent to the back side of the O’Connell Center. It is the pool that is used as a separate warm up pool for the annual Gainesville winter meet that is held at the O’Connell Center.

CraigH
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

50 yard pool sounds like a trip.

Tea rex
Reply to  CraigH
4 years ago

Like the program in Maine several years back that built a 48 m pool. The story went they did not want the pressure and responsibility for hosting the only 50m pool in the state of Maine…

Walter
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

University of Iowa had a 50 yard pool until very recently. Weird. I think from the 20s. Nothing beats the 100 foot pools in San Francisco though!

SwimGeek
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

Yes, otherwise known as “33 & 1/3” yard pools … 3 lengths for a 100 yards! Used to see some summer league meets in such pools. For a 50, the swimmers swam 1.5 lengths with a flags finish and timers standing on the side. Bizarre.

Caleb
Reply to  SwimGeek
4 years ago

Westport YMCA had a pool that was 25 yards with bulkhead and 34 yards (not 33 1/3) when bulkhead was dropped… in the 80s that was the closest we got to LC training except when we could steal time in New Haven. That facility is gone, now… better options these days!

G.I.N.A
Reply to  Caleb
4 years ago

One of my fave pools is in Townsville . Free & open 12 months dawn to dusk . 70 mtres ! No fencing & sitting in parkland between the river & a cricket ground . Parents & other siblings can swim & watch their kid play cricket at the same time .

When you get to 40m esp on back , you look back & think whoah – theres a lot to go . Good cure for Lap OCD .

Steve Nolan
Reply to  SwimGeek
4 years ago

THAT’S WHERE 33 YARD POOLS CAME FROM.

There was one of those in our summer league, always seemed like the most arbitrary distance. And they’d make us still swim a full two lengths for a “50” so I would be mighty tired in those last 5 yards.

(Though, our home pool was something like 40 yards – it was approximately 25 yards in the deep end, with a random 15 yards for the shallow end. Aw now I miss that. It’s like baseball stadiums, every pool’s kinda different.)

BaldingEagle
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

The Country Club Swimming and Diving Association in the Washington, DC, suburbs had five 100′ pools in a summer league of 15-16 teams. All of the pools were converted to 25m (82′) in the last decade. I swam in that league until 1990. The annual championships were rotated through the three official dimensions on an annual basis: 100′ one year, 25m the next, 25y the next.

“50’s” were really 200 foot races. The IM, even for 15-18 was 4 lengths. I think the last official 200′ free record was in the 30.8 range.

Why is this important? Tom Dolan got his start in that league.

Kenyon College also had a 50 YARD pool (with a bulkhead). This… Read more »

Austinpoolboy
Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

there’s at least two of those in Austin, Texas. Deep Eddy and Stacy park pool. conversions are kind of funky if you want to record your “yardage”. It is kind of cool: only 6 lengths is a 200 yard swim, for example. It also is a nice transition from 25 yard pool to 33 1/3 yards before you go full monte 50 meters.

In my ancient memory it seems in Detroit area and maybe MSU’s out door pool, and some others in Midwest there are some 55 yard pools. Think they were built back in the day when they tried to make races comparable to track and field and you could do a true mile 1760 yards (not 1650)… Read more »

Springbrook
Reply to  Walter
4 years ago

And this 100 foot pool in nearby Oakland: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/opr/s/aquatics/OAK029288

PsychoDad
Reply to  Walter
4 years ago

Really? The one in the Field House? I swam there many times – never knew. Well, it felt like 100m to me.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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