Gators Ink Six to 2019-20 Signing Class

by SwimSwam 0

November 21st, 2018 College, College Recruiting, SEC

Courtesy: Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida women’s swimming & diving team signed six swimmers to the 2019-20 recruiting class, announced by head coach Jeff Poppell.

The group bolsters swimmers from Florida, Kentucky, and Connecticut, all of which will provide depth with a plethora of national and international experience. This class has several high school state champions and state record holders.

“We are extremely excited about this incoming recruiting class which also includes several of the top swimmers from the state of Florida. It’s always our goal to keep the best swimmers from Florida in-state to represent the Gators. The entire group possesses an enormous amount of national and international experience, and will help strengthen some of our key need areas heading into the 2019 season,” said Coach Poppell on the signees.

Talia Bates
Gainesville, Florida | Bucholz High School

  • Seven-time FHSAA State Champion – 50 Free four times, 100 Fly three times
  • 2018 Irish Open Champion – 50 Fly
  • State record holder in the 50 Fly, 100 Fly, 200 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay
  • Four-time FHSAA team state champion
  • NCSA Jr. National Champion – 100 Fly
  • 2017 National Select Camp participant
  • US National, Jr. National, US Open, and TYR Pro Finalist
  • Why she chose UF: “I chose the University of Florida because of the outstanding academics and the culture of the team.”
  • Poppell on Talia: “Talia, a local standout for four-time High School State Champion Buchholz High School coached by Tina Bates and Gator Swim Club coached by Robert Pinter, is a seven-time Florida High School State Champion in the 50 Free and 100 Butterfly, the Florida High School State Record Holder in the 100 Butterfly, and the NCSA Junior National Champion in the 100 Butterfly. She will be an immediate help to the Gators in the sprint freestyle and butterfly events in addition to being a key factor on all of our relays in the future.”

Kathleen Golding
Cooper City, Florida |

  • Three-time FHSAA State Champion – 200 IM
  • 2016 Olympic Trials qualifier
  • USA Swimming Scholastic All-America
  • Placed 21st at the 2018 US Nationals – 200 IM, 400 IM
  • Why she chose UF: “I chose the University of Florida because of the stellar academics and amazing swim program. The coaches made me feel instantly at home. I truly believe there is no school that cares more about their student-athletes than the University of Florida. Go Gators!”
  • Poppell on Kathleen: “I have enjoyed the opportunity to watch Kathleen develop through the sport over the past several years in South Florida where she swam for Head Coach Chris Anderson at SOFLO. She is extremely versatile and will be able to help the Gators in a number of different areas from the Individual Medley to the sprint freestyle events. Kathleen is a three-time Florida High School State Champion in the 200 Individual Medley,  Junior National Finalist in the 100 Free, 200 Free, 200 IM, and 400 IM, and a finalist at this past summer’s US National Championships in Irvine, CA in both the 200 Individual Medley and 400 Individual Medley.”

Ria Malhotra
St. Augustine, Florida | Allen D. Nease High School

  • Two-time FHSAA State Runner-up – 50 Free
  • FHSAA State Champion – 200 Free Relay
  • FHSAA third-place finish – 100 Free
  • Jr. National qualifier
  • USA Swimming Scholastic All-America
  • National Honor Society member
  • International Baccalaureate member
  • Why she chose UF: “I chose the University of Florida because of not only the endless incredible opportunities it can provide me, but also the incomparable team and coach staff. UF felt like home from the moment I stepped foot on campus and I couldn’t be more excited to be able to call it home. I knew I wanted a school with not only an amazing team, but also academics and UF definitely gives the absolute best of both worlds. Go Gators!”
  • Poppell on Ria: “Ria comes to UF from Nease High School and the Bolles Sharks in Jacksonville where she has been coached by Mike Kuzma. She is a two-time Florida High School State Runner-Up in the 50 Freestyle, a member of Nease High School’s 3A State Champion 200 Freestyle Relay, and a Junior National Qualifier. Ria will immediately help bolster our sprint freestyle group and we feel that she possesses the ability to help the Gators in the future on our sprint freestyle relays.”

Tylor Mathieu
Hebron, Connecticut | Rham High School

  • Two-time Connecticut open water champion
  • 2018 Connecticut senior distance high point winner
  • 2018 800 Free champion
  • Two undefeated high school seasons
  • Two-time Winter Jr. National qualifier
  • Eight-time Connecticut Top-16
  • Four-time Eastern Zona Sectional A Finalist
  • Ten-time Futures qualifier
  • Two-time Futures A Finalist
  • Why she chose UF: “I chose the University of Florida because I felt right at home from the moment I stepped foot on campus. I can’t wait to be a part of a team that is full of amazing teammates, coaches, and resources to be successful academically and in the pool. Go Gators!”
  • Poppell on Tylor: “Tylor is an outstanding distance freestyler from Hebron, Connecticut that we feel has a very bright future ahead of her with the Gators. She has been a two-time Connecticut High School State Champion in the 500 Free, a two-time Connecticut Open Water Champion, and a two-time finalist at the USA Swimming Futures Championships. Tylor’s older sister Alicia swam for the Gators from 2010-2014 and still holds the UF school record in the 1650 freestyle.”

Chade Nersicio
Lake Worth, Florida | Trinity Christian Academy

  • National record holder for Curaçao – 50 Free, 50 Fly, 50 Breast, 100 Free, 100 Fly, 100 Breast
  • CARIFTA and CCCAN Champion – 50 Free, 50 Fly, 100 Free
  • Five-time FINA World Championship participant
  • FHSAA 1A State Champion 50 Free
  • The first Caribbean State title winner since Chinyere Pigot
  • Palm Beach county high school championships MVP
  • Why she chose UF: “They offer great academic programs and have a great swim team. I love the area and how diverse the school is. I have an Olympic dream and I believe UF will help that dream become a reality.”
  • Poppell on Chade: “Chade, the 1A Florida High School State Champion in the 50 Free, is one of the top sprinters in the state of Florida. She, along with Talia Bates, will provide valuable speed and immediate help to our short relays. Chade swims for Trinity Christian Academy in Lake Worth and the East Coast Aquatic Club coached by John Kjaerulff. Originally from Curaçao, Chade has represented her country at several major international competitions including the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest and the 2016 Short Course World Championships in Windsor.”

Allie Piccirillo

Crestview Hills, Kentucky | Notre Dame Academy

  • Two-time Futures Champions – 100 and 200 Fly
  • Ohio record holder for the 200 Fly
  • 2017 National Select Camp participant
  • Placed fifth at Jr. Nationals – 200 Fly
  • Placed 15th at Nationals – 200 Fly
  • Two-time USA Swimming Academic All-America
  • USA World 100 Team member
  • Why she chose UF: “I chose Florida because of the amazing team atmosphere and all of the opportunities I’m provided in the classroom and in the pool.”
  • Poppell on Allie: “Allie comes to the Gators from Notre Dame Academy in Covington, Kentucky and the Northern Kentucky Clippers coached by Norm Wright. She enjoyed a tremendous summer which included a Top-16 finish in the 200 Butterfly at the US National Championships and a Top-5 finish the following week at the US Junior National Championships in the same event. She has been a two-time Futures Champion in both the 100 Butterfly and 200 Butterfly and a member of the USA World 100 Team. Allie will be able to make an immediate contribution to the Gators in the butterfly events.”

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