Isabel Ivey Transferring from Cal to Florida for Fifth Year in 2023-24

NCAA runner-up Isabel Ivey is transferring from Cal to Florida for her fifth year of collegiate eligibility during the 2023-24 season, although she’ll arrive in Gainesville later this month to begin training with the pro group on campus. 

The move marks a return home for Ivey, who grew up in Gainesville and was SwimSwam’s No. 1 recruit in the class of 2019 at Buchholtz High School. It also continues the Gator family legacy as her mom, Daedre Sullivan, swam at Florida along with current head coach Anthony Nesty

“It’s just a really cool full circle moment to go there for my last year of collegiate swimming,” Ivey said. “When I called (Nesty) and committed — he might get mad at me for saying this — but he got a little emotional. He just thought it was the coolest thing because he and my mom were training partners at UF when they swam for Randy Reese. They were always together doing those crazy, ridiculous, famous fly sets that Anthony is known for. So there’s that legacy at Florida that I’m excited to continue.”

Ivey entered the transfer portal over the summer after Cal head coach Teri McKeever was placed on administrative leave amid a still-ongoing investigation. She has been committed to the Gators for months now, but only just announced her decision publicly due to uncertainty surrounding the Bears’ program. 

Now Ivey’s family won’t have to fly across the country for meets, and her great-grandparents will have the opportunity to see her swim collegiately for the first time ever. In the pool, she’ll be surrounded by one of the best pro groups in the country featuring Katie Ledecky, Natalie Hinds, and Kieran Smith

“That pro group is absolutely insane,” Ivey said. “I think for my events, it made the most sense to go there and learn from literally the best in the world. Florida’s doing a really good job, their women’s program is getting better every year and the men continue to thrive. So I’m just excited to learn and be a part of something really special. 

“There’s a lot of goals I haven’t been able to achieve in long course, and that’s for various reasons,” he added. “But I just think that I’ll be setting myself up in the best way for success in long course as well as short course by training with that group. I’m over the moon about it.”

At the 2022 NCAA championships, Ivey made finals in all three of her individual swims. Ivey finished second in the 200 freestyle (1:41.59), third in the 200 IM (1:53.02), and 13th in the 100 free (47.71). Notably, Ivey was also Cal’s highest individual scorer as she scored a total of 37 points.

At the 2022 Pac-12 Championships, Ivey also was Cal’s highest scorer with 87 individual points. Ivey won the 200 freestyle (1:42.29), finished second in the 200 IM (1:53.54), and was third in the 100 freestyle (47.53).

Ivey’s time progression in short-course yards:

HS BEST CAL BEST
50 free 22.27 22.08
100 free 47.88 46.95
200 free 1:43.64 1:41.35
100 back 51.73 50.42
200 back 1:59.74 1:54.10
100 fly 52.11 50.68
200 IM 1:55.77 1:53.02

Ivey’s personal-best times in the 100 free (46.95), 200 free (1:41.35), 100 back (50.42), 100 fly (50.68), and 200 IM (1:53.02) would all be school records at Florida.

Ivey took several months off after NCAAs before returning last month at the World Cup stop in Indianapolis. She placed 6th in the 100 IM (59.15) and 8th in the 200 IM (2:09.41). It was her first time swimming both events in short-course meters. 

“I’m lucky and blessed to be versatile, so I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do,” Ivey said when asked about what events she might focus on at Florida. “We’ll figure it out as a team.”

The Gator women placed fifth at SECs last season and 13th at NCAAs. With the addition of Ivey and top recruit Bella Sims, Florida is poised to make the leap into the top 10 teams in the nation next year.

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Aquajosh
2 months ago

UF’s women’s school record book is getting absolutely destroyed next year. They also signed Canada’s best junior sprinter, Lilly Daley. At the rate they’re stacking talent, the Lady Gators may make it to another NCAA team title before the men get one.

oxyswim
Reply to  Aquajosh
2 months ago

If Sims enrolls in the fall it’ll be dynamite.

Last edited 2 months ago by oxyswim
Ghost
2 months ago

No mention of her father?!? Weird!!

Hmmm
Reply to  Ghost
2 months ago

I would gather that’s intentional. Her father is very likely the reason she has stayed quiet about Teri.

Questions about Teri
Reply to  Hmmm
2 months ago

What did her father do? Does he a close relationship with Teri?

applesandoranges
Reply to  Hmmm
2 months ago

Wasn’t the dad a former head coach at UF? Did SwimSwam reach out to her father for comment?

Hmmm
Reply to  applesandoranges
2 months ago

I think swimswam probably doesn’t reach out to former coaches on the banned coaches list.

swammer
Reply to  Hmmm
2 months ago

damn.

applesandoranges
Reply to  Hmmm
2 months ago

They could reach out to him as her biological father, no?

Tommy
Reply to  applesandoranges
2 months ago

look up mitch ivey

Swimpop
Reply to  Tommy
2 months ago

Whoa. Newer swim fan followed your advice and looked him up.

50M Pools Rule
Reply to  Ghost
2 months ago

Wait, is Mitch her dad? Really?

Swimgeek
Reply to  50M Pools Rule
2 months ago

yes.

Shaddy419
Reply to  Swimgeek
2 months ago

This can be easily debunked by looking at her profile on the Cal site. Mitch is not her dad

Shaddy420
Reply to  Shaddy419
2 months ago

Oh yeah? Tell us more about her father, Matthew Sullivan. Weird that they don’t have the same last name, right?

Mitch Ivey is her biological father. I don’t know who raised her or what role he has in her life.

(BTW – if she doesn’t want to talk about him, I think that’s fine. Just pointing out the facts).

CraigH
Reply to  Shaddy419
1 month ago

Or you could look at Mitch’s Twitter and see that he clearly follows her journey and is cheering her on.

Rev
Reply to  Shaddy419
1 month ago

Mitch is her dad…definite

wolfensf
2 months ago

If they get some 5th yrs. to stay looking at decent shot for 3rd.

MCH
Reply to  wolfensf
2 months ago

Which of UVA, UT & Stanford are they going to beat?

SWIMGUY12345
Reply to  MCH
2 months ago

Depends who shows up and hits their taper, but either of UT or Stanford isn’t out of the question.

Former Big10
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
2 months ago

agreed

DCSwim
Reply to  wolfensf
1 month ago

Tbt to when the women’s team didn’t even score a point at NCs a few years ago

BearlyBreathing
2 months ago

Big news. She was a huge part of Cal women’s swimming the last few years. Happy trails & best of luck to her back home.

Eric
2 months ago

Welcome Home🤙🏼😎

Swimmerj
2 months ago

Going to be quite the 800 free relay with her and Bella. Congrats Ivey!

GatorGuy
Reply to  Swimmerj
2 months ago

If im not mistaken they wont overlap collegiately.
I assume since Ivey is a grad transfer she will be immediately eligible, while Bella is coming in AFTER this year.
Not even to get into the fact that Sims mentioned she may take a gap year to focus for the Olympics.

Edit: Reading is hard, didnt see she was not trying to compete immediately. Looks like Florida is really stacking talent for 23-24. Likely getting Weyant for the 23-24 season as well.

Last edited 2 months ago by GatorGuy
Sherry Smit
Reply to  GatorGuy
2 months ago

Is Weyant doing a “redshirt year”

samuli
Reply to  Sherry Smit
2 months ago

might be, i do not she is allowed to compete as she entered portal too late, after the deadline

Mike
2 months ago

Her bests in the 100 free, 200 free, 100 back, 100 fly, and 200 im would all be school records at UF

Demarrit Steenbergen
2 months ago

Is she competing right away? She could definitely be granted a waiver for the coaching situation.

SCCOACH
Reply to  Demarrit Steenbergen
2 months ago

it says 2023-24 in the first sentence of the article

Admin
Reply to  SCCOACH
2 months ago

And the headline 🙂

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Demarrit Steenbergen
2 months ago

READING is HARD!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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