Kieran Smith Splits 42.8 as Florida Downs Florida State

by Spencer Penland 9

November 14th, 2019 ACC, College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC


  • Friday, November 8th
  • Gainesville, FL
  • Short Course Yards
  • Results



  1. Florida – 195
  2. Florida State – 104


  1. Florida – 188
  2. Florida State – 107

Florida swept Florida State in a the 2019 Sunshine Showdown in Gainesville, FL. Sherridon Dressel continued her fantastic senior campaign for the Gators, picking up wins in the 100 back and 100 fly, as she has done in several meets already this season. Dressel swam a 52.71 to win the women’s 100 back, clocking her 4th 52-second 100 back of the season so far. She then posted a 53.60 in the 100 fly, winning with her 5th 53-second 100 fly of the season. Dressel swam a lifetime best 53.21 earlier in the season.

Dressel also helped both the Gators A relays to victory. Emma Ball led off the 400 medley relay in 54.23, and was followed by Kelly Fertel in 1:01.22, Dressel in 53.46, and Isabella Garofalo anchored in 49.73. The Gators also won the 200 free relay, where Talia Bates, Dressel, Ball, and Garofalo split 23.06, 22.39, 22,56, and 22.81 for a 1:30.82 final time.

Talia Bates clocked a season best of 22.88 to win the women’s 50 free, touching as the only swimmer in the field to break 23 seconds. She also went on to win the 100 free in 50.09, beating out teammate Garofalo (50.27). Interestingly, the pair of Gators tied going out, both flipping at 24.34, then Bates narrowly out-split Garofalo coming home. Bates also posted a quality 54.59 on the fly leg of the Florida B 400 medley relay.

Florida moved Taylor Ault and Leah Braswell into the 200 free for this meet, coming out with a 1-2-3 finish thanks to the pair as well as Savanna Faulconer. Ault won the race with a season best 1:48.76, with Braswell right behind in 1:48.95, off her season best of 1:47.13. Faulconer was 3rd into the finish in 1:49.63, marking a season best for her as well.

Kelly Fertel picked up a double in the 200 fly and 200 breast. She first swam a 1:59.11 to win the 200 fly, and 2:12.90 in the 200 breast.

Kieran Smith continued to post great times for the Gators this season, winning two individual events and provided excellent relay splits. Smith started out his day with a blistering 42.84 to anchor the 400 medley relay to victory. That split was fantastic for an in-season split. He’s listed at an 18.6 split in the 200 free relay that would be even better – but video review appears to suggest that was a timing malfunction. Leadoff man Will Davis is listed at 20.81 on that relay, but went 20.1 earlier in the meet. Video appears to show both swimmers roughly in the 19-mid territory – still a very solid split for Smith. Smith also won the men’s 100 back with a season best 47.75 100 back, then won the 200 back in 1:45.34, which also stands as a season best.

Florida freshman Brennan Gravley swam only the 1000 free at this meet, but made the most of it, winning the event in a season best of 9:06.64. Graveley’s time sits as the 5th fastest time in the SEC this year. Fellow Gator freshman Alfonso Mestre took the 500 free, where he swam a 4:27.21 to beat out FSU freshman Mohamed Ghaffari by .32 seconds. Mestre got out to the early lead and managed to hold on to touch the wall first after Ghaffiri charged late with a 25.43 on the final lap (26.02 for Mestre).

Another Florida frehsman, Eric Friese, dropped a 48.37 to win the men’s 100 fly, taking the event by nearly half a second.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 9 University of Florida men’s swimming and diving team defeated the No. 15 Florida State Seminoles 188-107 in the Sunshine Showdown inside the O’Connell Center Natatorium on Friday afternoon.

The Gators (6-1) would go on to post the fastest time in all 14 swimming events, including the top-three swims in seven separate individual events.

Throughout the meet, eight Gators would set new personal-bests times or scores.

Individually, Marco GuarenteClark Beach and Kieran Smith all posted two victories, while Matthew Anderson produced two new personal-best times as a Gator in both distance events.

On the 3-meter, Alex Farrow won the event with a season-best tally of 367.05. The score was just 1.88 from a personal-best. Santiago Morales hit a new personal-best score on the 1-meter with his overall mark of 288.53.

Series History

The Gators and Seminoles have a long history against each other, as this year’s meet marked the 83rd all-time meeting between the two programs.

With the win, the Gators improve their record against their in-state rival to 59-23-1 and are currently on a nine-meet win streak.

The Seminoles last defeated UF in 2010-11 in Tallahassee by a final score of 184-116. The other loss since 2000 came in 2006-07 at Florida State.

Gator Splashes

  • Clark Beach was one of three Gators to post a pair of individual victories as the junior posted the fastest 200 IM of 1:48.99, a new personal-best. In the 200 free, he would go on to win the event after hitting the wall in 1:38.28.
  • The other two Gators to win multiple events were SEC Swimmer of the Week Kieran Smith and Marco Guarente. Smith picked up victories in the 100 and 200 back. In the 100, Smith would secure a B-cut in personal-best fashion. Guarente would sweep the breast events.
  • The 1,000 free featured new personal-best times for Brennan Gravley and Matthew Anderson. Gravley crushed the field, hitting the wall in 9:06.64. Anderson finished in 9:17.57. Drew Clark rounded out the top-three finishers with his swim of 9:20.18.
  • The top-three finishers in the 200 fly were all Gators. First-place was captured by Kevin Vargas (1:49.50) with Robert Finke (1:50.39) and Jake Adcock (1:50.98) hitting the wall right behind him. Adcock’s time set a new career-best swim.
  • Eric Friese’s win in the 100 fly increases his win total on the season to six events.
  • Friese’s classmate Alfonso Mestre registered his second-career event win after posting the fastest time in the 500 free (4:27.21).
  • Will Davis led the way in the 50 free with his swim of 20.17, followed by Isaac Davis right behind him in a time of 20.53. Friese rounded out the top finishers with his swim of 20.61.

Relay Magic

Florida posted top times in both relays.

In the 400 medley relay, the team of Dakota Mahaffey, Guarente, Friese and Smith would notch a combined swim of 3:14.4.

The final event, the 200 free relay, saw UF’s relay of Will Davis, Smith, Friese and Isaac Davis come out victorious with their combined swim of 1:19.40.

The relay of Viktor TothJack SzaranekDillon Hillis and Lucas Kravchenko posted a combined swim that was just .28 seconds from a runner-up bid.


Associate head coach Steve Jungbluth-

On his overall thoughts on the team’s performance…. 
It was a lot of fun. You could tell our guys were fired up about that. In our pre-game meeting, we were talking about it then. I told our director of operations after that the guys were really focused in on what we were saying in there. I knew that they were going to be pretty sharp coming into this one.”

On swimmers competing in different events today…
“That’s always bit of a challenge. We don’t want someone to keep doing the same event over and over again. It keeps it fresh for them to get a break from that. That’s a good thing, but then they realize that the opponent may not be doing that as well. Maybe that’s their best guy in their best event… It’s a different challenge in a different event, but it forces them out of their comfort zone and that’s something that we have to constantly be finding new ways to do in this sport so they continue to develop to get to the next level.”

Head Diving coach Bryan Gillooly–  “It was great to see Alex get this opportunity today. It’s not often that the same situation presents itself and much less in back-to-back meets. Last week, he came up just short in his last dive. This week he needed to hit the same dive for the win and pulled it off beautifully. I couldn’t be more proud of him and the other men. Santiago Morales has a personal best on 1-meter as well. Hats off to a great FSU team.”

Looking Ahead:

The meet with Florida State will mark the Gators’ final dual of 2019.

Swimmers and divers will each travel to different invitationals to wrap up competition in 2019 as the swimmers will travel to Atlanta to compete in the Georgia Tech Invitational on Nov. 22-24.

A handful of swimmers will be right back in Atlanta on Dec. 4-7 to compete in the US Open.

The divers will take part in the Auburn Diving Invitational on Dec. 17-19 in Auburn, Ala.

The men will be back in pool for their final home meet of the season against Auburn on Jan. 25 at 10:00 a.m.



GAINESVILLE, FLA. – The No. 1 University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team cruised to a 195-104 victory over in-state rival No. 20 Florida State in the Sunshine Showdown on Friday.

Florida (7-0) would remain undefeated on the season after posting the top times in 13-of-14 swimming events, highlighted by sweeping the top-three swims in the 200, 500 and 1,000 free.

Individually, four Gators would go on to win two events, highlighted by new career-best swims by Nikki Miller in the 1,000 free and Kelly Fertel in the 200 fly.

Coming off a sweep in the dives last week against Georgia, Elizabeth Perez posted the top 3-meter score, tallying an overall mark of 339.08. Lauren Snider excelled on the 3-meter board as well, hitting a season-best score of 293.55.

Ashley McCool returned to action and finished in second-place on the 1-meter. The two-time SEC Diver of the Week posted a mark of 300.90.

Series History

This year marked the 47th contest between Florida and Florida State.

With the 195-104 win, Florida now leads the all-time series 44-3 and has won the last 11 meets in the Gainesville.

Last season, Florida handed FSU their only loss on the year as the Gators came out victorious by a tally of 177.5-122.5.

From 1972-2007, UF won 33 consecutive meets.

Gator Splashes

  • Taylor Ault was one of four Gators to post two event wins today as the sophomore won the 200 and 500 free. Talia BatesKelly Fertel and Sherridon Dressel also joined her as the other Gators to post a pair of individual victories. Bates won the sprint events with Fertel winning the 200 fly and breast. Dressel was able to come away with a B-cut in the 100 back and the top swim in the 100 fly.
  • Freshmen Katheen Golding and Tylor Mathieu finished behind Miller’s personal-best effort in the 1,000 free. Golding was right behind Miller as she touched the wall in the 10:01.61, while Mathieu rounded out the top-three with her time of 10:08.19.
  • Golding and Mathieu shined in additional events in the dual. Golding won the 200 IM with her swim of 2:02.65, barely missing her top time set in the opening week of the season. Mathieu would go on to post a personal-best in the 500 free later in the meet, finishing in 4:53.28, four seconds faster than her previous best.
  • Rosie Zavaros notched a B-cut in the 200 back for the second straight meet as she won the event with an effort of 1:55.80. Savanna Faulconer posted a third-place finish behind her.
  • Sophomore Leah Braswell competed in some different events in today’s dual, posting runner-up finishes in the 200 free behind Ault and 200 IM behind Golding.
  • Bella Garofalo posted second-place and third-place finishes in the sprints behind Bates. Garofalo finished runner-up in the 100 free with a time of 50.27 and third-place in the 50 free with her time of 23.22.

Relay Magic

The 400 medley relay team of Emma Ball, Fertel, Dressel and Garofalo got Florida off on the right note, combining for the top swim of 3:38.64 in the opening event.

To cap off the dual, Bates, Ball, Dressel and Garofalo beat the 200 free relay field by almost two full seconds, combining for an effort of 1:30.82.

Garofalo posted the top split in the 400 medley, while Dressel had the fastest split of 22.39 in the 200 free.


Head coach Jeff Poppell –

On the win…
“It’s the Sunshine Showdown for a reason. It’s our in-state rival, obviously the other main university here in the state. It’s always fun to compete against them.”

On the freshmen’s performance today…
Talia Bates, those were her first wins on the season in the 50 free and 100 free and was instrumental in that last relay leading it off. Kathleen Golding as well in the 200 IM. One of our freshmen, Tylor Mathieu, in the 500 free had an incredible swim today. It was her lifetime best in-season swim… We’ve had the freshmen contribute in spots (throughout the season), but you saw a group of them playing a major impact in what we do.”

On the biggest bright spot today…
“The thing I liked the best was the grit. They just continued to race. No matter what the score was at that point (halfway through the meet), we all kind of knew we had the meet at that point, they just kept racing and competing. To me, that says a lot.”

Head Diving coach Bryan Gillooly  “Elizabeth (Perez) has been struggling with a couple dives on 3-meter for the past year. She was finally able to put them together at right time. I think this will really help her confidence moving forward. It was great having Ashley (McCool) back who just missed winning the 1- meter after not practicing for two weeks. Lauren Snider had a season-best on the 3-meter.”

Looking Ahead:

The meet with Florida State marked the Gators’ final meet of 2019 and will head into 2020 with a perfect 7-0 dual record.

Swimmers and divers will each travel to different invitationals to wrap up competition in 2019 as the swimmers will travel to Atlanta to compete in the Georgia Tech Invitational on Nov. 22-24.

The divers will take part in the Auburn Diving Invitational on Dec. 17-19 in Auburn, Ala.

The women will be back in action at the O’Dome Natatorium on Jan. 3 as they host a quad-meet with Vanderbilt, North Florida and Liberty at 2:00 p.m.



GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 15/20 Florida State swimming and diving teams fell short at the Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown meet against the No. 9/1 Florida on Friday afternoon at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The men (3-2, 2-1 ACC) suffered a 188-107 loss and the women (2-3, 1- 2 ACC) fell 195-104.

“We did some good things and had some great performances today,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “We just fell to a very good team.”

Sophomore Nina Kucheran was the winner in the 100 breast with a time of 1:00.93, which was a near three-second win. The divers were led by senior Ayla Bonniwell (301.35) and junior Joshua Davidson (363.68), who both took first on 1-meter.

The diving squad kicked off the men’s meet by competing on 3-meter, as senior Cam Thatcher finished in second place, just .45 points short of a victory with a total of 366.60. Davidson followed in third (356.03) and senior Aidan Faminoff added fourth place points with a total of 336.00.

The Seminoles were dominant later on 1-meter after the second break with a one-two-three finish led by Davidson with his season best score, Faminoff (318.08), and Thatcher (313.95).

Freshman Mohamed Ghaffari battled in a tight race in the 200 free and finished in second with a time of 1:38.77.  He later turned in his season best swim in the 500 free for a close second place finish at 4:27.53, taking two-seconds off his previous best that was set against Minnesota (4:29.93)

Senior Vladimir Stefanik led the Noles with a time of 45.50 in the 100 free for second place and  Francesco Peron and sophomore Kuba Ksiazek (45.74) tied for third.

In the 100 fly, sophomore Max McCusker timed in at 48.81 for his season best, edging his prior high of 48.83 by .02.

Over at the women’s meet, the Seminoles took first on 1-meter to start the afternoon led by Bonniwell, outlasting Gators’ diver Ashley McCool for the victory by .45 with a score of 301.35. Senior Molly Carlson placed third adding 291.53 points.

Kucheran led the Noles to a two-three-four finish in the 200 breast with a time of 2:14.05, freshman Sydney VanOvermeiren followed at 2:22.18, with junior Kile Carriger clocking in 2:23.04 for fourth.  Kucheran was also second in the 200 IM with a time of 2:03.91.

Sophomore Hannah Womer clocked in at 2:01.94 for second in the 200 fly and  junior Emma Terebo followed with a second place finish in the 50 free at 23.20, just shy of her season best of 23.19 achieved against Minnesota.

In the 200 back, sophomore Madeleine McDonald took second with a 2:02.62 and sophomore Aryanna Fernandes added a runner-up in the 100 fly with a mark of 54.83 and Womer followed third at 55.51.

The Seminoles look to rebound Saturday as they return home to host Florida Southern, West Florida, and North Florida in the third annual quad meet at 1 p.m. at the Morcom Aquatics Center.

Florida Southern will field both a men’s and women’s team, while West Florida and North Florida will only compete in the women’s meet.

Saturday’s meet has been designated as the annual FSU Kids Club Day and FSU’s Gold Letter Meet by SAAC.

For more information on FSU swimming and diving, visit Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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1 year ago

I’m guessing the 18.6 is a mistime since Davis was .7 off his 50 earlier in the meet. But maybe not!

Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

He did not split 18.6

Here Comes Lezak
Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

It will be really sick if it isn’t, let’s hope!

1 year ago

Think someone asked this before, but where is Trey Freeman?

UF questions
Reply to  Zanna
1 year ago

Also, only have seen Michael Taylor in 1 meet or maybe 2. Fingers crossed for the young man

Go Gators
Reply to  UF questions
1 year ago

michael will probably not be swimming a lot, he is still recovering from surgery.

1 year ago

That 18.6 is definitely an error

Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Neal Studd sounds like a porn actor name.

1 year ago

Very interested to see his shaved and tapered 200 free in the spring