The University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team has picked up another verbal commitment to the class of 2022. Bobbi Gichard of Auckland, New Zealand has announced her verbal commitment to the Gators beginning next fall, joining Celismar Guzman, Ellie Zweifel, Kalie Novosedliak, Kirschtine Balbuena, Lauren Snider, Layla Black, Leah Braswell, Mabel Zavaros, Rosie Zavaros, and Vanessa Pearl.
“I am so excited to start this fall. [Florida’s] program is such a perfect fit for me and the people there are so kind. It’s going to be easy to settle into the new lifestyle as there is 3 people from New Zealand that i already know who also go to University of Florida that are succeeding inside and out of the water. [sic]
“I can’t wait to start the next stage of my life in America!”
Gichard is a backstroker with extensive international experience. She first represented Team New Zealand at the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships. The following year she claimed a bronze medal in the 100m backs at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. She also competed at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan where she competed in the 50/100/200 back and set a PB in the 200 (2:13.45). In 2015 she won a bronze medal at FINA World Junior Championships in the 100 back and set the girls‘ 15-year-old NZ Age Group Record with 1:00.42. Also in 2015 she won gold in the 100/200 backstroke events at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa. In 2017, Gichard won NZ national titles in the 100/200 back and was runner-up in the 50 back, thus qualifying for the 17th FINA World Championships as part of the women’s 4×100 medley relay. She also competed in the 100/200 backstroke individual events in Budapest.
Gichard will join three other Kiwis (Corey Main, Bayley Main and Georgia Marris) who have already represented the Gators.
Gichard represents Auckland’s Howick Pakuranga Swim Club. Her top times include (converted to SCY):
- 50 back LCM – 28.40 (25.04)
- 100 back LCM – 1:00.42 (53.35)
- 200 back LCM – 2:10.87 (1:55.73)
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