Dynamo Swim Club’s Michael Taylor, the #5 recruit in the Class of 2017, has announced his verbal commitment to join the Florida Gators. Taylor will head to Gainesville next fall after graduating from Johns Creek High School.
This summer, Taylor was a finalist in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. There, he placed 5th in the 100 back and 7th in the 200 back, clocking new best times of 53.77 and 1:56.78 respectively to earn a spot on the 2016-17 USA National Team Roster. His time in the 200 back was also a new Junior World Record.
While he only swam the backstroke races at trials, Taylor went on to post best times in the 50 free (23.83), 100 free (51.33), 200 free (1:52.44), and 100 fly (54.73) at various meets throughout the summer.
In yards, Taylor’s times aren’t fast enough to score at NCAAs yet, but if he translates his long course success into this short course season, that could change quickly. Regardless, his 200 back (1:41.94) is already good enough to make the A-final at the SEC Championships, and his 100 back (47.17) is good enough to make the top 16.
Taylor’s Top Times:
Over the years, Florida has produced several backstroke stars, including Ryan Lochte, Elizabeth Beisel, and current 100 back World Record holder Gemma Spofforth. Lochte is a 2-time Olympic medalist in the 200 back (1 gold, 1 bronze) and Beisel was the 200 back bronze medalist at the London Games.
Now that backstroker Jack Blyzinskyj is in his senior season, Taylor’s arrival next fall will be a huge help to the Gators. Blyzinskyj is an 8-time NCAA All-American, having scored individually in the 100 back and as a part of Florida’s relays at the last 2 NCAA meets.