Olympic Trials Finalist Michael Taylor Commits to Florida Gators

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:

100 back 47.17/53.77
200 back 1:41.94/1:56.78
50 free 20.71/23.83
100 free 45.83/51.33
200 free 1:37.04/1:52.44
100 fly 48.50/54.73

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.

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7 years ago

This article went from michael taylor to austin katz real quick lol

7 years ago

So who is left from the top 10 to commit? Greishop and Katz

Reply to  HiFi
7 years ago

Predictions: Greishop to ASU, Katz to UF

Reply to  Swimnerd
7 years ago

Wow. Both visited Texas too.

Reply to  Swimnerd
7 years ago

I would say Greishop to Texas is more likely than him going to ASU

tea rex
7 years ago

If Chandler Bray develops, Florida is looking at a nasty 400 MR.

7 years ago

They are filling the holes that graduation will leave quite nicely. They need one more breaststroker for depth and a sprint freestyler/butterflier and they will be set. UF knows a thing or two about developing backstrokers, and Michael Taylor is the future.

Reply to  aquajosh
7 years ago

Questionable comment about developing backstrokers. Florida hasn’t had an A finalist in the 100 or 200 back at NCAAs in the last 4 years.

Reply to  completelyconquered
7 years ago

Who have they had to develop in the past few years? They’ve essentially had two male backstrokers. Corey Main went from 54 and 1:59 to 53 and 1:57 in the long course backstrokes, and Blyzinskyj has gone from not even being a top 100 recruit into a 45.4 100 backstroker. It wasn’t that long ago that UF simultaneously held 3 of the 4 NCAA records in the backstrokes for men and women at the same time with Gemma Spofforth and Ryan Lochte, and as recently as 2009, their women’s team had a 1-2-3 sweep in the 200 back at NCAAs. They took two girls that had been considered has-beens by their national federation and turned them into a world champion/world… Read more »

7 years ago

Katz belongs at UGA 🙂

7 years ago

Cody Bekemeyer, Dean Farris, Ethan Young, and now Michael Taylor all go out of state over the last three years. UGA can’t keep letting top tier talent leave the state

Reply to  Gaswimmer
7 years ago

Thats what happens when they only offer in state kids books.

Reply to  GASWIMMER 2
7 years ago

The even crazier thing is in GA they have hope scholarship which covers a hefty sum of tuition and the zen-milller scholarship which covers full instate tuition for kids (both are funded by the state lottery) given a GPA requirement (3.0,3.3). Georgia has a great way of developing talent but doesn’t do a great job having top tier athletes get even faster… Why else would Chase leave? Regardless, something needs to change for UGA men’s team to ever rise above their other conference competitors. Hard to recruit when the team parties non stop in the bars downtown

7 years ago

I’m betting Katz goes fo Florida with his brother and didn’t his sister go there too?

Reply to  Uberfan
7 years ago

His sister is a senior this year. I no longer see his brother listed on the roster….

7 years ago

Didn’t the Katz family have some roots in Texas? Wouldn’t be surprise to see Texas or ASU as the option and unlikely Michigan. hard to go from swimming outdoors every day to swimming inside – so I’m guessing wherever he goes – he’ll be looking at blue skies (Auburn, USC, Arizona, or ASU).

Reply to  baker0023
7 years ago

Michigan also unlikely since his brother transferred away from there. I think he took a visit to Cal as well.

Reply to  Reid
7 years ago

Yes Katz was on a recruiting trip to Cal. Why wouldn’t a top level backstroker chose a college like Cal. You get to train with the world’s best everyday (Murphy & Pebley)!!!!

Reply to  Sarcastic
7 years ago

Not that I want him to go to Cal, but this does make the most sense.

Iceage Swimmer
Reply to  baker0023
7 years ago

I’m hoping Austin ends up in Austin! Oh, to swim for the great Eddie Reese!!!!!!!!!

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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