The Florida Gators’ biggest need for next fall is a breaststroker, as their best by far in that stroke, All-American Hilda Luthersdottir, is graduating.
Head coach Gregg Troy did a little bit of work on that with the signing of a 1:05.0 100 yard breaststroker in the fall class, Paige Sheriger, but overall, it’s a glaring hole in their line-up.
Their first signee of the spring semester, though, is a really interesting story and a very good grab for them. Ally Donahue from Greater Tampa Swimming signed on Thursday to become a Gator. She is the defending Florida High School State Champion in both the 100 breaststroke and the 50 free for 4A (the biggest schools). Her yards best times are 23.60 in the 50 free and 1:01.97 in the 100 breast.
Typically, swimmers of that caliber don’t have to wait until the spring to sign, however Donahue is leaving Plant High School after her junior year. She finished high school a year early and has opted to head to Florida to get a jump on her college career. She ultimately won’t be all that young compared to the freshman class, as she turns 18 in September, but she will still begin class at Florida as just a 17-year old.
Donahue is a swimmer who is on-the-rise. In just the fall of her junior season (she hasn’t rested in the spring yet), Donahue dropped over a second in her 100 breaststroke and over six-tenths in her 50 free.
She trains at Greater Tamp Aquatics under Jimi Kiner and for Plant High School under Gil Gonzalez. In addition to her 50 freestyle and 100 breast, she also broke the Plant High School Record in the 200 IM in the 2013-2014 season in 2:06.48.