Tennessee Sweeps Florida for the First Time; Nunan Breaks School Record


  • February 1, 2020
  • Hosted by Tennessee
  • Short Course Yards
  • Full Results


  • WOMEN: Tennessee 170.5, Florida 129.5
  • MEN: Tennessee 156, Florida 144

The Tennessee men and women made program history today as the teams swept Florida for the first time ever. The Volunteer women’s squad went undefeated in dual meets for the first time since 1972-73. This was the first loss of the season for the Florida women. Their 8-1 record is the best they’ve had since 2007-08. The Volunteer men defeated the reigning SEC champion Gators for the first time since 2008.

Notably, Tennessee’s Amanda Nunan set a new school record on the women’s side. In the 1000 free, she knocked 2 seconds off her lifetime best in a 9:37.08. That was a victory by over 20 seconds ahead of the reigning mile SEC Champion Leah Braswell (9:58.53) of Florida. It also took down the former Meet Record mark, formerly held by UF’s 2015 SEC Champion Jess Thielmann, by a little over a tenth. Nunan swept the distance events, narrowly missing Thielmann’s Meet Record in the 500 free with a 4:44.67.

SEC Champion Erika Brown was a triple event winner for the Volunteers. Individually, she took down 2 Meet Records. One came in the 100 free, where she was over a second ahead of the field in 48.51. Her leadoff of the Meet Record-setting 400 free relay (3:18.04) was even faster, though, as she turned in a 48.19. Brown took down her own former mark in that event, as well as in the 100 fly, where she won in 51.91. She also dominated the 200 free in 1:45.81.

Another Tennessee conference champ, Meghan Small, picked up a win and a Meet Record. Small is the reigning SEC Champion in the 200 IM. She won that event in 1:57.22, taking nearly 2 seconds off her old mark from 2017. Small also holds the Meet Record in the 200 back. However, she was 2nd in that event today, with UF’s Rosie Zavaros out-touching Small 1:56.47 to 1:56.61.

SEC medalist Sherridon Dressel took down a Meet Record for the Gators. She raced to a 52.02 in the 100 back, taking nearly a full second off her own former mark. That was a win by over a second, with Small trailing in 53.14. Teammate Vanessa Pearl took over a second off her own Meet Record with a 2:10.52 to win the 200 breast.

On the men’s side, Alec Connolly swept the sprints for the Volunteers. He was the only man under 20 in the 50 free, touching for the win in 19.77. In the 100 free, he took the edge early on, but had to hold off a hard-charging Baqlah down the final stretch. Connolly got there just 3 hundredths ahead, winning 43.87 to 43.90. Connolly had the fastest split of the field on the 200 medley relay (19.32 anchor) and 200 free relay (19.25 anchor).

Tennessee’s Kayky Mota put up a new Meet Record in his butterfly sweep. He raced to a 47.97 in the 100 fly, taking a hundredth off the former record held by SEC Champion Jan Switkowski of UF. Mota won the 200 fly in 1:47.31 earlier in the session. He used his 3rd 50 speed to get ahead of teammate Marc Hinawi (1:47.43), narrowly holding off Hinawi in the closing yards.

Florida SEC Champion Kieran Smith set a lifetime best in the 1000 free with his 9:01.86 win, knocking nearly 5 seconds off his old personal record. Smith came back just a few minutes later to win the 200 free in 1:35.97, holding off SEC Champion Khader Baqlah (1:36.04) on the back half. He then went on to sweep the distance races with a 4:18.13 in the 500 free. That’s his 2nd fastest performance ever and a new collegiate best by far. It also shattered the Meet Record, which belonged to current redshirt Gator Trey Freeman, by over 3 seconds.

Notably, the Gators were without SEC Champion Bobby Finke and freshman sprint star Talia Bates here. According to Head Coach Anthony Nesty, the men’s team has had a couple of swimmers fall ill. Bates has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury and currently has no timetable for her return.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – History was made Saturday at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center as the fourth-ranked Lady Vols (8-0) and 12th-ranked Vols (7-1) swept Florida for the first time in program history.

Going into the senior day dual meet, the Vols had beaten the Gator men 19 times while the Lady Vols had earned four wins over the Gator women. They had never combined for the dual meet sweep until Saturday.

“I am thrilled for the seniors that they have been a part of some unique experiences,” director of swimming and diving Matt Kredich said. “I can’t think of a more deserving group and they have provided leadership in so many different ways, maybe most importantly in competitive situations. They are an incredible group of competitors. It is a great tribute to them in their leadership that the women are undefeated and that we beat a really strong Florida team in both genders. It’s an achievement that I hope the seniors feel like they can own.”

The Lady Vols made even more history as they finished the season undefeated for the first time since the 1972-73 season, and for just the third time in program history. They also secured their sixth win over a top 25 team this season with their 170.5-129.5 win over the eighth-ranked Gator women.

The women now have five wins over Florida all-time and have won two of the last three, including the last two meetings in Knoxville.

With the men’s 156-144 victory over Florida, they finish the season 7-1, their best finish since the 2001-02 season. It is also the first time the Vols have beaten the Gators since 2008. The victory is their 20th all-time against Florida.

Tennessee’s men and women set a combined six new meet records on Saturday. Erika Brown set meet records in the 100 free (48.51) and 100 fly (51.91) while newcomer Kayky Mota went 47.07 in the men’s 100 fly. Amanda Nunan set a new school and meet record in the 1,000 at 9:37.08. Meghan Small turned in a meet record 1:57.22 in the 200 IM, while the Lady Vols’ 400 free relay of Brown, Bailey GrinterTjasa Pintar and Stanzi Moseley posted a meet record 3:18.04.

Brown led the Lady Vols Saturday as she brought home three individual event wins for the second week in-a-row. The Charlotte, N.C., native won the 200 free with a time of 1:45.81 before winning the 100 free (48.51) and 100 fly (51.91).

Brown also lead off the Lady Vols’ winning 400 free relay (3:18.04) with a split of 48.19.

“Erika’s joy and love to compete is what continues to keep her incredibly competitive,” associate head coach Ashley Jahn said. “It makes her great. She loves this team, she loves her other seniors and loves competing and competes with joy and I think that’s a recipe for doing incredible things whenever you want too.”

While Brown took the 50 free off, Grinter stepped up and took home the win for Tennessee. The junior laid down a time of 22.62, finishing ahead of teammates Moseley (22.85) and Natalie Ungaretti (22.90).

Grinter placed fourth in the 100 free (50.08) while helping the 200 medley relay finish second and swimming second on the 400 free relay.

“Bailey has been great,” Jahn said. “She also loves to compete and is always looking for ways to get better. All season we’ve seen her continue to make little jumps, little strides, watching video and taking away more information from practice. She’s doing the little things to make herself better and is executing at a higher level and is doing it with joy and for her team.”

Nunan picked up right where she left off last week as she set a new school and meet record in the 1,000 free, hitting the wall at 9:37.08. She followed up that performance with a win in the 500 free, touching the wall in 4:44.67.

“Amanda is in a great place,” Jahn said. “She is really excited and has been putting a lot of work in, as have all of our athletes. She is reaping the benefits of all the work she has put in and is constantly adjusting and she is paying attention to her races and knows how to execute in the race. Each time she is executing better and made changes from last week to this week and hit on them today.”

On the men’s side, Mota brought home wins in the 100 and 200 fly finishing with times of 47.07 and 1:47.31, respectively.

Alec Connolly picked up two more wins for UT in the 50 and 100 free, hitting the wall in 19.77 and 43.87.

“All of this started last week,” associate head coach Lance Asti said. “Last Saturday we took a hit from Georgia and had a loss, our only one and we handled the loss brilliantly. The leaders pulled these guys in and we had a fantastic week of training. We were all in and made adjustments from the Georgia meet, but the seniors got them ready for this week and put that loss behind us.”

Michael Houlie won in the 100 breast (53.68) while Matthew Garcia took home a victory in the 100 back at 47.56.

The men also won the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:26.41.

“We started the season talking about being underdogs and one of our senior leaders, Braga Verhage, said we needed to stop,” Asti said. “We need to expect to win, that’s what the alumni say and we can’t both be underdogs and expect to win. The attitude changed and we quit talking about being the underdog. We came into this meet expecting to beat Florida and that’s the attitude they have brought to every meet. Win or lose we expect to be the alpha. I am really happy with how these guys are competing.”

In diving, Matthew Wade returned to compete on both boards for the first time this season, winning both. He won on 1-meter with a score of 333.53 and on 3-meter with a total dive score of 403.20. Wade has missed most of the season with a foot injury, competing on Saturday for just the second time this year.

“I can’t tell you how special what he is doing is,” diving coach Dave Parrington said. “It might be difficult for people who are not intimately involved with the sport, but to see Matthew come back from his Spanish nationals and his injury and see him get a qualifying score in good style on 1-meter and go over 400 on 3-meter, is really special. That was really exciting and a special thing for me to be a part of and witness.”

Keegan Richardson finished second on 1-meter (296.48) and third on 3-meter (354.23) while on the women’s side, sophomore Grace Cable finished third on 3-meter (312.08) and fourth on 1-meter (280.43).


Tennessee will have two weeks of training before heading down to Auburn for the 2020 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 9 University of Florida men’s swimming and diving team fell short to No. 12 Tennessee in their 2019-20 season finale at the Jones Aquatic Center on Saturday.

In the 156-144 loss, the Gators earned seven event wins and posted five new season-best swims.

For the second consecutive week, this week’s Southeastern Conference Men’s Swimmer of the Week Kieran Smith led Florida with a three event wins. He would sweep the distance competition, while adding a 200 free victory as well.

Smith’s 1,000 free swim of 9:01.86 was a new personal-best by almost five full seconds, and his 500 free time, which beat the rest of the field by three seconds, was also a new best effort as a Gator (4:18.13).

Florida would claim the top-three places in the 400 IM as Grant Sanders placed first with his effort of 3:51.61. Kevin Vargas (3:54.01) and Miguel Cancel (3:54.23) finished behind him in second and third, respectively.

The final individual event wins were posted by Clark Beach in the 200 back (1:43.70) and in the 200 breast by Marco Guarente (1:58.52).

The relay of Will Davis, Smith, Khader Baqlah and Eric Friese closed out the dual season with a 200 free victory with the top combined swim of 1:1870. Smith led the way with his split of 19.48.

After Smith’s back-to-victories wins to start off the meet, the Volunteers put together a key stretch of the meet, firing off six straight event wins before Clark Beach’s 200 back victory.

Overall, Tennessee was led by Alec Connolly and Kayky Mota, who each posted two individual event wins. Matt Wade posted two wins as well, winning both events on the diving board.

Gators Splashes

  • Coming off a victory in the 500 free last weekend, Baqlah hit the wall as a runner-up in the 100, 200 and 500 free. His efforts in the 100 and 200 free would notch his top swims this season in the respective events.
  • A trio of runner-up bids were earned by Sanders (200 breast), Will Davis (50 free) and Eric Friese (100 fly).
  • In their addition to their event wins, Clark Beach also finished second in the 100 back with a time of 48.50 and Guarente placed third in the 100 breast with an effort of 54.41.
  • In the 500 free, Matthew Anderson would go on to beat his previous top swim set last week against Auburn with his fourth-place finish with his effort of 4:28.75. He also added a third-place finish in the 1,000 free.
  • Cancel, Isaac Davis and Ethan Beach each tallied new season-bests with their third-place finishes in Knoxville. Cancel shaved almost a full second of his 200 fly time that won him the same event last weekend against Auburn, and Ethan Beach hit the wall in 1:46.62, .27 seconds faster than his previous top 200 back swim. Isaac Davis finished the 100 fly in 48.15, beating out his previous best by .05 seconds.
  • On the diving board, Alex Farrow posted a runner-up bid in the 3-meter board with a score of 361.20, while finishing in third (289.58) on the 1-meter. Nick Lydon was the other Gator diver to perform, posting a pair of fourth-place finishes in both events.

Series History

Florida now holds a 26-20 all-time against Tennessee. The loss snaps a 11-meet win streak that dated back to the 2007-08 season when the Volunteers won by a final score of 160-140.

From 1995-2002, the Volunteers won every meet against the Gators, with that streak snapping in 2002-03.


Head coach Anthony Nesty “The men fought hard against Tennessee today. We were a bit compromised in our line up due to the sudden illness among a couple of our men upon arrival to Tennessee. Despite this, our men competed with tenacity and we are extremely proud of them.  They handled adversity with tremendous focus and strength.  The team unity was superior and much was learned from the experience. I want to thank our Support Staff and Administrative Staff for their loyal support. We press forward! Go Gators!”

Head diving coach Bryan Gillooly– “I’m very happy for the divers today. Not only for the way they dove in the actual competition, the results were great, but they had some really great practices as well. Even the dives that weren’t great in the meet were what I like to call “good misses”. Meaning that the technique and mechanics were what we are looking for. Overall, they competed very well. The whole team is unified and strong. Going into postseason, I am confident that our preparation has been as good as possible.”

Looking Ahead

Florida will now head to Auburn, Ala. on Feb. 7-9 for the Auburn Last Chance Invitational.

The Gators will then prepare for championship season before heading right back to Auburn for the SEC Championships on Feb. 18-22. Last season, the team won its seventh-straight conference title with 1,233 points over the four-day competition.

After SEC’s, the divers will head to NCAA Diving Zones on March 9-11 and the team will come back together for the final time of the season when they compete at the 2020 NCAA Championships on March 25-28 in Indianapolis, Ind.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 8 University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday against the No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols at the Jones Aquatic Center in their final dual meet of the 2019-20 campaign.

The Gators fell for the first time this season to the unbeaten Lady Vols by a final tally of 170.5-129.5. The 8-1 dual record is the best finish by UF since 2007-08, when the team finished with an identical dual record of 8-1.

Florida would go on to post three individual event wins, with every victory notching a B-cut for the winning Gator.

Sherridon Dressel (100 back) and Vanessa Pearl (200 breast) each posted new season-best times in their respective events. The 200 back was the final individual event won by Florida as Rosie Zavaros touched the wall first in a time of 1:56.47.

The Gators would also go on to sweep both diving events in the dual. This week’s SEC Women’s Diver of the Week Brooke Madden led the charge on the 1-meter board, winning the event with an overall tally of 297.98. Ashley McCool posted the top score in the 3-meter, with her score of 348.08.

Florida got off on the right foot to begin the meet as Emma Ball, Pearl, Dressel and Bella Garofalo combined for the top 200 medley relay swim of 1:38.54. Garofalo would anchor the squad with a free split of 22.46.

Tennessee would then go on to win the first two individual events of the meet- the 1,000 free and 200 free- before Dressel’s 100 back win. After the Dressel win, the Lady Vols would win the next three events leading into McCool’s 3-meter victory.

Overall, Erika Brown led the way for the Lady Vols with three individual wins. Amanda Nunan was crucial in distance events, picking up victories in the 500 and 1,000 free.

Gator Splashes

  • In addition to her 200 breast victory, Pearl was able to claim two more B-cuts with her runner-up bids in the 100 breast and 200 IM. The sophomore touched the wall in just .42 seconds behind the winner in the 100 breast, while posting a swim of 1:59.14 in the 200 IM.
  • Dressel was able to register another B-cut as well, finishing in third-place with an effort of 52.76. The time was just .24 off her personal-best set this season at the Georgia Tech Invitational.
  • In the 1,000 free, Leah Braswell posted a runner-up bid (9:58.53) and Georgia Darwent finished in third (10:03.07) as Tennessee’s Nunan won the event in a time of 9:37.08, a Jones Aquatic Center record. Savanna Faulconer added a fourth-place finish of 10:09.80.
  • In addition to her 3-meter victory, McCool would post a runner-up bid behind Madden in the 1-meter. Elizabeth Perez earned second-place (3-meter) and third-place (1-meter) finishes behind both her teammates.
  • After anchoring the winning 200 medley relay, Garofalo posted a pair of third-place finishes in the individual sprint events as she would hit the wall in the 50 free with an effort of 22.90 and the 100 free in 49.87.
  • Taylor Ault and Braswell rounded-out the top-three in the 500 free with Ault posting a runner-up bid of 4:49.83 and Braswell finishing behind her fellow Gator with a swim of 4:53.89.
  • Allie Piccirillo posted the best Florida finish in the 200 fly, earning a third-place nod with her time of 2:00.34. The effort is just 1.92 off her seasonal and personal-best set at the Georgia Tech Invitational. Fellow freshman Kathleen Golding also posted a third-place finish in the 200 free. Her swim of 1:48.57 was just .19 from a runner-up effort.
  • To cap off the meet, a Florida relay squad of Dressel, Garofalo, Golding and Kelly Fertel earned second-place for their combined swim of 3:20.01. UF had the fourth-best finish as well, as the relay of Gabby Hillis, Ault, Nikki Miller and Tori Bindi combined for a swim of 3:24.59.

Series History
With the Tennessee win, Florida now holds a 31-5 advantage in the all-time series as the Lady Vols have now won three of the last four matchups between the two teams.

The Lady Vols picked up back-to-back victories in 2016-17 and 2017-18, before UF posted a 173-127 win in Gainesville last year on Senior Day.

UF won the first 27 matchups between the two programs, with Tennessee claiming their first win in the series during the 2011-12 season with a final score of 178-120.


Head coach Jeff Poppell–  “I’m so proud of this group of women. They did a fantastic job today competing hard and racing tough against a strong and deep Tennessee team. Although we came out on the wrong side of the final outcome, I have no doubt that this will only help us as we move forward into the postseason.”

Head diving coach Bryan Gillooly– “I’m very happy for the divers today. Not only for the way they dove in the actual competition, the results were great, but they had some really great practices as well. Even the dives that weren’t great in the meet were what I like to call “good misses”. Meaning that the technique and mechanics were what we are looking for. Overall, they competed very well. The whole team is unified and strong. Going into postseason, I am confident that our preparation has been as good as possible.”

Looking Ahead

Florida will now head to Auburn, Ala. on Feb. 7-9 for the Auburn Last Chance Invitational.

Then, the Gators will enter championship season, beginning with the SEC Championships on Feb. 18-22 hosted by Auburn. Last season, the team finished in second-place, its best conference championship finish since 2011.

Next up on the docket will be the NCAA Diving Zones on March 9-11.

The team will then come back together for its final competition of the season at the 2020 NCAA Championships on March 18-21 in Athens, Ga.

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Bill J
3 years ago

I thought the Tennessee men had graduated everyone. I have never heard of most of the guys on their roster. I don’t care if they are rested or suited or whatever. I’m impressed. This has been quite a season for Tennessee. They keep beating “better” teams.

Reply to  Bill J
3 years ago

Agree these Vols are on fire much like the days of old when they were feared. Could not be prouder of Connelly (Home grown kid), the diver Wade who came back from injury for the TEAM and the coaches who believe. Looks to me like the “Ghosts in the rafters” are doing their job as well. Keep it up!

Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Only one guy (barely) under 20 in the 50 free? The Tennessee guys from the early 1970’s — Trembley (20.06) and Edgar (20.3) — would’ve scored pretty well. They wore briefs, too.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Not only was training completely different then, but you’re comparing former American Record holders to in season swims

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  John
3 years ago

Yeah, from nearly 40 years ago.

Reply to  Ol’ Longhorn
3 years ago

19.7 basically wins any dual meet in the country at any school

Mike Peterson
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Ol’ Longhorn, you are out of touch and you are living in the past. :19.8 in a brief would be competitive in virtually every dual meet in the nation. You are comparing a dual meet swim to some 1970s national championship that is so irrelevant that you are the only one who cares. Try to keep up!

3 years ago

It should be noted that Tennessee’s women divers did not add much to their point total while Florida’s did. On the flip side Tennessee’s men divers contributed significantly to their point total’

Reply to  Notaswimmer
3 years ago

Either Tenn teams still missing divers? We’re gonna need every point we can get at SECs. Also, does anyone know why Sinclair Larson hasn’t been swimming? Made NCAAs last year as a freshman.

3 years ago

These ManVols are on fire!!! So proud of Connelly a Knoxville kid who keeps getting faster. Now the meets that really matter are coming up…He has areal shot at doing damage at SEC and NCAA! With the brilliant addition of Kayky Mota at mid-year the sky is the limit. ManVols are now favored to win SECs and have a top 10 NCAA finish.

Reply to  Redneckhillbilly
3 years ago

We are not going to win SECs for the men lol. Mota has been a nice addition and they’re swimming well, but need more depth and still have some holes on the roster.

Texas A&M Swim Fan
Reply to  VFL
3 years ago


Reply to  VFL
3 years ago

Ya gots ta believe!!!! Dont be a doubter – do be a dobee. We gonna do it

3 years ago

No Finke for UF?

Speed Racer
Reply to  Superfan
3 years ago

The UF press release says sickness hit the team while traveling. Guessing he was hit with that.

3 years ago

It was quite the meet on the Men’s side, especially as Senior Meet. Florida’s top distance guy was out sick, so Kieran had to swim those events versus others he likely would have won. Kieran’s 1000 performance is under represented as something happened right at last 50 where he seemed to lose a second or two at the wall. Tennessee men across the board swam just a bit faster than in their loss to Georgia. Having diver Wade back for first time in many meets was critical, although Hallam appeared injured. The Tenn Seniors have known Florida, and the record against them, was their last home pool meet for ages and knew it was it was going to be a… Read more »

Reply to  kdswim
3 years ago

The referee rang the bell a fifty too early so he picked his head up to check is what I heard

3 years ago

Wow Kieran Smith. What will he swim at SEC/NCs?

Reply to  John
3 years ago

He’ll swim fast that’s for sure

3 years ago

Wait I thought Tennessee shaved and tapered last week for the Georgia dual meet? How could they possibly continue swimming fast?

Reply to  Moreresults
3 years ago

We’ll see if they can keep that same energy when the more important part of the season begins.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Moreresults
3 years ago

Fact check: they didn’t swim fast. Florida just swam slower.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Fact check: Tennessee still won.

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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