Women's Swimming & Diving Headline
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team traveled west Friday and recorded several impressive individual performances against top-tier programs Michigan and Stanford at the Avery Aquatics Center. Following day one of a two-day double-dual meet, Stanford leads both the Gators and Wolverines. The Gators swam against the Cardinal for the first time since the Orange and Blue’s 382-379.5 national-championship victory on March 20, 2010, the second-closest NCAA championship finish in history.
“We swam against an extremely talented Stanford team and a deep Michigan squad,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “We had a slow start to the meet but picked up momentum towards the end that should carry us into tomorrow’s meet.”
Six different Gators combined to record seven NCAA provisional marks in five different events, led by freshman Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.). The reigning SEC Female Freshman of the Week set the Avery Aquatics Center record in the 200-yard backstroke with a NCAA “B” cut time of 1:54.27. The time beat out Stanford’s Julia Smit’s 2008 record (1:55.66) by more than a second, while bettering her own nation’s-fastest time in 2010-11 by more than half a second. Beisel’s finish was good for fifth all-time in school history in the event. The U.S. National Team member also clocked a NCAA provisional time in the 200-yard individual medley with a first-place mark of 1:59.39.
Junior Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) additionally took home first in an event, capturing the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.74. The victory improved Bateman to 4-0 this season in the 50 free this year, with all four wins resulting in NCAA provisional marks. Bateman competed in the 100 free as well, taking second with a time of 50.46.
“Bateman continues to be a consistent force nationally in the sprints for us,” Troy said.
Also recording a “B” cut time was sophomore Jamie Bohunicky (Gainesville, Fla.), who finished second in the 500 free (4:50.18). The finish marked the third consecutive meet the local Gainesville, Fla., product has recorded a NCAA provisional time in the event. A trio of Gators recorded “B” cut times as well, placing third through fifth in the 1,650 free. Freshman Alicia Mathieu (Marlborough, Conn.) took third with a time of 16:45.20, junior Angelina Ballatore (Gainesville, Fla.) placed fourth with a mark of 16:50.07 and sophomore Sharla Milne (Lithia, Fla.) clocked 16:51.21 to take fifth.
Junior Kirsten Smith (Cary, N.C.) recorded top-five finishes as well, placing fourth in the 200 IM with a season-best 2:05.06 finish, while recording a season best again in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:19.18). Fellow junior Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.) also swam a solid first day, helping the Gators in the first event of the day to a second-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay (3:46.77). Stafford also took fourth in the 200 free (1:50.01) and fifth in the 100 free (50.96).
“Stafford’s consistency is the key to our team’s stability,” Troy said.
On the diving side, junior Kaylee Doback (Brandon, Fla.) and senior Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) took third (265.95) and fourth (263.30) on the one-meter boards, respectively. Dodson also dove strong in the three-meter competition, taking second with a score of 312.40.
The team scores for the first day are unavailable due to technical difficulties. For complete day one results, Gators fans can click here. Day two of the double-dual meet continues Saturday from Palo Alto, Calif. Day two begins at 12 p.m. ET, with diving starting at 1 p.m. ET. Live results can be tracked by clicking on this link. Fans are encouraged to follow the Florida swimming and diving program on Twitter or Facebook.
Saturday (12 p.m. ET) Events Schedule
200 medley relay
200 free relay