Women's Swimming & Diving Headline
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Competing against prominent national programs Stanford and Michigan, the University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team split a challenging two-day double-dual meet Friday and Saturday at the Avery Aquatics Center. The Gators (2-2, 0-1 SEC) picked up a 286-124 victory over the Wolverines, but were edged by the Cardinal, 227-175.
Despite trailing 148-95 to Stanford after the first day of competition, UF had multiple personal bests and NCAA provisional times on the final day of the meet. Florida, who was leading the Wolverines by a 169-74 margin after Friday, used Saturday’s times to extend their lead against Michigan and swim on to victory.
The Gators started off day two with a second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. The Orange and Blue quartet of underclassmen Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I) and Sarra Lajnef (Tunis, Tunisia), along with upperclassmen Sarah Bateman (Orlando, Fla.) and Shara Stafford (Topeka, Kan.), clocked a 1:43.82 finish. The time was just .02 behind Stanford’s winning mark of 1:43.80.
Beisel continued her winning weekend, winning two more events on Saturday. The freshman swam the fastest time in the country by almost two seconds in the 400-yard individual medley, finishing with a NCAA provisional time of 4:08.53. The mark in the 400 IM was the sixth-fastest all-time in school history. Four events later, the 2008 Olympian captured the 500-yard freestyle by more than five seconds with a SEC-leading time of 4:46.34. The mark is currently the third-fastest time in the country, along with qualifying for a NCAA “B” cut time.
Bateman also collected a first-place finish, winning the 100-yard breaststroke with a personal-best time of 1:03.83. The junior swam strong in the 100-yard butterfly as well, taking second with a time of 55.52.
Stafford won her first event of the weekend with a season-best 1:49.51 in the 200 free, while fellow junior Kirsten Smith (Cary, N.C.) finished third in the event with a season-best 1:52.09. Stafford also had success in the 100-yard backstroke, taking fourth (56.28). Junior Lily Ramirez (Gainesville, Fla.) additionally swam well in the 100 back, taking third with a time of 55.75 and narrowly missing a NCAA “B” cut time.
In diving competition, senior Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) took first in the three-meter event for the third time this season with a score of 3:18.20, while freshman Danielle Risley (Jacksonville, Fla.) recorded her first top-two finish of her career with a personal-best 305.25. The three-meter event was the last event of the weekend and was a non-scoring competition.
Florida fans can view the full results from this weekend by clicking here. The Gator women will now have a two-week break from competition before returning to the pool, Nov. 19-21, as part of the annual Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta, Ga. Fans are encouraged to follow the swimming and diving program on Twitter or Facebook.