UF Women’s Swimming & Diving: Bates Improves on Top 10 UF Swim, Braswell Posts Top Time in Nation to Highlight Gators on Wednesday evening
Courtesy of University Athletic Association
BY RYAN SOSIC
Florida takes a lead after the first day of the invitational behind big swims by Bates and Braswell
Florida women’s swimming and diving was led by Talia Bates and Leah Braswell on a night that saw the Gators claim the top spot in all championship heats during the first day of the Auburn Fall Invitational at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center. After Wednesday, the Gators lead by a score of 160-127.
In her first action of her sophomore season, Bates improved on her top-10 program swim with a winning 50 free swim of 22.30, improving by .04 seconds. Her time remains as the eighth-fastest in Florida history and is tied for the third-fastest mark so far this year.
After taking the preliminary heat in the morning, Braswell came back in the final and vastly improved her time, dropping 2.59 seconds to touch in 4:38.69. Her time is the top in the nation this year by .89 seconds.
The third and final individual event victory was tallied by Vanessa Pearl, finishing first in the 200 IM. The school record-holder in the event registered the top time of 1:55.61. Finishing right behind her was Kathleen Golding in a new lifetime-best of 1:57.93. Her previous best was set in the same building last year at the 2020 conference championships.
Elizabeth Perez finished the 3-meter springboard in second-place with an overall tally of 562.95, less than eight points off the lead. Perez posted the top prelim score of 283.88. Lauren Snider was the second Gator to hit the board, claiming a fifth-place with a prelims and finals combined effort of 476.38.
* Finishing behind Braswell in the opening event of the night was Tylor Mathieu, who dropped .29 seconds from her prelim swim to claim her runner-up finish, finishing the 500 free in 4:43.93. Elise Bauer was the next Gator to touch, finishing in fourth-place, while teammate Taylor Ault finished right behind her in fifth after dropping 2.34 seconds from her prelim time. The final pair of Florida finishers were Nikki Miller (sixth) and Lain Shahboz (seventh).
* Katie Mack finished behind Bates with her best time as a Gator, claiming a runner-up bid with her swim of 22.41, .22 seconds faster than her seed time. Florida had four additional swimmers in the top heat, led by Gabby Hills in fourth (22.68) and Kirschtine Balbuena in fifth (22.94). UF’s final two finishers also finished back-to-back as Chloe Grimme touched in seventh with a time of 23.07 and Annette Schultz in eighth, finishing in 23.38.
* Allie Piccirillo won the consolation heat of the distance event with a new personal-best time of 4:49.61. She finished 2.82 seconds faster than her preliminary time. Right behind her was Bettina Boszormenyi, who touched in 4:50.49. The final trio of Gators in the event were Madison Kolessar (fourth), Leah Degeorge (fifth), and Liz Watts (sixth).
* Four Gators all finished faster in the 200 IM consolation final than their efforts in the prelims, led by Amanda Ray with a runner-up finish of 2:01.55. Kenady Beil (2:01.91) and Rosie Zavaros (2:02.41) finished back-to-back, with Adrianna DeBeor rounding out the group in an effort of 2:03.39.
* Chade Nersicio earned a heat win in the 50 free consolation with her top time of 22.96. Her time was the sixth-best swim in the event overall. Ria Malhotra (23.23) and Celi Guzman (23.85) concluded Florida’s representatives.
Florida started the finals session with a 200 free relay win as Bates, Mack, Balbuena, and Hills combined for the top time of 1:29.56. Hillis anchored the top finisher with a 50 free split of 22.23.
Florida also swam two more relays in the heat, led by a third-place finish by Grimme, Schultz, Malhotra, and Nersicio and a sixth-place nod by Carly Schwab, Guzman, Ellie Zweifel, and Ellie Hatton.
In the final event of the night, the 400 medley relay of Shahboz, Porter, Bates, and Mack took the top spot in the event with a combined swim of 3:33.24. Schultz, Pearl, Beil, and Golding combined for the third-fastest time, while Guzman, DeBoer, Ray, and Hills touched behind them in fourth.