Florida Swimming Splits With Missouri

Sherridon Dressel led Florida past Missouri. Photo Courtesy: Tim Casey

The Florida swimming and diving team, ranked No. 10 in the women’s poll, defeated the No. 6 Missouri Tigers 176-124 at the Mizzou Aquatic Center to improve their record to 5-0 on the season.

The Missouri men earned a 190.5-109.5 win over the Gators.

The 5-0 start is the best for the program since the 2003-04 season when the Gators won their first five duals to start off the year.

Florida swimming is outscoring their opponents by a tally of 995.5-491.5 over this current win streak.

Eleven event victories by nine different Gators paced Florida to their first conference win of the season, led by a pair of wins by Leah Braswell and Ashley McCool.

Braswell carried the momentum from her two-win effort against Minnesota to Columbia as the sophomore again picked up two victories, highlighted by a season-best 500 free swim of 4:46.38. The swim is the fourth-fastest across the nation this year. She would take the top spot in the 200 free as well with an effort of 1:47.13.

McCool, named the SEC Women’s Diver of the Week for the second consecutive week on Tuesday, swept the diving events for the fourth time this season. The junior posted a season-best on the 3-meter with a score of 344.78 and hit the top score on the 1-meter with a tally of 293.93.

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Florida Swimming Splashes

  • Kelly Fertel won the 200 IM with the fifth-fastest time in the nation of 1:58.76, which marks a season-best. She also posted a runner-up bid in 200 fly with a new personal-best swim of 1:59.73.
  • Rosie Zavaros was the second Gator to finish with a new career-best time, hitting the wall in 1:54.94 in the 200 back. She cut almost a full-second from her previous best at last year’s SEC Championships.
  • The Gators finished led the 1,000 free with the top three finishes, highlighted by Taylor Ault’s first win of the season. Ault finished in 9:51.83 with Georgia Darwent behind her with a swim of 9:53.85. Savanna Faulconer rounded out the top finishers in third with a time of 9:54.11.
  • Allie Piccirillo earned her third victory of her freshman season as she hit the wall in the 200 fly in 1:59.37, beating out Fertel by .36 seconds.
  • Sherridon Dressel continued the strong start to her year with a victory in the 100 fly. She would hit the wall in 53.74 seconds. She also added a runner-up nod in the 100 back (52.35).
  • Vanessa Pearl’s victory came in the 200 breast (2:11.60). This is her seventh win through the first five meets. The sophomore also added a third-place finish in the 100 breast with a swim of 1:02.26.
  • Elizabeth Perez posted a third-place finish in the 3-meter with a season-best score of 282.90
  • In addition to Braswell’s season-best in the 500 free, Ault and Kathleen Golding also posted their best swim of the season and rounded out the top-three finishers of the event.

Florida Swimming Relay Magic

The Florida swimming 400 free relay squad of Dressel, Talia Bates, Gabby Hillis and Garofalo beat the rest of the field by almost four seconds in the last event of the meet. The group was led by Hillis with the best split of 48.99.

In the 200 medley relay, the Gators had the second and third place finishers.

Dressel, Pearl, Bates and Garofalo would combine for the second-fastest combined swim of 1:38.98 while the group of Emma Ball, Fertel, Golding and Hillis finished right after them in 1:39.84.

Garofalo had the fastest split by a Gator in the event, anchoring the runner-ups with a time of 22.41.


Head coach Jeff Poppell-  “We are extremely proud of the effort by our women today against a strong Missouri team. They definitely had to endure some adversity with 9.5 hours of travel yesterday, an evening arrival, and then compete at 9:30 a.m. (CT time) this morning. However, they did a fantastic job of rising above and competing tough, which should benefit us greatly at the end of the season. After two straight weeks on the road, we are looking forward to having a week off from competition before facing Georgia at home the following week. Go Gators! “

Head Diving coach Bryan Gillooly-  “The women were once again led by Ashley McCool, who is right on schedule for this time of the season. We are still working her back into shape after a summer off. I think she is realizing what she is capable of. This was her high score on 3-meter as a Gator and now we are looking to start adding some difficulty to her list. If she can stay healthy, the sky is the limit for her.”

Mizzou Head Coach Andrew Grevers
“We had a lot of fun out there getting the SEC dual meet season started. It was a close meet on the women’s side, they competed their hearts out and really followed our process. They stayed positive the whole time and I’m really pleased with their efforts.

“The men did an excellent job. Certainly we had a small advantage with us being tech-suited and them not, but our athletes focused on what they could control and implemented some great performances today. All in all we’re really pleased. We had 31 lifetime bests in our first meet and I think we’ll be about the same today, which is unprecedented for the dual meet portion of the season.”

Missouri Winners

Women’s 200 Medley Relay – Haley Hynes, Molly Winer, Sarah Thompson, Megan Keil (1:35.87)
Men’s 200 Medley Relay – Nick Alexander, Caleb Hicks, Daniel Hein, Danny Kovac (1:26.59)
Men’s 200 Free – Giovanny Lima (1:35.23)
Women’s 100 Back – Haley Hynes (52.09)
Men’s 100 Back – Daniel Hein (47.39)
Women’s 100 Breast – Molly Winer (1:01.37)
Men’s 100 Breast – Nick Staver (54.86)
Men’s 200 Fly – Micah Slaton (1:44.86)
Women’s 50 Free – Sarah Thompson (22.22)
Men’s 50 Free – Danny Kovac (20.15)
Women’s 100 Free – Sarah Thompson (49.65)
Men’s 200 Back – Nick Alexander (1:43.25)
Men’s 1-Meter – Ike Khamis (321.38)
Men’s 100 Fly – Micah Slaton (47.29)
Men’s 200 IM – Nick Alexander (1:46.52)
Men’s 3-Meter – Leonardo Garcia Varela (398.25)
Men’s 400 Free Relay – Giovanny Lima, Kyle Leach, Jack Dahlgren, Danny Kovac (2:55.21)

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Florida and Missouri. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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1 comment

  1. Jennifer Jensen Treat

    I can identify that swimmer just by her toes🥰. Proud of you always Sherridon!!!!!

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