Florida women’s swimming finishes ninth at NCAA – ESPN 98.1 FM

Florida’s number six women’s swimming and diving team finishes the 2023 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in their highest spot since the 2014-15 season. In ninth place at the end of the four-day event, the Gators earned 16 All-American honors.

There were 17 women who helped Florida score their 179 points to end a highly decorated season. Anna Auld, Talia Bates, Micayla Cronk, Camille DeBoer, Zoe Dixon, Kathleen Golding, Nina Kucheran, Katie Mack, Tylor Mathieu, Hayden Miller, Ekaterina Nikonova, Olivia Peoples, Amanda Ray, Aris Runnels, Emma Weyant, Mabel Zavaros and Maha Amer competed in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Last day on the national stage 🐊#GoGators pic.twitter.com/c71WnpGDvq

— Gators Swimming and Diving (@GatorsSwimDv) March 18, 2023

Day 1: All-American Honor Relay

Session 1 started Wednesday evening with the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay. Ekaterina Nikonova, Talia Bates, Tylor Mathieu and Micayla Cronk took sixth place in the 800m relay with a time of 6:57.22. With the third-fastest time in program history, the relay team also earned All-American honors.

Ekaterina Nikonova, Talia Bates, Tylor Mathieu and Micayla Cronk all earn All-American status after finishing sixth in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 6:57.72! 🐊#GoGators pic.twitter.com/oIgyVz0mxY

— Gators Swimming and Diving (@GatorsSwimDv) March 15, 2023

Day 2: Beginning of the individual events

Individual events began Thursday, and Emma Weyant started the day strong posting a time of 4:38.46 in the 500 freestyle to finish sixth and earn All-American honors. This was only Weyant’s fourth encounter as a Gator. Mabel Zavaros and Tylor Mathieu qualified for the 500m freestyle B final and earned honorable mention All-Americans.

Nikonova, Bates, Katie Mack and Cronk finished seventh overall at the end of the night in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:27.31. Again, the Gators earned All-American honors for the back-to-back stint.

Maha Amer also competed in her individual events on Thursday, starting with the 1 meter. Finishing 12th overall, she scored a 304.85 and was an honorable mention All-American, her second consecutive season to receive this honor.

Florida moved up to seventh place overall after day two.

Maha ➡ All American!

Amer finishes fourth in 1-meter B final at 304.85 🐊#GoGators pic.twitter.com/IBrbm94Kq7

— Gators Swimming and Diving (@GatorsSwimDv) March 16, 2023

Day 3: Record stint

Friday brought a highlight to the championship game for the Gators. Aris Runnels, Nina Kucheran, Olivia Peoples and Cronk not only picked up another All-American honor, but also a school record. The 400m medley relay team finally broke the school record with a time of 3:28.36, having swum the second-fastest time at the SEC championships last month.

Weyant was third and Zavaros followed with fourth in the 400 IM. Both women earned All-American honors. Dixon received an honorable mention in the same event.

Recording her first All-American honors of her career, Olivia Peoples swam a 52.04 in the 100 butterfly. Aris Runnels also earned his first career All-American honor after swimming a 51.76 in the 100 backstroke. Nikonova swam the 200 freestyle to place 13th and received her third All-American honor of the week.

Late night record 3! 🐊💥#GoGatiors pic.twitter.com/Q2sw2x2ts7

— Gators Swimming and Diving (@GatorsSwimDv) March 18, 2023

3️⃣ All-American Distinctions at the 400 QNI! 🐊⭐

400 IM Finals:
3. Emma Weyant – 4:03.50
4. Mabel Zavaros – 4:04.08

11. Zoe Dixon – 4:06.92#GoGators pic.twitter.com/zvvriuwr4r

— Gators Swimming and Diving (@GatorsSwimDv) March 17, 2023

Last day: Senior Nikonova takes school record home

The fourth and final day of competition ended on a high note with Nikonova breaking the school record in the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:06.55 and placing 13th in the country. The senior will walk away with the 100 and 200 breaststroke records, winning both in a single season.

Nikonova joined Bates, Mack and Cronk in the 400 freestyle relay to earn All-American honors and eighth place.

Weyant won another All-American after his 1650 free time of 16:01.59, which was also a personal best.

What a swim for Nina! 🐊⭐💥

School record ✅
All-American ✅#GoGators pic.twitter.com/tf00VS20Fa

— Gators Swimming and Diving (@GatorsSwimDv) March 18, 2023

The standings after Saturday ended with Virginia winning the NCAA title. Texas followed in second and Stanford in third.

The Florida men’s swimming and diving team will travel to Minneapolis for their NCAA championships March 22-25.


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