UF women’s swimming and diving team disappoints at NCAA Championships
The Gators women’s swimming and diving team capped off their season at the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Saturday, March 18.
The meet, a four-day event, showcased some of the best women’s collegiate swimmers in the world, and UF struggled throughout most of the competition.
“We certainly weren’t as good as what we wanted to be point-wise,” head coach Gregg Troy said in a release. “But we got a lot of experience as a really young group. I think it’s going to pay off big for them in the future. We’ve just got to go back and reevaluate and see where we are moving forward.”
On the first day of the meet, the Gators competed in their lone event, the 800-yard freestyle relay. UF’s lineup, which consisted of Kelsey Dambacher, Kelly Fertel, Sherridon Dressel and Amelia Maughan, finished 21st with a time of 7:06.85.
Leading off for Florida was Dambacher, who touched in at 1:46.26. Following Dambacher was Fertel at 1:46.97 and Dressel at 1:48.10. Maughan, however, lead the team with a split time of 1:45.52.
The second day in Indianapolis, the Gators competed in three events, the 500-yard freestyle, the 200-yard individual medley and the 50-yard freestyle, including the 1-meter dive.
In the 500-yard freestyle, the UF’s Autumn Finke and Savanna Faulconer placed 45th and 56th overall. In the opening heat, Finke placed third with a time of 4:44.81. Faulconer, who followed in heat four, placed eighth at 4:46.42.
In the 200-yard individual medley, underclassmen Hannah Burns placed 30th overall, Kelly Fertel placed 43rd overall and Sydney Sell tied in 57th overall. Capping off day two of the swimming events was Burns, who placed 52nd overall, touching in with a time of 23.06.
Florida freshman Brooke Madden then competed in the 1-meter dive, which was the last event of day 2. Madden, a native of nearby Centerville, Indiana, recorded a total score of 254.40 through six rounds, placing her 29th.
“Her improvement over the course of the year has been remarkable,” diving coach Bryan Gillooly said in a release. “The only thing she is missing, in my opinion, is experience, and that’s what she got here today.”
The Gators’ best performance came on the third day in Indianapolis. Savanna Faulconer finished 19th in the 400-yard individual medley prelims, while Emma Ball tied for 23rd in the 100-yard backstroke.
In the 100-yard butterfly, UF senior Alyssa Yambor-Maul improved her seed time by .39 seconds and placed 39th overall, despite winning the opening heat. Placing behind Ball, Sydney Sell, who placed second in heat two, placed 41st overall in the 100-yard backstroke.
Capping off the third day of the NCAA meet for the Florida was Teya Syskakis in the 3-meter dive event. Syskakis impressed coach Gillooly, placing 32nd and recording 281.15 points.
“Very solid effort today for Teya,” he said. “Her slight misses on some of her dives were the result of over-rotations, which means she wasn’t holding back. That is something to be proud of.”
On the fourth and final day of the championship, the Gators competed in the 200-yard backstroke, 200-yard breastroke, 200-yard butterfly prelims and the 1650 freestyle.
Sydney Sell finished 37th in the 200-yard backstroke prelims, touching in at 1:54.43. Kelly Fertel touched in at 2:12.92 in the 200-yard breaststroke prelims, which was good for 52nd place.
Seniors Alyssa Yambor-Maul and Autumn Finke ended their Gator careers in the 200-yard butterfly and the 1650 freestyle events. Yambor-Maul placed 37th in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:58.01, and Autumn Finke fared better than her Gator teammate, placing 25th in the 1650 freestyle.
Freshman Kay Sargent, who also competed in the 200-yard butterfly, placed 48th with a recorded time of 2:01.34.