By SwimSwam on SwimSwam

Courtesy: Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team and head coach Jeff Poppell have officially announced nine new additions to the program for the 2021-22 season.

This new class will bring immense successful to the next level of their swimming and diving careers, both in and out of the pool.

Overall, this group has been crowned a high school state champion 17 times and almost half of the class will head to Gainesville as a state record holder in an event.

On the national and international stage, the group has also garnered success as US National Team members, US Olympic Trials qualifiers and European and World Junior National Championship competitors.

Outside of the pool, six of the newest Gators were Scholastic All-Americans during their high school careers.

With eight seniors on this year’s team, the class will look to come in and contribute right away in their first year in Gainesville for the orange and blue next season.

Poppell’s thoughts on the newest Gators:

“We are extremely excited about this incoming recruiting class that features some of the best swimming and diving talent from Florida as well as several of the top-ranked recruits nationally. This group’s accolades include high school state champions, Junior National Champions, USA Swimming National Junior Team Members, and medalists at major international events. Furthermore, these young women possess great character and are very strong students in the classroom as well. We can’t wait to welcome them to our campus next Fall! “

2021 Signee Profiles

Anna Auld | West Palm Beach, Fla.
“I feel that the UF atmosphere is where I will be able to grow to be the best possible version of myself.”

  • National Junior Team Member (Open Water)
  • Three-time Scholastic All-American

­­Georgia Bates | Gainesville, Fla.

  • Five-time All-American
  • Florida State Record Holder (200 and 400 free relay)
  • Three-time Florida High School State Relay Champion
  • Two-time 4A Florida State Team Champion (Buchhoz)
  • USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
  • Winter Junior National Qualifier
  • Six-time Florida High School state finalist

Micayla Cronk | Palm Coast, Fla.
“The University of Florida has everything from academic to athletic achievements that I would like to be a part of. Although both are ranked in the top-10 in the nation, it was the coaching, team positivity and the overall welcoming environment that has drawn me to this school. Not to mention, I’ve been a Gator fan for as long as I can remember. Go Gators!”

  • USA Swimming Junior National Team Member
  • Olympic Trials Qualifier
  • Junior National Champion (200 free)
  • Seven-time Florida State Champion
  • 100 free Florida state record-holder
  • Three-time Flagler and Volusia County Athlete of the year
  • Scholastic All-American

Mary Kate Kelley | Jacksonville, Fla.
“I chose to swim for UF because of it’s outstanding academic reputation as an academic institution. I’, excited to soon be a part of their swim team and work with the coaches and team to continue their success.”

  • Two-time 100 back All-American (2019-20)
  • Two-time Scholastic All-American (2018-2020)
  • Two-time 1A Florida State runner-up in the 100 back (2019-20)
  • Five-time Junior National Qualifier
  • Six-year Florida 1A State meet qualifier
  • Two-time team captain
  • Holds three Episcopal School of Jacksonville school records

Carina Lumia | Indian Rocks Beach, Fla.
“I chose the University of Florida for their excellent academic program in pre-physical therapy and excellent athletic program. I felt right at home when I visited.”

  • Three-time NISCA All-American
  • Three-time AAU All-American
  • Seven-time USA National Qualifier
  • 12-time AAU National Qualifier
  • Three-time Florida High School State Series Champion (2018-20) and runner-up as a freshman (2017)
  • OFHS team caption (2020)
  • OFHS record-holder in the 6-dive and 11-dive
  • Qualified for the 3-meter synchro finals (2019) and the 1-meter and 3-meter semi-finals (2018) at USA Nationals
  • AAU RWB National Platform champion (2019) and 1-meter champion (2018)
  • AAU RWB Nationals second-place finisher in the 3-meter and platform (2018)
  • CAMO International Championship finalist in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform (2016-18)
  • CAMO International Championship third-place 1-meter finisher (2016)

Ekaterina Nikonova | Novoibirsk, Russia
“I am beyond excited to announce my verbal commitment to the University of Florida! I am very blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing team. All of my friends, family coach and teaches have been so supportive in this entire process and I couldn’t be more thankful to have them in my life and by my side. Go Gators!”

  • Ranked No. 9 in Collegeswimming.com’s National Recruit Rankings
  • 2019 European Junior National Championships 50 free bronze medalist
  • 2019 World Junior Championships 4×100 free relay silver medalist
  • 2019 World Junior Championships 100 free finalist

Olivia Peoples | St. Augustine, Fla.
“UF has high-end academics and athletics, plus an incredible sense of pride. It really is great to be a Florida Gator!”

  • Three-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
  • NCSA All-American
  • Four-time Florida State High School State Champion
  • 100 fly state record holder
  • National Honor Society Member
  • Mu Alpha Theta member

Ari Runnels | Woodbridge, Va.
“I chose the University of Florida because of its exceptional academic and athletic standards and great coaching staff. I feel that this and close-knit feel of the team are the best fit to push me to be the best version of myself in and out of the water.”

  • Ranked as the ninth-best prospect in Virginia by CollegeSwimming.com
  • Virginia 6A 100 back champion (2020)
  • Eight-time Virginia 6A state finalist
  • Virginia 6A 100 back and fly regional champion
  • Scholastic All-American
  • PVS Scholar-Athlete
  • Two-time All-MET selectee
  • NCSA Junior National record holder in the 200m medley relay
  • 2019 NCSA Junior National Champion in the 50 back
  • 2019 NCSA Junior National Champion in the 200m and 400 medley relay

Brooke Zettel | Holly Springs, NC
“I chose UF for the amazing academic and athletic environment and support! Also, for the extraordinary facilities and team culture!

  • Olympic Trials Qualifier
  • North Carolina High School Swimmer of the Year
  • Two-time 4A North Carolina High School State Champion
  • North Carolina High School All-Decade Team
  • Three-time Conference Swimmer of the Year
  • Futures High Point award winner
  • National Relay Age Group record-holder
  • USA Swimming Scholastic All-American

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Source: Swimming – SwimSwam