Alyssa Yambor-Maul Leads Gators to Season-Opening Win at All-Florida Invite

Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

The Florida Gators completed the season-opening invitational in Fort Lauderdale with dominant wins on the women’s and men’s sides at the All-Florida Invitational, hosted by Nova Southeastern University. Leading the way for the Gators was their crop of outstanding freshmen, including Alyssa Yambor-Maul.

Florida swept the top four spots in the women’s 1650, with freshman Georgia Darwent leading the way. She touched in 16:52.53, eight seconds ahead of senior teammate Autumn Finke (17:00.82). Two more freshmen, Makayla Sargent and Niki Urquidi, finished third and fourth, respectively. Florida’s Ben Lawless then won the men’s mile in 15:37.56, well ahead of teammate Blake Manganiello (15:43.28).

The Gators again finished 1-2 in the women’s 200 back, with Yambor-Maul edging past Darwent, 2:01.67 to 2:01.78. Maxime Rooney then dominated the field in the men’s 200 back with a 1:47.63 as the talented Gators’ freshman picked up his first individual collegiate victory.

Miami broke up the Florida dominance on the day with a 1-3 finish in the women’s 100 free. Julie Suarez finished first in 51.32, while Florida’s Sherridon Dressel edged Miami’s Iliana Oikonomou for second, 51.66 to 51.97.

Men’s 100 free American record-holder and defending NCAA champion Caeleb Dressel was held out from the meet as he continues to build back into training following the Olympic Games. In his absence, Nova Southeastern’s Thiago Sickert took first in the 100 free, well ahead of Rooney’s second-place time of 46.02.

Nova Southeastern then swept the 200 breaststrokes. First up, Malin Westman won the women’s 200 breast in 2:19.08, beating out Gator freshmen Savanna Faulconer (2:20.84) and Sargent (2:23.03). Anton Lobanov then completed the breaststroke sweep on the men’s side, touching in 2:02.96 to defeat Chandler Bray (2:03.77) by almost a second.

Yambor-Maul won her second win of the day as she crushed the field in the women’s 200 fly with a 2:01.41. Her Florida teammate Mark Szaranek then picked up the win in the 200 fly, edging fellow Gator junior Benjamin Kennedy, 1:52.21 to 1:52.90.

Miami pulled off a big win in the women’s 400 free relay, with Suarez, Oikonomou, Ianire Casarin and Angela Algee touching in 3:25.97. The Gator men then won a battle to the finish with Nova Southeastern in their 400 free relay. Rooney, Christoph MargottiEnzo Martinez Scarpe and Szaranek came in at 3:02.39, just ahead of Till BarthelVictor TarinFranco Lupoli and Sickert (3:02.58).

The final scores showed a dominant effort for the Gators. The Florida women scored 1076 points, ahead of Miami (744), Florida Gulf Coast (692), Nova Southeastern (617) and Keiser (38). It was tighter among the three teams on the men’s side as Florida outscored Nova Southeastern 1099-894, with Keiser third with 578.

Full results are available here.

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