Florida women’s swimming and diving earn wins to start off the season

Florida Gators swim team opened the 2023 season with a victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores.

The Florida women’s swimming and diving team is off to a great start after earning its first victory of the year in the season opener.

Florida out-swam the Vanderbilt Commodores, 180-75, up north in Nashville, Tennessee, while the dive team made its debut in Coral Gables to take on the Miami Hurricanes.

The Gators were victorious in every event against Vandy and were led by freshman Bella Sims and senior Isabel Ivey. Both swimmers made their debuts for the Orange and Blue, finishing in first place during three of their own events.

Ivey, a California transfer, took the top spot in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:47.44, followed by a win in the 50-meter freestyle and 200-meter IM.

Sims finished in the top spot in the 100-meter backstroke, freestyle and butterfly. The Olympic silver medalist led off the Gators in the 200-meter medley relay, which also swam her to the top of the podium.

Up next for the Gators is a home meet against the Virginia Cavaliers on Oct. 13, leaving plenty of preparation time for the Orange and Blue. Florida will then host the Georgia Bulldogs on Oct. 27.

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Florida soccer shuts out LSU Tigers to end losing streak

The Florida Gators soccer team is coming back home with a positive mentality after ending its four-game winning drought.

The Florida Gators hit the road to Baton Rouge on Friday and the soccer squad coming home with a much needed win.

Florida (5-3-3) took on the LSU Tigers (7-4-1) in enemy territory and piled up four goals while earning a shutout. The victory ended a four-game winning drought, drawing in the last match against Kentucky and losing to No. 5 FSU, LSU and Missouri.

Florida head coach Samantha Bohon was relieved her squad came together to get the big win.

“This was long overdue,” Bohon said. “Our group has done enough to win a few times in conference play and it’s not fallen our way, so I’m really happy for them to have a win like this. Wins are hard to come by, but road wins are even harder, so this is something our group should be proud of.”

The Gators scored twice in each half, two of them coming from the foot of freshman Megan Hinnenkamp. The scores are her only ones of the season, so far.

Up next for the Florida Gators is a home match with the Mississippi State Bulldogs, starting at 6 p.m. EDT and streaming on SEC Network+.

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Razorbacks swimming & diving team downs Kentucky in opener

The Arkansas swimming and diving team defeated Kentucky in its season-opening meet.

The Arkansas swimming and diving team hit the water Friday and won 10 events in its first meet of the season, knocking off Kentucky, 167.5-131.5.

Three Razorback swimmers won two events each, while the team added first and second place finishes in both, the 200-yard Medley Relay and the 400-yard Freestyle Relay.

Senior Bella Cothern picked up two first-place finishes in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle, and graduate Alessia Ferraguti notched two wins in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke. Sophomore Betsy Wizard also won two events, claiming the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly.

Freshmen swimmers Gracie Colvin and Bara Matoskova were also victorious in their first collegiate meet, as Colvin won the 100-yard backstroke and Matoskova took the 200-yard freestyle.

In the diving tank, sophomore Malea Martinez and freshman Lauren French posted second and third place finishes, respectively, as both competed in the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions. Fellow freshman Isa Perreira took fourth-place in the 3-meter event.

New-look Hogs finish third, just behind Notre Dame, Michigan State for championship

Three from Arkansas finished in the top 16 individually to help the Hogs stay near the lead until the end of the day.

The Arkansas men’s golf team had a nice start to its season this week in Michigan.

The Razorbacks ultimately finished third in the Folds of Honor Collegiate tournament, shooting an 11-over 863, just three strokes back of the event winner, Notre Dame (8-over, 860).

Three different Razorbacks finished inside the top 16 individually. John Driscoll III, a transfer from Northwestern, shot a 2-over 215 to tie him for ninth. Manuel Lozada was right behind him with a 3-over for a tie for 11th. And John Daly II moved up nine spots from the second round, finishing with a 4-over.

Coach Brad McMakin was plenty happy with the result, especially considering the roster turnover Arkansas has had since last year.

“With four new starters this year, I couldn’t be more proud of this team this week,” McMakin said. “We put ourselves in a position to win and unfortunately it didn’t go our way. We will learn from this and be better from it.”

Jacob Skove Oleson (5-over) and Mateo Pulcini (8-ever) joined the trio to form Arkansas’ five-man team.

The Razorbacks are headed to Birmingham, Alabama, from September 25-27 for SEC Match Play.

Arkansas’ next opponent gets throttled by Gus Malzahn’s UCF

Kent State will be coming to Fayetteville next weekend smarting from a 50-point setback at the hands of Central Florida.

The opening Thursday night of the college football season usually provides some twists and turns.

There were none of the sort in Orlando. Gus Malzahn’s Central Florida made light work of the Kent State Golden Flashes, 56-6.

It was 28-3 at halftime and the Golden Knights had outgained Kent State 357 to 99.

John Rhys Plumlee was 23 of 31 for 305 and three touchdowns, but did throw two interceptions for UCF.

The Golden Flashes will make their way to Fayetteville next weekend. Kickoff is tentatively slated for 3 p.m. on SEC Network.

Other games of interest included Utah handling Florida with ease and Missouri taking care of business against South Dakota.

Current and former Hogs earn three medals on final day of World Championships

In all, Arkansas took home eight medals over the course of the games.

Arkansas’ status as one of the best track-and-field programs in the nation stayed true in the last week.

On the final day of the World Championships in Hungary, former Arkansas athletes earned three more medals to close the ceremony. In all, current and ex-Hogs picked up eight totals medals, including three gold and four silver, in the games.

The final day saw Nickisha Pryce get a silver as part of Jamaica’s 4×400-meter replay team and Amber Anning grabbed a bronze in the same event with her British relay group. On the men’s side, Chris Bailey took a gold as part of the American 4×400-relay team.

Five of the eight medal winners for Arkansas were current collegians. Rosey Effiong joined Bailey as a current Razorback with gold. She earned one as part of the mixed 4×400 team, a team that set a world record.

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Arkansas signee named National Athlete of the Year

Shawnti Jackson broke the high-school 100-meter record earlier in the summer.

When Shawnti Jackson committed to Arkansas in December, the word could have just been considered another notch in the Razorbacks’ track-and-field belt.

On Monday, though, she earned an honor most to ever don a Hogs uniform only dreamed.

Jackson was named USA TODAY HSSA National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Arkansas coach Chris Johnson, who was coach-in-waiting when Jackson committed, knew what kind of runner the Razorbacks were getting.

“To sign the No. 1 sprinter in the country, with her talents in the 100-, 200- and 400-, is huge,” Johnson said in December. “We’re ecstatic and excited. Being able to secure an athlete like that not only brings attention and notoriety to your program, but interest from other high-level athletes as well.”

Since those remarks, all Jackson has done is break the national high-school record in the 100-meter dash en route to being named the best in the country. The Carolina-based sprinter ran a 10.89-second 100 in Nashville back in June.

That mark placed her in a tie for fifth all-time among Under-20 sprinters on the women’s side. The leader, by the way, is Sha’Carri Richardson, the sprinter who won the 100-meter World Championship on Monday.

Jackson has that kind of talent.

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Two Hogs in finals of pole vault at World Championships

Sandi Morris and Tina Šutej finished second and fourth at last year’s World Championships.

Monday’s results in the qualifying round of the pole vault at the World Championships were not much of a surprise for Tina Šutej and Sandi Morris.

But for Arkansas fans, it was another feather in the cap of two legends.

Both Šutej and Morris, each former Razorbacks track-and-field stars, advanced to the finals of the event Monday night. They both cleared 15-3 (4.65) to clinch the spot. Those finals will be held Wednesday night.

Šutej made each of her first three vaults on just one try. The final height, the 4.65, took three tries. Morris needed two attempts at 4.50, 4.60 and 4.65.

Morris the reigning silver medalist in the event after clearing 4.85 last year in Eugene, Oregon. Šutej finished fourth at the same event that year.

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Heartbreak for Britton Wilson at World Championships

The former Arkansas sprinter appeared to be bothered by the heat as she collapsed at the finish line.

Britton Wilson will have another chance.

The former University of Arkansas sprinter had hoped for a potential gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Hungary over the weekend in the 400-meter dash. She had, just months earlier, set the United States collegiate record.

But as she crossed the finish line in her first-round heat Sunday, Wilson collapsed. Minutes later, she was taken from the track in a wheelchair. It was unclear early Monday what caused the collapse, though heat had been issue through the week.

Something appeared to be wrong in the home-stretch. Wilson finished with a time 53.87 seconds, a mark almost five seconds slower than her record of 49.13 that she had set at the SEC Championships in the 2022-23 season with the Razorbacks.

Earlier in the day, Steven Gardiner from Bahamas had the same issue. He was also wheeled away from the track after his 400-meter run.

Wilson’s career will continue upward in the professional ranks after she finished her career with the Razorbacks in June.

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Track and Field World Championships will have 26 current and former Hogs participating

Those former Razorbacks could rake in the medals, too, if things go their way.

Arkansas is a track and field school. The Razorbacks are one of the nation’s best in the endeavor and have been for decades.

It’s no surprise, then, that Arkansas will be represented by 26 athletes at this week’s World Championships in Hungary.

Current Hogs triple-jumper Jaydon Hibbert headlines a group that also includes 12 other current Razorbacks. Other than Hibbert, Arkansas senior Ayden Owens-Delerme likely has the best chance at a medal. He finished fourth last year in the games in the heptathalon.

Two of the largest track-and-field coverage web sites tab Hibbert at the No. 2 favorite in his event. Hugues Fabrice Zango, who will compete for Burkina Faso, is predicted to win the event.

Overall, eight different nations are represented by Hogs. Eleven are from the United States, eight from Jamaica, two from Great Britain and one apiece from Bahamas, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Slovenia and South Africa.

Perhaps the most intriguing event for Arkansas fans is women’s pole vault. Former Hogs Sandi Morris is the reigning silver medalist, an prize she’s won three times at the championships, and fellow former Razorbacks athlete Tina Sutej will be competing in the event for the sixth time at the World Championships.

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