Gators sports recap: Swim teams sweep SEC titles, Softball wins, Gymnasts lose to LSU

Ainslie Lee
The Gainesville Sun

As the winter-season sports wind down and the spring-season sports start their seasons, it makes for busy, busy weekends across the Florida Gators sports scene.

From Friday to Sunday, 11 different Florida athletic programs were involved in 20 different events.

It's a lot to keep up with. Here's what you might've missed.

Gators' swim teams sweep SEC titles

Out in College Station, Texas, Florida's men and women's swimming and diving teams were partying like it was 1993 Saturday night, which was the last time both programs claimed the SEC title in the same year.

The No. 5 Florida Gators' men's team was crowned SEC champs for the 11th consecutive season, which marks the 44th conference title in program history − the second-most SEC titles of any program across all sports.

Meanwhile, for the first time since 2009, the Gators' women's team brought home the SEC crown, their 18th conference championship in program history.

Throughout the SEC championship meet, Florida bagged 10 gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze medals while also setting 14 records.

The men's 400 medley relay team, which was made up of Adam Chaney, Dillon Hillis, Joshua Liendo and Maguire McDuff, set a SEC and school record of 2:59.48, which is just an eyelash off the NCAA record of 2:59.22.

Meanwhile, Florida freshman Aleksas Savickas made his mark quick, breaking a SEC, meet, pool and school record in the 200 breast stroke in 1:50.08. Savickas' time also gives him the second-fastest mark in the nation.

The Gators' impressive weekend in the pool brought Florida's conference-title count to 258 − a league high.

Florida softball stays red hot, improves to 10-0 at T-Mobile Tournament

In their first weekend at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, Tim Walton and the third-ranked Gators' softball team gave Florida fans and the rest of the college softball community plenty to talk about.

Florida played five games across three days during this year's edition of the T-Mobile Tournament, which featured UConn, Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Delaware State. The Gators played UConn twice and the rest of the tournament's visitors once.

When the weekend concluded Sunday afternoon with a win over Delaware State, Florida had outscored its weekend opponents 53-12. On the season, the Gators have outscore their opponents 118-16.

While the Gators posted three more run-rule wins over the weekend, bringing their season total to eight, UConn did threaten Florida Saturday afternoon, when the Gators needed a walk-off hit off the bat of sophomore Sam Roe to secure the 4-3 win.

Florida's Sam Roe (13) with the throw to first for the out against Jacksonville University for their season home opener at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Wednesday, February 15, 2023. Florida beat the Dolphins 11-0. [Cyndi Chambers/ Gainesville Sun] 2023

Now with an average of 11.8 runs per game, the Gators boast the nation's No. 1 scoring offense.

Gators gymnastics falls on the road to LSU

Though Trinity Thomas posted her 25th career perfect 10 in another flawless effort on the beam, it wasn't enough for the second-ranked Gators as they suffered their first loss of the season at No. 8 LSU on Friday night.

Meanwhile, the Tigers posted their best mark of the season with a 198.10, outscoring the Gators by 0.125.

The slim scoring margin marks the third consecutive trip to Baton Rouge that the Gators and Tigers' match has been decided by 0.125 points or less.

Gators women's basketball gets edged by No. 5 LSU

LSU's high-powered tandem of Angel Reese and Jasmine Carson, who each posted 25 points, proved too much for the Gators as the Tigers fought their way to a 90-79 victory at Exactech Arena Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Florida senior KK Deans matched a career-high 30 points, which led all scorers. Jordyn Merritt and Ra'Shaya Kyle also finished in double-digit scoring for the Gators.

Florida Gators guard KK Deans (3) celebrates on the court after sinking a three pointer over Georgia Lady Bulldogs guard Alisha Lewis (23) in the second half. The Florida women's basketball team hosted the Georgia Bulldogs at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, FL on Sunday, January 8, 2023. The Bulldogs defeated the Gators 82-77. [Doug Engle/Ocala Star Banner]

Florida, after battling two top-five teams in back-to-back contests, now sits at 14-13 (3-11 SEC) on the year.

Florida lacrosse falls to top-ranked North Carolina

The No. 7 Gators' lacrosse team drew quite the test for its second matchup of the season as it traveled to Chapel Hill, N.C., to play the nation's top-ranked Tar Heels.

Despite a hat trick from sophomore Emma LoPinto and two other goals from Emily Heller and Danielle Pavinelli, it wasn't enough as Florida fell to 12-5, dropping the Gators to 1-1.

In goal for the Gators was Sarah Reznick, who recorded 14 saves. With her first save, Reznick tied the program record for the most consecutive games with a save at 53.

Looking ahead, the Gators have another tall task as they welcome the second-ranked Maryland Terrapins to Donald R. Dizney Stadium on Saturday afternoon.