The No. 9 University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team and No. 13 men’s squad return to the pool Saturday morning for the Gators’ annual Senior Day against SEC opponent No. 7/7 Auburn at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium. Doors open at 9 a.m., with senior recognitions at 9:30 a.m. and dual competition set to begin at 10 a.m.
Admission is free to the event. Spectators for the meet against Auburn are encouraged to park in the North Lot adjacent to the O’Connell Center, and enter through Gate 2. The first 250 fans to arrive will receive Florida swimming and diving sunglasses.
Florida students that are registered as Rowdy Reptiles can earn four valuable Rowdy Reptile Points by bringing their Gator1 I.D. to the marketing table located in the Gate 2 lobby of the O’Connell Center.
FloridaSwimNetwork.com is providing a live stream of the meet, which will begin at 10:00 a.m. The broadcast will go live on GatorVision and begin at 9:45 a.m. ET for subscribers. It will also air on Sun Sports on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 10:30 a.m.
“It’s always a good series against Auburn,” explained head coach Gregg Troy. “It seems to have gone back and forth from year-to-year in favor of the home team, but regardless of that fact, it’s always a hard fought meet from either end.”
Saturday morning’s tilt with the Tigers is the 38th in program history for the men’s squad and 31st for the women. Both the men and women lead the series, 22-16 and 19-12, respectively. For the past two years, both teams have pulled away with two wins, and two losses. In last year’s matchup in Auburn, Ala., the Tigers captured both wins, defeating the men 167-133 and women 165-135. However, it was two years ago when Auburn traveled to Gainesville that Florida left the pool with two notches in the victory column.
The Gators haven’t suffered a defeat to the Tigers at home since Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008 when the men dropped a 165-135 decision to the SEC foe. Over the past six years, the women have split the series even at 3-3, with their last loss at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium on Jan. 21, 2006.
“Whenever we swim against Auburn, you’re in for a great meet with great intensity, great racing, great talent and even better competition,” remarked Troy.
The No. 9 Gator Women currently own a 6-1 record (2-1 SEC) with their lone loss of the season to No. 1 Georgia. Auburn will be the 11th ranked opponent that Florida has faced on the year, as they have successfully tackled Michigan, Stanford, LSU, Arkansas and Florida State in dual competition. U.S. National Team members Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) and Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) blaze the way for the women with league-leading times in the 200 back (1:53.20) and 200 fly (1:55.82), respectively.
Auburn heads to Gainesville after a tremendous showing against Texas. The women’s squad (4-1, 1-1 SEC) defeated No. 4 Texas with a strong performance by this week’s National Swimmer of the Week, senior Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, who won each of her four events against the Longhorns, and holds the league’s top-times in the 50 free (21.77) and 100 free (46.99).
While the Gator men (4-0-1, 1-0-1 SEC) dropped in the CSCAA’s latest poll to No. 13, they are led by a young group of swimmers in four-time SEC Freshman of the Week honoree Matt Elliott (Peoria, Ill.) and sophomores Connor Signorin (East Windsor, N.J.) and Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland). Each of the young Gators carries a top-time in the SEC with Elliott owning the 200 breast (1:57.79), Signorin the 400 IM (3:47.28) and Cieslak the 200 fly (1:43.62).
Although the No. 7 Auburn men (3-1, 1-0 SEC) fell to No. 2 Texas, they enter tomorrow’s meet with six conference-leading times in individual events. Junior Kyle Owns holds three of those times in the 100 back (46.54), 200 back (1:44.28) and 200 IM (1:54.04), while senior Drew Modrov leads the conference in the 50 free (19.67) and sophomores Marcelo Chierighini and Zane Grothe lead all SEC swimmers in the 100 (42.87) and 1,000 free (9:01.75), respectively.
Additionally, the men’s squad from Auburn carries the top conference times in all five relay events.
“We’ve been out for about six weeks now – this is real swimming. All the work that we did is going to come through this weekend,” said Troy.
Courtesy of UF Sports Information