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<p class="cutlineGeneral">Caeleb Dressel rests in the water during Florida's 183-117 win against Tennessee on Jan. 28, 2017, at the O'Connell Center.</p>

Caeleb Dressel rests in the water during Florida's 183-117 win against Tennessee on Jan. 28, 2017, at the O'Connell Center.

Everyone remembers Chris Chiozza’s buzzer-beating floater from behind the three-point line to send the Gators to the Elite Eight over Wisconsin.

Everyone remembers “The Stand,” where Florida’s football team kept LSU from scoring what could have been a game-winning touchdown on the goal line.

But how about when track and field freshman Grant Holloway went from sixth place to first on the last leg of the 4x400 relays at the Pepsi Relays here in Gainesville?

People remember the Chiozza buzzer beater and “The Stand” because they involved UF's two biggest sports teams.

Holloway’s come-from-behind victory was just as big in its own way, so why weren’t people talking about that?

Just because track isn’t nearly as popular doesn’t mean that what it does isn’t as important.

We put so much emphasis on football, basketball and baseball that we sometimes forget what makes UF athletics so great: its smaller sports.

Sometimes, the lower-tier teams can be just as, if not more, exciting than UF’s premier programs.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about or are questioning what constitutes a smaller sport, I’m talking about the sports that receive little to no media attention outside of our reporters at the Alligator.

I’m talking about teams like tennis, soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, swimming and diving, etc.

And with those sports come some incredible moments.

Like Gators’ women’s tennis winning the National Indoor Championships after their lone freshman, Ingrid Neel, clinched the match. Or golfer Alejandro Tosti winning the SEC individual championship for the first time since 2009. Or swimmer Caeleb Dressel breaking an NCAA, American, U.S. Open and IU Natatorium in the 100-yard butterfly on Day 3 of the NCAAs, then breaking his own record in the 100-yard freestyle the next day.

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In total, Florida has won 241 conference championships, 195 which have come from UF’s smaller sports, and 25 of the Gators’ 36 national championships have come from those sports as well.

And as UF students, we get to go see these teams play for free.

So why not take advantage?

We get to see U.S. Olympians compete wearing the Orange and Blue for swimming and track.

We get to see some of the best college players in their respective sports competing at Donald R. Dizney Stadium for lacrosse, the Ring Tennis Complex for tennis and the O’Connell Center for volleyball.

Not too many schools can say the same.

So while you are buying your football season tickets or looking for a seat at the next men's basketball game, take some time to appreciate some of UF athletic’s finer programs.

Jake Dreilinger is assistant sports editor of the Alligator. His column will appear frequently on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can contact him at and follow him on Twitter @DreilingerJake.

Caeleb Dressel rests in the water during Florida's 183-117 win against Tennessee on Jan. 28, 2017, at the O'Connell Center.

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