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Monday, March 04, 2024
<p>UF head coach Gregg Troy (right) and associate head coach Jeff Poppell (left) celebrate during Florida's 183-117 win against Tennessee on Jan. 28, 2017, in the O'Connell Center.</p>

UF head coach Gregg Troy (right) and associate head coach Jeff Poppell (left) celebrate during Florida's 183-117 win against Tennessee on Jan. 28, 2017, in the O'Connell Center.

Between the All-Florida Invitational and a double meet with Texas and Indiana, the Gators had 25 days of rest. For their next competition, they got four.

UF’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will face the Crimson Tide at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Florida is looking to shake off its struggles from last weekend’s Texas/Indiana meets, when the Gators picked up just one win out of a possible four.

“We put up some good performances against some really top-tier teams,” coach Gregg Troy said in a release. “No one remembers what happens in October when we get to March, so we just need to learn and improve.”

The meet against Alabama will be both teams’ first meets on the road, where the Gators struggled last year. UF’s men’s team went 4-5 on the road in individual meets, while the women’s team went 4-7.

It will also be the first time Florida races Alabama since the 2013-14 season, when the UF men’s team won with a score of 169-123, and its women won with a score of 179-113.

This year, the Gators enter the meet with their men’s team ranked No. 4 in the country and women’s team ranked No. 18.

For comparison, Alabama’s men’s team is currently ranked No. 13 in the nation, while its women’s team is unranked.

The Crimson Tide come into today having raced in one regular-season meet. They traveled to Cleveland, Mississippi, to race Delta State on Sept. 15 in a victory for both the men’s and women’s squads.

Just two days after Florida’s men’s and women’s teams race against Alabama, the Gators will come back to Gainesville to host the Georgia Bulldogs, another SEC rival.

“It’ll be busy, but it’s what we like to do,” sophomore Kelly Fertel said. “We’ll go to Alabama, come back, have a home meet with Georgia, which will be another good one. It’s exciting stuff, and I don’t think we mind, necessarily. It’s just another opportunity.”

Assistant coach Leah Stancil looks at both meets as a way to hone skills for the teams.

“Racing tough, being aggressive, swimming races correctly in terms of splits,” Stancil said, “it’ll help us with our feedback in terms of training.”

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You can follow River Wells on Twitter @riverhwells, and contact him at rwells@alligator.org.

UF head coach Gregg Troy (right) and associate head coach Jeff Poppell (left) celebrate during Florida's 183-117 win against Tennessee on Jan. 28, 2017, in the O'Connell Center.

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