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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
<p>UF coach Gregg Troy encourages his swimmers during Florida’s meet against Auburn on Jan. 23, 2016, in the O’Connell Center.</p>

UF coach Gregg Troy encourages his swimmers during Florida’s meet against Auburn on Jan. 23, 2016, in the O’Connell Center.

After a 25-day break, the Florida men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will face the Texas Longhorns and the Indiana Hoosiers on Friday and Saturday in the O’Connell Center.

The Gators, after placing first in the All-Florida Invitational for the eighth consecutive year, haven’t been completely idle during their break. On Oct. 7, both teams held their annual awards banquet to honor the team members for their athletic performances, academic achievements and leadership.

The Giovanni Linscheer award, given to the swimmer who “contributed the most to the overall success of the team,” was awarded to Jan Switkowski on the men’s team and Hannah Burns on the women’s team. The Skip Foster Award, given to the most valuable swimmer, went to Caeleb Dressel on the men’s team and Savanna Faulconer on the women’s team.

Both UF teams were also ranked in the CSCAA-TYR preseason poll. The men were ranked No. 4, and the women were ranked No. 18. Last year, the men’s team ended the season tied for No. 5 with Stanford, while the women’s team finished No. 20.

The Gators will see tough competition this weekend, with both the men’s and women’s teams facing ranked opponents. Three-time defending men’s champions

Texas heralds a top-three program on both teams, with its men ranked No. 2 in the nation and its women ranked No. 3. Indiana also boasts impressive teams, with its men’s team ranked No. 6 in the nation and its women’s team ranked No. 10. Last year, the Hoosier men’s team swept the board, defeating the Gators 181-100 on Day 1 and 204-77 on Day 2. The women’s team excelled as well, defeating Florida 150-131 on Day 1 and 183-98 on Day 2. The Gators were defeated by Texas in both of their matchups.

There is also a key difference in how the event will work this year. Last year, the swimmers competed in a long course meters pool, or a pool 50 meters in length, on the first day, and a short course yards pool, or a pool 25 yards in length, on the second day. This year, however, the Texas/Indiana tri-meet will exclusively feature short course yards swimming this time around.

“I’m excited for this meet. Texas and Indiana are high caliber teams,” sophomore Kelly Fertel said. “I think we’re definitely looking forward to improving as a team. Last year we came short of our goals, so this year we’re very motivated to succeed.”

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

UF coach Gregg Troy encourages his swimmers during Florida’s meet against Auburn on Jan. 23, 2016, in the O’Connell Center.

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