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<p>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.

During Day 1 of the Texas/Indiana tri-meet at the O’Connell Center, the Florida swimming and diving team mostly lagged behind both of their opponents.

Florida’s men’s program struggled to gain any ground against Indiana during the first day of the meet, it did finish with a small lead over Texas. A swimmer or team placed first in eight of the 44 total races that took places during the event, and the Gators clocked the fastest time in three sets of heats, with Caeleb Dressel winning the men’s 50 butterfly with a time of 19.61, senior Blake Manganiello winning the men’s 1000 freestyle with a time of 9:08.17, and sophomore Khader Baqlah winning the men’s 500 freestyle with a time of 4:25.74.

"There was a lot of great racing this evening; the three top-10 teams on the men's side all raced like top-10 teams,” coach Gregg Troy said in a release. “Our performances were pretty good for this early in the year. We had some performances that were great and some that we thought could be a little better.”

The men’s team currently leads Texas 140-103, but is trailing Indiana 138-105. No one on the women’s team recorded the fastest time in a set of heats, nor did any swimmer or team win any heat. The Gators’ struggles showed on the scoreboard, as they are trailing Texas 167.50-75.50 and trailing Indiana 144-99. While coach Troy was very much aware of these struggles during the meet, he was still able to find a bright spot in the day’s events.

"For the women, they are two really good top-10 teams and we are a little behind them. Just like with the men, we had some really good swims and some that were not so good. I am really pleased with our distance freestyles on both sides,” he said.

The meet was largely controlled by both Texas and Indiana. The team events were entirely dominated by the Hoosiers, who emerged victorious in both the night’s team races; they won the men’s and women’s 200 medley relay and the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle relay.

The events took place in multiple heats, and Indiana’s swimmers had the fastest time in eight of them; the women’s 200 freestyle, the men’s 200 freestyle, the women’s 200 IM, the men’s 200 IM,, the men’s 100 freestyle, the men’s 100 backstroke, the women’s 100 breaststroke and the men’s 100 breast. The Indiana Hoosiers are currently beating Texas’ men’s team 134-109, but are trailing its women’s team 138-105.

Texas, the three-time defending NCAA champions, had seven of the fastest heat times, emerging victorious in the women’s 1000 freestyle, the women’s 50 freestyle, women’s 100 butterfly, the men’s 100 butterfly, the women’s 100 freestyle, the women’s 100 backstroke and the women’s 500 freestyle.

The tri-meet will conclude tomorrow, with the events kicking off at 10 a.m.

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

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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