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Monday, June 17, 2024
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The Florida-Florida State rivalry will take on a different look Friday.

This installation of UF vs. FSU will feature orange and blue and garnet and gold swim caps instead of helmets, as the two schools will hit the pool at 2 p.m. for the annual Sunshine Showdown.

The Gators’ No. 9 men’s team (5-1) is looking to extend its eight-meet win streak against the No. 15 Seminoles. UF is 58-23-1 all-time against FSU.

UF’s No. 1 women’s squad (6-0) has the opportunity to improve upon its stellar 43-3 all-time record against No. 20 FSU.

Here’s what to look out for from the men and women in the Gators’ last dual meet of 2019:

Women try to extend streak

UF’s women’s team has a 10-meet win streak against FSU, and it has a real chance to extend its winning record to start the 2019-20 season. 

Some athletes that will provide Florida with a chance to win include long-distance swimmer Leah Braswell, sprinter Bella Garofalo and diver Elizabeth Perez.

Braswell is coming off of a personal-best swim in the 1,000 free at 9:45.74, while Garofalo claimed a win in the 50 free and a runner-up performance against Georgia.

Perez shined in place of the injured Ashley McCool with wins in the 1- and 3-meter diving events.

“They are definitely a formidable opponent,” coach Jeff Poppell said of the Seminoles. “They have some swimmers that are gonna score at the NCAA championships with some of the best times in the country.”

Award-clad men

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Friday’s men’s meet between UF and FSU will feature athletes who have earned some early-season hardware.

UF’s Kieran Smith posted the fastest 200 free time in the nation against Georgia en route to SEC Men’s Swimmer of the Week honors. 

FSU’s Joshua Davidson is a two-time ACC Men’s Diver of the Week award winner after sweeping diving events against Duke and Minnesota.

Both athletes have the opportunity to pick up points for their respective teams.

The Gators are also hoping to repeat their sprint swimming success against FSU after posting sweeps in the 50 free, 100 breast and 100 fly against Georgia.

Sprint coach Steve Jungbluth credits his swimmers’ success to experience and toughness.

“If you really want to be a great sprinter at this level, you have to have the ability to go 100 percent,” he said. “You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable, and not everyone has the capability to do that.”

Follow Dylan O'Shea on Twitter @dylanoshea24. Contact him at doshea@alligator.org

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