Tennessee’s swimming and diving teams found tough going in Gator country on Saturday as both the men’s and women’s squads fell to highly-ranked Florida.
On the men’s side, the No. 2 Gators whipped the No. 15 AquaVols, 143-93. The Lady Vols fell by a nearly-identical score to the third-ranked Florida women’s squad, 145-93.
“We did what we wanted to do in terms of coming down here and standing up and racing against these guys,” women’s coach Dan Colella said. “We are real pleased with the performances. This meet gave us a chance to get familiar with the facilities, as we get ready for SECs.”
Men’s coach John Trembley shared Colella’s sentiments.
“The kids raced and competed well, and I am very pleased,” Trembley said. “We never like going into Gainesville and coming away with a loss. We were flat in a couple of areas and have much preparation still to do for the SEC and NCAA championships.”
The meet was a chance for the Vols to familiarize themselves with the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium, which will host the SEC Championships Feb. 11-13 (diving) and Feb. 16-19 (swimming).
Diver Jevon Tarantino got the meet off to a good start for UT, taking the 1-meter title with a score of 325.57. Lauren LeRoy and Brittany Fulmer took second and third, respectively, for the Lady Vols.
UT’s men also took first in the 200-yard medley relay in 1 minute, 29.93 seconds.
But it would be tough going for the men the rest of the day, as they only took first in three more events.
Casey Dauw won the 200y individual medley in 1:51.62, Tyler Gustafson took first in the 100-yard freestyle (45.19) and the AquaVols’ “A” squad hit the wall in 1:23.95 to win the 200-yard freestyle relay.
On the women’s side, Julia Stowers took first in the 1,000y freestyle in 9:50.19 for the Lady Vols’ first win of the day, then picked up her second win in the 500y freestyle with an NCAA “B” qualifier of 4:50.04.
Christine Magnuson picked up a “B” qualifier of her own with a winning time of 1:49.10 in the 200-yard freestyle.
The Vols and Lady Vols took first- and second-place points in the 200-yard freestyle relay — the final event of the day — as Florida swam the event as an exhibition.
Tennessee’s men will host North Carolina State on Saturday as the AquaVols’ seniors will compete in their final home meet. The Lady Vols are finished with their regular season, and will return to action at the SEC Championships.