This week, the Georgia Bulldogs are the only SEC swim team in action, hosting the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Athens, while ACC swimming action includes NC State and North Carolina hosting the powerhouse Texas Longhorns.
The Bulldogs are weaker than their usual high standard, with Chase Kalisz and Olivia Smoliga having finished their NCAA eligibility last year year, but Georgia will still be a challenge for the Yellow Jackets with seniors Chelsea Britt, Meaghan Raab and Jay Litherland still in tow.
That said, Georgia Tech does have its strongest men’s team in several years, with freshmen Caio Pumputis and Albert Zhi joining returners Moises Loschi and Rodrigo Correia. Dual meets don’t always follow script, so there is some small potential for upset here.
As for the Texas meets in the Triangle area, both the Longhorn men and Wolfpack women will be looking to right the ship after losses last weekend: Texas’ men fell to Texas A&M for the first time in 55 years, while the NC State women were uncompetitive in dual meets at Stanford and then at Cal.
This year marks the third straight Texas and NC State have matched up, and while the Texas women should have no trouble getting a third straight win against NC State, the men’s meet should be compelling. Consider: Texas is licking its wounds from last weekend, while NC State did score a big upset win when the two teams faced off in Austin last year.
And even with Jack Conger, Will Licon and Clark Smith graduated, Joseph Schooling, John Shebat and co. will be a very tough matchup for Ryan Held, Justin Ress and the Wolfpack.
Of course, whatever happens at Casey Natatorium Friday afternoon, the Texas men know dual meet wins only mean so much. Even after a loss to the Wolfpack last year, the Longhorns still won the NCAA title by almost 200 points come March.
North Carolina, meanwhile, hosts Texas a day later, one week after the Tar Heel freshman class and senior Caroline Baldwin keyed a pair of upsets over Virginia Tech.
Elsewhere in the ACC, Louisville will be in Charlottesville for a two-day tri-meet against the Virginia Cavaliers and the Princeton Tigers, while Notre Dame, along with Cincinnati, visits in-state dynamo Indiana.
- Georgia Tech at Georgia, 4 p.m. Wednesday
- Notre Dame & Cincinnati at Indiana, 2 p.m. Thursday
- Louisville & Princeton at Virginia, 10 a.m. Friday & 9 a.m. Saturday
- Texas at NC State, 4 p.m. Friday
- Texas at North Carolina, 12 p.m. Saturday