GAINESVILLE, Fla, October 3, THE NCAA Championship winning 1983 and 1984 Florida men's swimming and diving teams will both be honored as Florida hosts its annual swimming and diving alumni weekend on Oct. 3-5.
Festivities for the weekend include an awards banquet on Friday, Oct. 3 at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in which both teams will be honored in addition to the yearly awards to be given out to the 2002-03 men and women's swimming and diving teams.
The alumni meet takes place on Saturday, Oct. 4 at 9:30 a.m. in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center and will feature numerous former Gator greats.
The 1983 team was the first in Florida swimming history to capture the NCAA title. The Gators did so in exciting fashion by winning the final event of the championship: the 400-yard freestyle relay. Head coach Randy Reese led the squad to the title despite the fact that the Gators didn't win an individual event. Twelve Gators earned All-America honors, highlighted by freshman Patrick Kennedy, who was sixth-highest scorer at the meet with 33 points.
In 1984, the Gators won their second straight NCAA title. Again, the championship came down to the final event: the 400-yard freestyle relay. In this case, Florida needed only to finish within two spots of Texas to claim the victory, which the Gators accomplished by placing second to UCLA. Depth again was the key for Reese's team as Florida had just one individual win a title – sophomore Mike Heath. Senior Geoff Gaberino became a four-year All-American and led the Gators with 42 points at the meet.
The 2003-04 women's team kicks of its season by hosting Michigan and Florida Atlantic Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at the O'Connell Center. The men open the following day by co-hosting the Florida Invitational with the women's team. The meet is set to begin at 11 a.m.