By Dan D’Addona.
The Tennessee men are coming off of one of their biggest dual meet performances in recent years.
Now, they are looking to continue that momentum against rival No. 6 Florida. The top 25 rankings.
The No. 12 Volunteers surged to a 1-2 finish in the closing relay against Georgia last week to stunningly tie the Bulldogs 150-150.
The Vols (6-1-1) trailed by 13 points heading into the final 400-yard medley relay but split its top relay squad across two teams. The risk paid off.
The “A” team of Ryan Coetzee, Austin Hirstein, Gleb Ionichev and Kyle DeCoursey won in 2:57.61. The Vols’ “B” squad of Ty Powers, Alec Connolly, Braga Verhage and Joey Reilman narrowly out-touched Georgia’s top squad at the wall in 2:58.61.
The Tennessee men won eight of 16 events, getting most of its victories in the first half of the meet.
Redshirt junior Colin Zeng led the Vols with two victories in diving, taking the 1-meter springboard in 396.15 and the 3-meter competition in 419.85.
Additional wins on the men’s side included: DeCoursey in the 200 freestyle (1:36.54), Peter John Stevens in the 100 breaststroke (52.91), Powers in the 50 free (20.12), Alec Connolly in the 100 free (44.31) and Coetzee in the 100 butterfly (46.56). Tennessee also won the 200 medley relay to open the meet (1:25.80).
This was a huge finish and huge meet for the Volunteers, who look to continue the fast pace in a Friday meet against the Gators. The women’s meet should be just as good, which could lead to a fantastic finish leading up to the SEC Conference Championships.
There are several other SEC meets this week.
On Thursday, Missouri kicks off the week by hosting Drury for a dual meet.
On Friday, action picks up around the conference. LSU travels to Houston for a two-day meet along with Rice and Tulane.
The No. 1 Texas A&M women host SMU. Missouri will keep its busy week going by hosting a two-day invitational as does South Carolina.
Arkansas faces Kansas in a dual meet and Kentucky hosts Cincinnati.
On Saturday, in addition to the two-day meets, Vanderbilt will swim against Arkansas-Little Rock.