Division I Meet of the Week: Florida, Tennessee Set for SEC Showdown

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Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

The Florida-Tennessee rivalry has become one of the biggest in the country and is a matchup to circle on the SEC calendar. The top-10 battle is the NCAA Division I Meet of the Week.

The Tennessee women are ranked No. 4 in the latest College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) poll. Meanwhile, Florida is No. 9 in the men’s poll, while the Volunteers are No. 12. Both women’s teams are unbeaten.

The meet begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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LAST WEEK’S DIVISION I MEET OF THE WEEK

Florida is coming off of a big senior day victory over Auburn to improve its season record to 11-0. The Gators were led by their biggest stars as Sherridon Dressel and Vanessa Pearl each won three events, plus diver Brooke Madden swept the boards.

Dressel won the 100 backstroke (52.13), the 200 back (1:53.38) and the 100 butterfly (52.81), all NCAA provisional qualifying times for the NCAA championships.

Pearl won the 400 IM (4:14.16), the 100 breaststroke (1:00.84) and the 200 breast (2:12.29), all NCAA “B” cuts.

Tennessee is coming off of a big win against Georgia. Senior Erika Brown her stellar season with three wins for the Vols. The Charlotte, N.C., native won the 200 free with a time of 1:45.18, the 100 free, (48.86) and the 100 fly in 52.22.

Meghan Small also continued her strong showing, winning the 200 IM and 100 back. Small posted a 1:58.42 in the 200 IM, and a 54.10 in the 100 back.

The relays will likely be the races of the meet with both teams having strong quartets ready for a showdown.

In the men’s meet — the Division I Meet of the Week on the men’s side — Florida is led by Kieran Smith, who put together a three-win performance helped the Gators beat Auburn on senior day. Smith would a post new career-best in his 100 free swim of 43.50 and post additional wins in the 100 back (47.96) and the 400 IM, beating the field by over two seconds.

The Volunteer men have been led by Michael Houlie, who won the 100 breast against Georgia (54.10).

The Gators have the star power, but the meet could still come down to the relays.

That is why it is the Division I Meet of the Week.

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