Auburn Swimming & Diving Wraps Up Regular Season at Florida
Jan. 19, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. - The No. 7-ranked Auburn swimming & diving team will conclude dual meet action for the 2011-12 season this Saturday as they renew one of the SEC's oldest rivalries with No. 13/9 Florida. The meet is set for a 9 a.m. CT start at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Natatorium in Gainesville, Fla.
It will be the 32nd all-time meeting between the two men's programs and the 30th meeting in the women's all-time series. Florida leads the all-time men's series 16-15, but Auburn has won 11 out of the last 12 meetings. In the women's series, Florida leads 16-13.
"It's definitely one of those meets where you know what you're in for when you go down there," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "It's going to be a great meet. The venue is such that the spectators are right on top of the pool deck. I'm hoping that the guys will be ready to race. It's always a great meet, it really gets the adrenaline pumping, and there's always some fast swims down there."
The meet will be contested in long-course meters as both teams continue to look forward to the 2012 London Olympics, which begin in less than 200 days. It will also give Florida head coach Gregg Troy - who will serve as the U.S. Men's Olympic Team head coach in London - a chance to observe Auburn's athletes swimming long-course races.
"It's an Olympic year," Hawke said. "Gregg Troy likes to swim the long-course races, which is the Olympic format. It's just something we have to adjust to this year. It's not ideal, but it's always a good thing looking forward to the Olympic Trials. If you're looking at that, it's a great meet for us."
Auburn's men enter the meet at 3-1 overall (1-0 SEC) and ranked No. 7 in the latest CSCAA poll, looking to bounce back from a loss to No. 2 Texas last week. They enter with the top times so far this year in the SEC in six individual events - 50 free (Drew Modrov - 19.67), 100 free (Marcelo Chierighini - 42.87), 1000 freestyle (Zane Grothe - 9:01.75), 100 back (Kyle Owens - 46.54), 200 back (Owens - 1:44.28) and 200 IM (Owens - 1:45.04). The Tigers also own the league's top times in all five relays.
Florida's 13th-ranked men are 3-0-1 in dual meet action (1-0-1 SEC) with their one tie coming in an earlier long-course meet with Georgia. The Gators are led by Matt Elliott - a four-time SEC Freshman of the Week winner - with the league's top time in the 200 breaststroke, and sophomore Marcin Cieslak in the 200 fly. Sophomore Connor Signorin is also the league's best in the 400 IM.
On the women's side, senior Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace leads a 4-1 (1-1 SEC) Auburn team that is ranked No. 7 in the nation. She was named National Swimmer of the Week last week after winning all four of her events in the Tigers' triumph over No. 4 Texas. She owns the league's top times in the 50 free (21.77) and 100 free (46.99) and is second-best in the 100 fly (52.17). Sophomore Olivia Scott is the SEC's best in the 100 fly (51.86), and sophomore Emily Bos is among the league leaders in the 100 back (52.88). Senior diver Vennie Dantin has been stellar all year, winning 13 times across the three boards.
The No. 9 Gator women are 6-1 overall (2-1 SEC) with wins over LSU, Arkansas, Florida State, Stanford and Michigan to their credit; their only setback - as with Auburn - came to No. 1 Georgia. Sophomore Elizabeth Beisel leads Florida with the SEC's top time in the 200 backstroke, while senior Teresa Crippen leads the league in the 200 fly.
An order of events for Saturday's meet is listed below. Live video will be available through GatorZone.com, and fans can follow @AuburnSwimming on Twitter for updates throughout the meet.
ORDER OF EVENTS - Auburn vs. Florida (LCM)
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