Vols, Gators set for top-10 battle
Notes: DIII power Kenyon rounds out regular season
Amy Hughes, NCAA.com
No. 7 Tennessee travels to No. 5 Florida for what looks to be one of the nation’s best dual meets this weekend. It will be Senior Day in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday when the Volunteers will look to avenge last year’s 164-133 loss to the Gators in Knoxville, Tenn. That loss was the first for UT in the two-year history of the Allan Jones Aquatic Center.
The Gators have won seven of their last eight Southeastern Conference dual meets, dating back to the 2008-09 season. The squad has an NCAA-leading three current swimmers who were named to the 2011 FINA World Championship U.S. roster.
Tennessee is coming off a big weekend, when it posted dual meet wins against then-No. 11 Georgia 168-132 and then-No. 12 Indiana 176-123.5. UT senior Michael Wright was named the SEC Diver of the Week following a win on the 3-meter board and a second-place finish on 1-meter to junior teammate Ryan Helms. It was Wright’s third SEC honor of the season, as he helped the Vols move up three spots in the latest CSCAA poll.
Florida will play host to the 2011 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships, also at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, on Feb. 11-19.
Need to Know
• Division III’s top team for the last three decades, Kenyon finished second in a quad meet last weekend behind Division I Oakland. Ashland took third and Cincinnati finished fourth. The Lords finish their 2010-11 dual meet season on Saturday with a home dual against Wittenberg.
• Texas head coach Eddie Reese recently underwent heart surgery to open a blocked coronary artery. The 69-year-old coach is in his 33rd year at UT and was also named as a coach for the U.S. men at the 2011 World Championships this July. Reese is back at practice for the Longhorns.
• Ryan Garr of Clark University was named the Worchester City Championships Male Swimmer of the Meet for a second consecutive year and was selected as the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Men’s Swimmer of the Week. He set a meet record in the 200 IM (2:00.06), nearly two tenths faster than the previous record. He also won both the 100 and 200 backstrokes and participated in Clark’s first-place 400 medley relay team while swimming anchor on the second-place 200 medley relay.
• Garr shared conference honors with WPI senior Lee Chaing, who won the 50 freestyle in 21.95, setting a meet record at the Worchester City Championship. Earlier in the week, Chaing swept the 50 free (21.81) and 100 free (48.18) in the Engineers’ loss to Wheaton.
• Grinnell freshman Michael Brus posted four Midwest Conference-leading performances at the Grinnell College Invitational last week when he won the 100 free (48.09), 200 back (1:56.07) and 400 IM (4:15.58). He also had a second-place finish in the 500 free (4:45.30) and participated on four runner-up Pioneer relay teams.
• Whitaker Davis of Gustavus Adolphus was named the MIAC Athlete of the Week after leading the Gustie men to a team victory at the Grinnell Invitational. Davis won four individual events, setting pool records in each, and contributed to three relay wins that all set pool records. Davis won the 200 free (1:45.24), 500 free (4:40.32), 1,650 free (16:50.55) and 200 butterfly (2:01.94). His relay teams included the 400 free relay (3:35.47), 800 free relay (7:15.91) and 400 medley relay (3:35.47). As a team, Gustavus finished first, ahead of host Grinnell and Luther College.
• The top of the CollegeSwimming.com/CSCAA Division I poll had a shake-up this week. California vaulted from fourth to the new No. 1, followed by Stanford, Auburn, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, Southern California, Georgia and Virginia. Texas was the previous No. 1, while Arizona was the previous No. 2.
• Cal moved up based on a 50-point dual meet win against Arizona last weekend.
• Division II and III schools are concluding their dual meet seasons this weekend with conference championships scheduled for early February.