S&D: It’s Dawgs vs. Gators in Gainesville Starting Tonight

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S&D: It’s Dawgs vs. Gators in Gainesville Starting Tonight

Jack Bauerle
Jack Bauerle

University of Georgia swimming and diving remains on the road this week for its annual matchup with Florida. The Bulldogs and Gators will open their Southeastern Conference meet with a 1-meter diving competition on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, followed by the full meet on Friday at 11 a.m.

Live coverage of the meet will be available Friday on SEC Network Plus. Fans can follow along with live results posted on the MeetMobile app.

For the No. 12 Georgia women (3-0, 1-0 SEC), this will be the 34th all-time meeting with No. 1 Florida, with the Lady Bulldogs holding an 18-15 advantage in the series. For the 14th-ranked men (3-0, 1-0 SEC), this will be the 86th matchup, with Florida leading 63-19-3. In last year’s meeting in Athens, the Gators swept the Dawgs, with the women narrowly falling, 158-142, and the men dropping a 166-132 decision.

The Lady Bulldogs will face a tough challenge with the nation’s top team, but strong early performances illustrate a promising squad. Junior Courtney Harnish posted 48 combined points at North Carolina and Duke as she won five individual races. Harnish has placed first in both the 200 and 500 freestyle in all three of Georgia’s meets, in addition to a win in the 1000 free at Duke.

In the breaststroke, Georgia carries a solid duo in freshman Zoie Hartman and junior Danielle Della Torre. Hartman was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time Tuesday after winning the 100 breast, 200 breast, and 200 IM at North Carolina with B-cut times. Della Torre continued the winning ways at Duke as she swept the breaststroke events.

Meanwhile, sophomore Dakota Luther has prevailed in the 200 butterfly in each of her three outings, including B-cut times at Alabama and Duke. Seniors Veronica Burchill and Meryn McCann, along with juniors Gabi Fa’amausili and Olivia Anderson all posted wins on the road trip, while senior diver McKensi Austin won two events and scored in an additional two.

For the Bulldog men, junior Camden Murphy has dominated in the butterfly, going six-for-six this season in the 100 and 200. Fellow juniors Jack Dalmolin and Greg Reed turned in excellent performances with each winning two races at Duke, while senior Clayton Forde placed in the top three in five events, including a win in the 400 IM at Duke.

Junior Grant Norgan produced his strongest weekend as a Bulldog with three wins, including back-to-back victories in the 200 free, while sophomore Andrew Abruzzo cracked the school’s top 10 with his winning time in the 1000 freestyle at UNC. In the backstroke, freshman Harry Homans earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors as he swept the 200 back and took first in the 100 at UNC. At the well, junior Zachary Allen posted a zone-qualifying score of 362.78 in the 3-meter, finishing in second place and nearly topping his career-high.

Florida enters this weekend’s meet off a two-week hiatus following a road meet at Missouri, in which the women won, 176-124, while the men fell, 190.5-109.5. The Gator women are led by senior Sherridon Dressel, a First-Team All-American who holds the third-best time nationally in the 100 backstroke and sixth-best in the 50 back. Sophomore Leah Braswell is second in the 1000 freestyle and fifth in the 500, setting up a terrific matchup with Harnish in those races. On the men’s side, sophomore Kieran Smith ranks second in both the 200 IM and 200 freestyle, while junior Clark Beach is third in the 200 backstroke.

Following this weekend’s action, Georgia will take a two-week break from competition before heading to Knoxville for the Tennessee Invitational beginning on Thursday, Nov. 21.

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