The women’s swimming and diving team prepares to kick off the SEC Championship on Tuesday. The Gators are currently ranked No. 8 and will be traveling to Auburn to kick off the first day of the tournament.
Head Coach Jeff Poppell
Head Coach Jeff Poppell discusses the importance of the SEC Championship for the University of Florida as a whole.
For the past four years, Texas A&M has taken home the women’s title. However, the Gators men’s team has won for the past seven years straight.
Both the men’s and women’s races commence during the same week, in the same location. This, according to Coach Poppell, contributes to the excitement of the week.
To start the season the Gators were ranked number ten by the CSCAA poll, but have remained number eight since January 22.
Sophomore Vanessa Pearl sees adjustment to adversity as one of the main focuses of the championship.
She also includes that the most important solution to this adversity is a stress on recovery.
Pearl had to take time off during the season but had a notable showing in last year’s championship. She earned second place in the 400 IM, an A-cut and a personal best swim of 4:03.56. She had the third-fastest swim in the program’s history while in Athens. This season she has had 18 victories, 13 in individual races and 5 in relays. She made the B-cut for qualifying times in the 100 and 200 breaststroke as well as the 200 and 400 IM.
UF Swim as a Whole
Tuesday’s tournament will kick off at 11 a.m. with the time trials. Then, the women will compete in the 1-meter preliminaries at 11:30 a.m. The finals will commence at 6:30 p.m. and will include the 1-meter and 200 medley relay for women.
Last year, the Gators team finished second overall with only one individual title. The last time they won the SEC Championship was in 2009, which similar to this year, was held at Auburn University.