The Florida Gators will open their 2020 swimming & diving season with an October 30 road dual meet against SEC rival Georgia.
The coronavirus pandemic has so far limited the early portion of the college swimming & diving season to single-team intrasquad meets. But Florida announced today that it would be traveling to Georgia for a true intercollegiate dual meet at the end of the month. Georgia will host the meet, and Florida’s press release says that the University of Georgia is “still evaluating and determining meet day procedures, such as allowing spectators.”
The SEC has limited its fall season to two-team dual meets only, but the conference did announce last month that the competitive season could start as early as October 1. The pandemic has affected and disrupted training schedules for a number of teams, but the return of dual meets shows at least some level of normalcy to the college swimming season.
The Florida-Georgia matchup should be one of the marquee meets of the fall season. The Florida men won last year’s SEC title, with Georgia running third. On the women’s side, Florida was second and Georgia fourth, separated by less than 100 points.
Both teams have men’s recruiting classes ranked inside the top 12 nationally. We ranked the Georgia men’s freshman class #6 nationally, and it includes World Junior champion Luca Urlando. The Florida men return American record-breakers Kieran Smith and Bobby Finke. The Georgia women return SEC 500 free champ Courtney Harnish and the Florida women SEC 400 IM runner-up Vanessa Pearl.
Update: Georgia has released its full schedule, which will feature an October 23 road dual meet against South Carolina, and a stripped-down “invitational” against Florida State and Georgia Tech. Here’s the schedule, per Georgia:
2020-21 University of Georgia Swimming & Diving Schedule
Oct. 23 South Carolina Carolina Natatorium – Columbia, S.C.
Oct. 30 Florida Gabrielsen Natatorium – Athens, Ga.
Nov. 6 Auburn Gabrielsen Natatorium – Athens, Ga.
Nov. 18-20 Georgia Invitational (FSU/GT) Gabrielsen Natatorium – Athens, Ga.
Jan. 3-5 Georgia Diving Invitational Gabrielsen Natatorium – Athens, Ga.
Jan. 16 South Carolina Gabrielsen Natatorium – Athens, Ga.
Jan. 23 Tennessee Jones Aquatic Center – Knoxville, Tenn.
Feb. TBA SEC Championships Mizzou Aquatic Center – Columbia, Mo.
Feb. 27-28 Bulldog Invitational/Last Chance Gabrielsen Natatorium – Athens, Ga.
March 8-10 NCAA Zone B Diving TBA
March 17-20 NCAA Women’s Championships Greensboro Aquatic Center – Greensboro, N.C.
March 24-27 NCAA Men’s Championships TBA