After closing the books on the 2017 portion of the season, the (RV/No. 19) Florida State swimming and diving teams are ready to welcome 2018 with a challenging January slate. The Noles will start off the new year traveling to Gainesville, Fla., to face (No. 19/6) Florida in the annual Fresh From Florida Sunshine State Showdown on Friday.

“We’re looking forward to a great meet,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “Florida is obviously a very tough team. After the break and a few days of weather, we are excited to get back to racing and begin working on our final preparations for championship season.”

The Showdown

The meet will be held at the Stephen C. O’Connell center on Jan. 5. Both men’s and women’s 1-meter diving will begin at 3:30 p.m. and swimming will follow at 5 p.m. Women’s 3-meter will take place at 5:45 p.m. and men’s 3-meter will start at 6:15 p.m.

In addition to diving, the meet will follow the 16 event format, including, the 1000, 500 and 50 free, along with the 200 IM in addition to 100s and 200s of each stroke and the 200 medley and 400 free relays.

The contest will be streamed live on the SEC Network extra and live results will be available on meet mobile and through the Florida Gators swimming and diving twitter (@GatorsSwimDv).

The Series

Florida State has three women’s wins in program history, with the most recent victory coming in Tallahassee on November of 2012, 157-143. Since then the Seminoles have suffered several close losses, including the following dual by six points (153-147) in 2014.

In Studd’s first meet at the helm on Oct. 16, 2016, the Seminoles dropped a hard-fought contest in Tallahassee, 157-143.

The men are 24-56 in the all-time series against Florida dating back to 1956. The last Florida State victory was during the 2010-11 season when the Noles dominated the Gators, 184-116 on a chilly night in Tallahassee at the Morcom Aquatics Center.

Gearing Up for The Second Battle in 2017-18

Florida State started the year off competing at the All Florida Invite back in September, where both teams finished second behind Florida.

The women’s team was fueled by four of five relay victories, a pair of individual victories from senior sprinter Alexi Smith in addition to dominant diving and finished the meet just 70 points behind the Gators.

On the Noles

As a team, this is the first action since the Georgia Tech Invite which took place from Nov.16-18, however, FSU had individuals compete at the USA Diving Winter Nationals and the European Championships prior to the team’s training trip.

The men’s team (3-2) is currently ranked 19th in the CSCAA poll and the women (3-4) received votes.

On Florida

The 19th-ranked women’s team enters the contest 2-3 with victories over No. 20 Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast.  The Gators also finished second at the Purdue Invitational (Nov.16-18) well behind No. 10 Indiana.

The men’s team is currently ranked sixth-nationally, behind a 3-1 record with wins over No. 2 Texas, No. 16 Alabama and No. 12 Georgia. The Gators also won the Purdue Invitational over No. 4 Indiana, Virginia Tech and Purdue.

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Courtesy of Christa Salerno