ATLANTA – The 25th-ranked Georgia Tech men’s swimming and diving team will step out of conference this week and travel to Athens to renew its rivalry with the Univeristy of Georgia on Friday afternoon at the Gabrielson Natatorium beginning at 3 p.m.
The ranking for the Yellow Jackets in the College Swimming Coaches Association poll marks the first time Tech has appeared in the national poll.
The dual meet will mark the first time since 1994 that two in-state rivals have competed in head-to-head competition. The 12th-ranked Bulldogs hold the all-time edge in the series between the two schools by a 50-25 margin. The meet will also be the first time both teams have been ranked entering the dual meet.
Tech is coming off of a 140-101 win over NC State in Raleigh, N.C., last weekend, marking the Yellow Jackets’ first ACC win since 1999, and only the third ACC victory in the program’s history. The Jackets will put a six dual meet win streak on the line Friday and will be looking to improve on a 9-2 dual meet record, ensuring the team of its first winning record since 1992 (7-6) and the most wins in a season since 1991 (11-1).
The Jackets are led by sophomore distance specialist Shilo Ayalon (Kfar Hanassi, Israel), who turned in a stellar performance against the Wolfpack, winning the 1,000-yard freestyle in a time of 9:09.01, which smashed his own school record by over 10 seconds. The time was also the eighth-fastest in the nation this year and the second-quickest in the ACC in 2000-01. Ayalon also has the eighth-fastest time in the nation in the 1,650-yard freestyle with his time of 15:18.83, recorded earlier this year at the Georgia Invitational.
Fellow second-year performer Tomonori Tsuji (Osaka, Japan) had another solid outing at NC State as he set a new Willis Casey Aquatic Center record in the 200 breaststroke, with a time of 2:00.89, which was also the fastest by a Tech swimming this year, and 12th-best in the country this winter.
Following the matchup with Georgia, Tech will remain in Atlanta to face Emory on the road on January 27.