2009 Alabama Crimson Tide Men's Swimming and Diving
When you think about The Alabama men's swimming and diving program, the number 4 pops into your mind fairly immediately. The reasons being many-fold. One of them is that, when looking at the teams that have traditionally been the most dominant in the sport within the SEC, Alabama has a good argument that it is, in fact, the #4 team, behind the trio of Florida, Tennessee, and Auburn. Alabama also has distinction of being in the running for being the SEC team with the 4th longest unbroken track record in the SEC, as only Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky have unquestionably longer streaks.
Alabama has certainly established itself as a competitive program in men's swimming and diving, and while its SEC Championship victories are not terribly great in number, the program is always in the running it seems. Indeed, from the early years of its participation in the Southeastern Conference, the Alabama men's swimming and diving program was one of the top performing programs on the SEC. From 1963 through 1966, the team finished 2nd to SEC Champions Florida, and then from 1967 through 1973, the team managed to finish in 3rd place each of those seasons. For the next few seasons, Alabama put consistently good teams in the water finishing from 2nd to 4th nearly every season. And then finally, in 1982, the team had its own day in the sun.
Alabama won the SEC Championship in 1982, and to get to that title, the team had to defeat old rival Florida in the process. Following that victory, the team continued to perform at a high level in subsequent seasons, again finishing regularly in the 2nd-4th place range before returning to the victory stand in 1987, with another SEC Championship, and again, coming over longtime SEC rival Florida. From that point on Alabama continued to perform at a high level throughout the early to mid-90's until the late 90's when the program began to fade to the middle of the field in the SEC where it still sits today.
2009 Alabama Crimson Tide Women's Swimming and Diving
The Alabama women's swimming and diving team shares something very distinctive with its male counterparts. Throughout its history of competing within the Southeastern Conference, the team has consistently competed at a very high level. However, unlike its male counterparts, it actually has managed to win an SEC Championship. As such, we can safely say that the Alabama women's swimming and diving team is probably the best one in the SEC to not evolve into a multiple time champion.
The Alabama women's swimming and diving team hit the ground running with the beginning of SEC Conference play in 1981. The team finished a competitive 4th in year one, and quickly elevated that to back-to-back-to-back 2nd place finishes over conference stalwart Florida in 1982-1984. And then came 1985, one of the finest seasons in swimming and diving history for the Alabama women's squad. It was in 1985 that David beat Goliath, as the Alabama women's swimming and diving team beat the mighty Florida squad at the SEC Championships.
Following that victory, Alabama continued to perform at its customary high level, posting a number of 3rd and 4th place finishes in the subsequent seasons at the SEC Championships. The team did begin to slip ever so slightly in the mid 1990's, back into the 5th-6th place range, and then the slip evolved into an outright tumble in the late 90's, when the team found itself in 7th place on multiple occasions. Alabama's 8th place finish in 2004 seems to be, to date, the low water mark, although the team is still in the bottom 3-4 teams in the conference at present, so it remains to be seen if the worst is, in fact, in the past.
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