The Georgia Bulldogs men's swimming and diving program has somewhat of an unusual history within the Southeastern Conference in the sense that they have been arguably one of the most consistently good, but not often great, teams in the history of the conference. But, despite the fact that the team may not have won as many championships as some of its counterparts (namely, Florida and Auburn), there is no denying that the Georgia mens and womans swimming and diving teams have been a stalwart in the SEC from the beginning, and should remain so for years to come.
In fact, UGA's men's swim and dive team ended up 10th in the 2009 NCAA Championships; the women ended up second in the 2009 Div. I NCAA's!
The Georgia men's swimming and diving team was a member of the inaugural Southeastern Conference back in 1937. And while the team did not have nearly the out-of-the-gate success as did its conference rival Florida, it did show a competence and then a competitiveness that could not be denied fairly early on in its existence. And when the team managed strong second place finishes to in-state, and to then conference rival Georgia Tech in the 1949 and 1950 SEC Championships, it seemed as if the Georgia men's swimming and diving team may be on the verge of a breakthrough. And they were indeed.
In 1951, the Georgia men's swimming and diving program garnered its first SEC Championship in the sport, dominating traditional conference power Florida 138-98.Georgia then went on to win a second back-to-back SEC Championship in 1952, again beating second-place Florida. The run was short-lived for Georgia, as Florida was still strong and managed to win the SEC Championship in 1953 and 1954. But Georgia did win one more SEC title the following year, in 1955. They just edged Florida 100-97 in the SEC Championships that year.
And while the team has been competitive over the last 50+ years, it has not since ascended to the ranks of SEC champion.
2009 Georgia Bulldogs Women's Swimming and Diving
The Georgia women's swimming and diving team is one of the original six members of the SEC women's swimming and diving conference that was formed back in 1981. And while the team got off to somewhat of an inauspicious start that year, it has slowly built itself into becoming one of the best women's swimming and diving programs in the Southeastern Conference.
The team managed a 5th place finish in that inaugural 1981 season, and for a few years, the team seemed to have a little bit of initial trouble finding its stride. However, in almost a methodical fashion, the program built and built, slowly climbing in the final SEC Championship standings from year to year. 5th place finishes, then 4th, then 3rd. By the mid 1980s's, the team had ascended to 2nd place in the SEC, and the only team that stood between the Bulldogs and the SEC title was perennial power Florida. That hurdle was a formidable one, but one that Georgia finally managed to overcome in 1997, after years of trying.
Once Georgia got the Florida monkey off their back, they were off. The team suddenly was the team to beat in the SEC. Following that 1997 win at the SEC Championships, the Georgia women went on to win 5 straight SEC titles, and another in 2006, firmly establishing themselves as an elite member of this elite conference.
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