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UF Men’s Swimming & Diving: Finke And Dressel Make US Olympic Swim Team

Gators swimmer Bobby Finke earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team headed to the Tokyo Olympics later this summer. (Graphic: UAA Communications)

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY BRIDGETTE UNDERWOOD

As day five of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials came to an end, Bobby Finke and Caeleb Dressel both earned spots on the U.S. team headed to Tokyo.
 
Finals / Semifinals 
 
Bobby Finke went a blistering 7:48.22 to finish first in the 800 free, becoming the second Gator to qualify for Tokyo. Finke was in control of the entire race – heading into the final 50 meters, he stepped on the gas to win by a second and a half. Trey Freeman gave it his all and finished sixth in the 800 free with a time of 7:59.09.
 
“I am just so thankful for my friends, family, and coaches here and back home,” said Bobby Finke.
 
In the 100 free, Natalie Hinds swam a new personal best of 53.55 as she tied for first overall. Hinds advanced to the finals on Friday night.
 
Clark Beach dropped .93 seconds from his prelims time to finish fourth in the first semifinal heat with a time of 1:58.64 and ninth overall, missing a spot in the finals by .16 seconds.
 
Caeleb Dressel won the 100 free in record fashion. Dressel went 47.39 to match the U.S. record, earning a spot on the Olympic team in the 100 free and the 400 free relay.
 
Kieran Smith and Ryan Lochte capped off night five at the Olympic Trials with the 200 IM semifinals. Smith dropped 2.12 seconds off of his prelims time, swimming a new personal best in the 200 IM. The swim gave him a spot in the finals Friday night after finishing third overall. Lochte was 1.46 seconds behind Smith as he touched the wall third in the first semifinals heat and moved on to the finals along with Smith, finishing sixth overall.
 
“The Gators had an incredible night,” said Head Coach Anthony Nesty. “Bobby Finke had a fantastic 800 free, winning the final with a 7:48.22 and punching his ticket to Tokyo. He swam that race perfectly. I am extremely proud of him. He trains with purpose and it shows. Clark Beach represented the Gators in the 200 back semi-final and just missed qualifying for the finals. Clark is very talented and gave this race his best effort. Kieran finished the night with a tenacious 200 IM, securing a third-place finish overall. This swim places him in the finals tomorrow evening. Again, Kieran is a student of the sport, as Bobby is, and will make a determined effort tomorrow night. This I know for sure! We are humbled to represent the Gators and will do our best to make the Gator Nation proud.”
 
 
Prelims
 
One current, one former, and one incoming Gator kicked off day five of the Olympic trials in the 100 free. Natalie Hinds shot out of cannon in the final heat of the 100 free, finishing first in the final heat and fourth overall, earning a spot in the semifinals later tonight. Incoming Gator Micayla Cronk finished first in heat five but missed out on the semifinals by six spots. Talia Bates finished second in heat three and 40th overall with a time of 56.24.
 
In the 200 back, the Beach brothers were back in the pool. Clark Beach went 1:59.70 to finish second in the final heat and fourth overall, earning a spot in Wednesday night’s semifinal. Ethan Beach finished with a swim of 2:02.90, good for seventh in his heat and 37th overall.
 
In the final event of the prelims, Ryan Lochte and Kieran Smith both advanced to the semifinals in the 200 IM. Lochte finished second in heat seven followed closely by Smith, who finished third. Kevin Vargas finished second in heat four but missed the semifinal cut by .26 seconds.
 
Up Next
 
Day five of the trials will kick off Friday at 11 a.m. with the women’s 800 free followed by the men’s 100 fly and the women’s 200 back.

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