UF Men’s Swimming & Diving: Florida Sets Multiple Top Ten Swims During Opening Finals Session of Auburn Fall Invitational

Eric Friese climbed to the seventh-fastest 50 free time in UF history on Wednesday night.
Photo By: Courtney Culbreath

Courtesy of University Athletic Association


The Gators notched four top-10 swims and five championship heat victories to take a lead after day one

Florida strung together a historic night on the opening night of the Auburn Fall Invitational, with four top-10 swims and five championship heat victories to take a 164-120 lead at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center in Auburn, Ala.

Eric Friese and Kieran Smith both notched the seventh-fastest time in UF history in their respective events.

In the final individual event of the night, Friese won the 50 free with a time of 19.46. The sophomore moves up one spot to number seven all-time after besting his previous top time by .04 seconds, which was set at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center at the conference meet this past February.

Smith hit a new personal-best swim as well, touching first in the 200 IM with an effort of 1:41.72. Heading into tonight, the reigning 2020 SEC Swimmer of the Year owned the ninth-best time by a Gator (1:42.26), which he registered at his first NCAA Championships in 2019.

Freshman Adam Chaney joined Friese with a top-10 50 free mark, finishing in second-place with the ninth-fastest time in program history with a time of 19.51.

Florida started off the first finals session of the invitational with the 10th-fastest 200 free relay in program history as Friese, Chaney, Smith, and Will Davis combined for an effort of 1:17.01. Chaney led the way with a split of 19.19, followed up by splits of 19.22 (Smith) and 19.23 (Will Davis) to place their names in the Gators record book.

Leonardo Garcia led Florida’s 1-meter efforts on Wednesday as the All-American scored 577.65, good for fifth-place overall. In the prelims, he totaled the third-highest score of 304.58. Nick Lydon and Anton Svirskyi finished both the prelims and finals in sixth and seventh, respectively.

Gators Splashes

  *   Trey Freeman and Robert Finke battled it out at the top of the 500 free championship heat, as Freeman edged out Finke by .02 seconds with his top swim of 4:15.04. Alfonso Mestre bested his prelim time, a new personal-best, to finish behind the pair in third-place with an effort of 4:18.14. John VanDeusen (4:26.25) and Advait Page (4:30.95) were the final Gators to hit the water in the top heat.
  *   Finishing behind Smith in a Gator-heavy individual medley was Miguel Cancel in a new lifetime-best time of 1:46.23, good for second. Kevin Vargas and Dillon Hillis rallied behind Cancel to earn the fourth and fifth spots. In seventh, Dylan Brisco touched in 1:48.95, while Mateusz Dubas finished in eighth with a time of 1:48.46.
  *   Joining Friese and Chaney in the final individual event of the night was Will Davis and Isaac Davis. Will Davis rounded out the top 50 free finishers in third (19.90), while Isaac Davis touched in sixth with his effort of 20.23.
  *   The top three placers for the Gators in the 500 free consolation final dropped their times from the morning prelims, led by freshman Jace Crawford’s third-place effort of 4:24.72. Tyler Watson (4:24.95) and Caleb Kravtiz (4:26.28) finished right next to each other in fifth and sixth. Jorge Depassier was the final Gator in the event, finishing with an effort of 4:29.26.
  *   Ethan McCloud and Brennan Gravley took to the water in the 200 IM consolation heat, led by McCloud’s fourth-place effort of 1:50.44. Gravley touched right behind him with a time of 1:51.05.
  *   Freshmen Mitchell Meyer (20.61) and Trevor McGovern (20.65) both shaved seconds off their prelim swims to finish third and fourth in the consolation sprint heat.

Relay Magic

Meyer, Isaac Davis, Freeman, and Depassier combined for a third-place combined time of 1:21.15 behind the record-setting 200 free relay. The team of Cancel, Finke, McGovern, and Gravley finished behind the group in fourth with their combined swim of 1:22.11.

In the final event of the night, Florida’s top two 400 medley relay claimed the top spots, led by a team of Smith, Hillis, Friese, and Freeman with a time of 3:09.24. The runner-up relay was claimed with a combined swim of 3:12.29 by Chaney, Amro Al-Wir, Isaac Davis, and Will Davis.

The final two relay teams finished in seventh and eighth.