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UF Men’s Swimming & Diving: Gators Flood SEC Postseason Awards List

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

Kieran Smith was voted the SEC Male Swimmer of the Year, while head coach Anthony Nesty received his second-straight SEC Men’s Coach of the Year accolade.

The Southeastern Conference unveiled its swimming and diving postseason awards on Tuesday afternoon, highlighted by sophomore Kieran Smith being named Male Swimmer of the Year and men’s head coach Anthony Nesty receiving Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year for the second-straight season. Florida also placed five on the All-SEC First Team, eight on the Second Team, and three on the All-Freshman Team.

Smith, this year’s SEC Swimmer of the Meet, earned his first career Swimmer of the Year accolade after a record-breaking SEC championship performance. He set a new American and NCAA record in the 500 free (4:06.32) on the second night of competition, as well posting a new SEC and Florida 200 free record with his lead-off split of 1:30.11 to help Florida win its eighth-straight 800 free relay event title in SEC-record fashion.

He claimed another SEC event crown in the 400 IM and reeled in a bronze medal with his third-place finish in the 100 free. Additionally, he was a member of two Gator relays that earned runner-up finishes.

The Gators have now won the award seven of the last 10 years (Caeleb Dressel- 2016-18, Marcin Cieslak- 2012 & 2014 and Conor Dwyer- 2010-11).

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Nesty, in his second year at the helm of the Gators men’s program, garnered his second-straight Coach of the Year honor after leading Florida to its eighth-straight and 41st-overall SEC title. At SEC’s, Florida tallied 15 medals and five SEC event titles and set 17 new top-10 program swims.

Under his leadership, 14 Gators were named All-Americans, which tied for the fifth-most in the nation and the most in the SEC.

Five Gators earned All-SEC First Team accolades: Khader Baqlah, Clark Beach, Robert Finke, Gerry Quinn, and Kieran Smith. The First Team consists of the top finisher in each event at SEC’s.

200 Free

Khader Baqlah

500 Free

Kieran Smith (American record)

1,650 Free

Robert Finke (American record)

400 IM

Kieran Smith

800 Free Relay

Khader Baqlah, Clark Beach, Kieran Smith, Robert Finke, Gerry Quinn

Isaac Davis, Will Davis, Eric Friese, Brennan Gravley, Marco Guarente, Dillon Hillis, Dakota Mahaffey, and Grant Sanders all garnered All-SEC Second Team honors after a second- or third-place SEC finish in a respective event.

1,650 Free

Brennan Gravley

100 Breast

Dillon Hillis

200 Breast

Grant Sanders

400 IM

Grant Sanders

200 Free Relay

Isaac Davis, Will Davis, Eric Friese

200 Medley Relay

Will Davis, Dakota Mahaffey, Eric Friese, Marco Guarente

400 Medley Relay

Dillon Hillis, Will Davis

Friese and Gravley were joined by fellow classmate Kevin Vargas as members of the All-Freshman team, consisting of top-eight finishers or the highest scoring freshman of each event at SECs, excluding relays. The trio qualified for an A-final in their first conference competition- Gravley (1,650 Free), Friese (100 Fly) and Vargas (400 IM)- to earn the honor.

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