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UF Men’s Swimming & Diving: Pair of Medals Keeps Florida in Lead after Day Four of SEC’s

The 400 medley relay of Dillon Hillis, Clark Beach, Kieran Smith, and Will Davis notched Florida’s fourth relay medal in Auburn.
Photo by Courtney Culbreath

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

Florida heads into the final day on Saturday in first place, with a chance to extend its title streak to eight straight.

The No. 11 University of Florida men’s swimming and diving team will head into the final day of competition of the 2020 Southeastern Conference Championship in first-place after two stops to the podium on Friday night at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center on the campus of Auburn University.

The Gators remain in first-place with 887.5 points after tallying 193 points during the fourth finals session on Friday. Texas A&M trails UF in second with 727 points, with Georgia rounding out the top three with 682.5 points.

On Saturday, Florida will have the opportunity to extend its conference championship streak to eight straight SEC titles, dating back to the 2013 season.

The 400 medley relay of Clark Beach, Dillon Hillis, Will Davis, and Kieran Smith made a podium stop, posting a runner-up bid with the eighth-fastest swim in school history of 3:04.96.

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Smith was able to make up ground with his 100 free anchor of 41.79 to help Florida claim its fourth relay medal of the championships.

Dillon Hillis claimed his first career SEC medal with his third-place finish in the 100 breast A-final. The sophomore touched in 51.46, securing an A-cut.

In the prelims, he would register the second-fastest event swim in UF history as well as the second-fastest swim in the nation this season with an effort of 51.28.

Gator Splashes

  *   Joining Hillis in the A-final was Marco Guarente, who came into the evening session after setting a new personal-best of 51.82 on Friday morning. In the final, he would earn a fifth-place finish with his swim of 52.15.
  *   After setting a personal-best swim that slotted him eighth going into the 200 fly A-final, Miguel Cancel again finished in eighth-place with an effort of 1:44.52.
  *   The lone Gator to swim in the 100 back A-final was Clark Beach, who posted an eighth-place effort of 46.65, dropping .02 from his morning time.
  *   Chandler Bray earned a seventh-place finish in the 100 breast with his B-cut swim of 53.27. In the prelims, he set a new season-best after touching in 53.11.
  *   A pair of Gators advanced to the 100 back C-Final, as Dakota Mahaffey led the way with a swim of 47.60. Ethan Beach finished right behind him with an effort of 47.67. The pairing finished in second and third, respectively.

Quotables

Head coach Anthony Nesty- “Today was a good day. We came in and took care of business in the morning, as well as in the afternoon. In the prelims, we got all the guys into a final that we needed them to qualify for. Tomorrow morning, we will need to go in and hold serve before heading into the final session on Saturday evening.”

Gator Medals

Day One- Gold- 800 Free Relay (Smith, Baqlah, Quinn, C. Beach- fifth-fastest in UF history/Smith’s SEC, Florida 200 free lead-off split)Bronze- 200 Medley Relay (Mahaffey, Guarente, Friese, W. Davis- eighth-fastest UF history)

Day Two- Gold, 500 free- Kieran Smith (American, NCAA, US Open, Florida record), Silver- 200 Free Relay (Friese, Smith, W. Davis, I. Davis), Bronze- 500 free- Robert Finke

Day Three- Gold, 400 IM- Kieran Smith, Gold, 200 Free- Khader Baqlah, Silver, 400 IM- Grant Sanders, Bronze- 400 IM- Robert Finke

Day Four- Silver, 400 Medley Relay (C. Beach, Hillis, W. Davis, Smith- eighth-fastest in school history), Bronze- 100 Breast (Hillis)

 Standings

1. Florida- 887.5
2. Texas A&M-727
3. Georgia- 682.5
4. Missouri- 681.5
5. Alabama- 655.5
6. Tennessee- 615
7. Auburn- 586
8. Kentucky- 583
9. LSU- 418
10. South Carolina- 392

What’s Next

The final day of competition will begin at 10:30 a.m. ET with women’s 200 back prelims. The remainder of the morning prelims will include the 100 free, 200 breast and the women’s platform.

Multiple timed 1,650 free finals will begin at 2:15 p.m., with the rest being swam with the evening finals.

The last finals session will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET with the same events as the preliminary, with the addition to a 400 free relay to close out the competition.

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