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UF Men’s Swimming & Diving: Gators Win 2021 SEC Championship; Push Streak to Nine in a Row

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY BRIDGETTE UNDERWOOD

The No. 5 University of Florida men’s swimming and diving team has been crowned the 2021 Southeastern Conference Champions with 1,401 points over five days of competition at the Mizzou Aquatics Center in Columbia Missouri.

The Gators edged out Georgia, who finished in second-place with 1,324.50 points.  Tennessee rounded out the top-three with an overall score of 850.50.

This year’s title marks a league-leading 42nd overall SEC championship, including a current streak of nine in a row. That is the third-longest streak in conference history (Auburn-16 from 1997-2012, Florida- 13 from 1956-68).

Florida has picked up at least one SEC team title for 43 consecutive seasons – the league’s longest current streak.

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This is the 248th SEC Championship in school history, more than any other school in the conference.

Florida now has 257 conference titles in school history overall (UF has won nine Lacrosse conference championships, which have not been sponsored by the SEC).

The Gators won the 2021 championship with 15 medals–eight gold, four silver and three bronze–as well as eight event titles–eight individual and three relay.

Kieran Smith matched his own American record in the 500 free, and Robert Fink was just .10 second off of his own American record in the 1650 free.

Smith tied his own 500 Free American record with a time of 4:06.32 and recorded the second-fastest 200 free time with a time of 1:29.48.

For his performance over the week to help lead Florida to the title, Smith was named the Swimmer of the Meet. Smith will also share half of the commissioner’s award with Shaine Casas from Texas A&M.

Event titles
200 Medley Relay – (Adam Chaney, Dillon Hillis, Eric Friese, Will Davis)
500 Free, 400IM – Kieran Smith
50 Back – Adam Chaney
200 Free Relay – (Adam Chaney, Will Davis, Kieran Smith, Eric Friese)
100 Breast – Dillon Hillis
400 Medley Relay – (Adam Chaney, Dillon Hillis, Eric Friese, Kieran Smith)
1650 Free – Robert Finke

Records
200 Free- Kieran Smith – SEC, Florida, Pool
500 Free- Kieran Smith – American, NCAA, US Open, SEC, Florida
1,650 Free- Robert Finke – Pool
200 Medley Relay – Pool
200 Free Relay – SEC, Pool
400 Medley Relay – Pool, Florida

Medals (15)
Gold- 200 Medley Relay, 500 Free- Kieran Smith , 50 Back- Adam Chaney, 200 Free Relay, 400 IM- Kieran Smith, 100 Breast- Dillon Hillis, 400 Medley Relay, 1650 Free- Robert Finke
Silver- 800 Free Relay, 400 IM- Robert Finke, 100 Back- Adam Chaney, 400 Free Relay
Bronze- 500 Free- Trey Freeman, 200 Back- Clark Beach, 100 Free- Kieran Smith

Quotables

Head coach Anthony Nesty –  “I am so proud of our men. They fought hard to pull off the win this week. This championship is like a marathon. It is a hard-fought battle always.

“Each performance was integral to our success, and the contributions made by our divers the week before certainly helped to put some points on the board.

“We now will prepare for NCAA’s in March. We still have some work ahead of us.

“Again, I want to thank our administration, my entire support staff, and my coaching staff for their unselfish dedication to this team.  It sincerely is a team effort and I am honored to coach every single one of these guys!

“Go Gators!!”

Standings
1.    Florida – 1,401
2.    Georgia – 1,324.50
3.    Tennessee – 850.50
4.    Texas A&M – 843
5.    Alabama – 841.50
6.    Missouri – 802
7.    Kentucky – 759
8.    Auburn – 671
9.    LSU – 427.50
10. South Carolina – 232

What’s Next

As the team heads back to Gainesville, Florida swimmers will get a full month off before their next competition- the 2021 NCAA Championships. The meet will take place from March 24-27 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The divers will be back in action at NCAA Diving Zones, beginning on March 8 and lasting until the 10th.

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