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Courtesy of Tim Casey, UAA

Day 2 of SEC Championship Solid for Gators Swimming and Diving

Both Gators men’s and women’s swimming and diving fared well on Day Two of the SEC Championships being held at Auburn University, with both finishing in second place.

Men’s Swimming and Diving

Florida’s Kieran Smith stood out on Day 2 with a record-breaking day. Smith set an NCAA, American, U.S. Open, personal and SEC record when he finished the 500 Free in 4:o6.32. Heading into the day, Smith’s personal record was 4:18.13 seconds, a difference of almost 16 seconds.

https://twitter.com/GatorsSwimDv/status/1230296059441827840

Smith was very proud of the accomplishment.

“It’s special,” he said. “Going into the meet, we knew we could be around 4:08’s maybe, but 4:06 was an incredible swim. Lights out. It just felt really, really good throughout the whole time.”

Smith; along with Eric Friese, Will Davis and Isaac Davis; produced the fifth fastest swim in school history when they finished the 200 free relay in 1:16.33.  The Gators have a firm hold on second place following the big day.

Standings:

  1. Texas A&M – 438 points
  2. Florida – 395 points
  3. Alabama – 361
  4. Kentucky – 321
  5. Georgia – 310
  6. Tennessee – 328.5
  7. Auburn – 301
  8. Missouri – 212
  9. Arkansas – 200
  10. South Carolina – 168
  11. LSU – 160
  12. Vanderbilt – 90

The SEC Championship continues on February 20 at 10 a.m. ET with the 400 IM, followed by the 100 fly and 200 free.

Women’s Swimming and Diving

The number seven Gators put up a conference-best 13 swimmers on Day 2 of the meet.  Sherridon Dressel, Bella Garofalo, Gabby Hills and Talia Bates combined for a time of 1:28.13 in the 200 free relay. The fourth-fastest mark in school history was good enough for a sixth-place finish in that race.

Vanessa Pearl won the 200 IM B-final with the seventh-fastest time in the NCAA at the time of the swim, with a time of 1:54.80. Leah Braswell would also finish first in the 500 free with a time of 4:38.22.

Gators head coach Jeff Poppell felt the team really finished strong.

“After a little bit of a rough morning, I thought our women came back tonight in finals and raced exceptionally well,” Poppell said. “We had 13 swims in finals tonight, more than any other team, and I felt we took full advantage of the opportunities.”

Florida finished second after Day Two behind Tennessee.

Standings:

  1. Tennessee – 385
  2. Florida – 356.5
  3. Auburn – 352
  4. Kentucky – 321
  5. Georgia – 310
  6. Texas A&M – 300
  7. Alabama – 243.5
  8. Missouri – 212
  9. Arkansas – 200
  10. South Carolina – 168
  11. LSU – 160
  12. Vanderbilt 90

The SEC Championship continues on February 20 with the 400 IM, followed by the 100 fly and 200 free. The women’s three-meter dive will wrap up the morning rounds.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football in 2019 and contributes to WRUF's Trending Now segments. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since Jan. 2019.

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