Courtesy of Tim Casey, UAA

No. 6 Florida Are Set to Compete in NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships

Seventeen Gator men begin competition at the 2022 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships on Wednesday evening.

The Championships is from March 23-26 at the McAuley Center in Atlanta, with Georgia Tech serving as the host institution.

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The Seventeen Gators

Adam Chaney, Jace Crawford, Will Davis, Bobby Finke, Trey Freeman, Nicholas Hernandez-Tome, Dillon Hillis, Mason Laur, Oskar Lindholm, Macguire McDuff, Alfonso Mestre, Kieran Smith, Kevin Vargas and Tyler Watson advanced to the national championships based on their season-best times in 12 different events.

Leonardo Garcia and Anton Svirskyi joined the group after qualifying at NCAA Diving Zones the first week of March.

In addition, Garcia will compete in all three events, while Svirskyi qualified on both the 3-meter springboard and the platform.

Five relays also qualified for the NCAA Championships: 200 free relay (1:15.18), 400 free relay (2:46.91), 800 free relay (6:08.00), 200 medley relay (1:22.06) and 400 medley relay (3:02.61).

The Gators bring a plethora of NCAA experience to the meet, with Chaney, Davis, Finke, Freeman, Friese, Hillis, Mestre, Smith, Vargas and Watson all having competed at the championships in their careers.

SEC Champions

The Gators men’s swim and dive team head to the NCAA Championships as SEC champs. Florida won their 10th straight and 43rd overall title, finishing with 1414 points over the five-day long event.

UF took home 16 medals divided between nine gold, two silver and five bronze.

The first day of events saw Florida capture two gold medals in the men’s 200-yard medley relay and 800-yard free relay. Its one minute, 22.06 second time in the 200 set a new SEC meet record, while a 6:08.00 finish in the 800 set a new overall SEC standard.

Florida used three podium appearances on the second day of competition to snag first place away from Texas A&M. Kieran Smith teamed up with sophomore Adam Chaney, junior Eric Friese and freshman Maguire McDuff to earn gold in the 200-yard free relay with a meet best 1:15.18 effort.

In addition, he also won a bronze medal Wednesday with an 18.81 second time in the 50-yard freestyle. Smith placed runner-up in the 500-yard freestyle to earn his third podium of the meet.

The Gators capped off the meet with three more gold medals during Saturday’s finale.

Smith came through again in the 200-yard backstroke with a 1:39.51 performance. The quartet of McDuff, Friese, Chaney and Smith won their second race together in the 400-yard free relay, touching the wall in two minutes, 46.91 seconds.

Junior Trey Freeman struck gold in the meet’s longest race — the 1650-yard swim. The Salt Lake City, Utah, native edged out Georgia sophomore Jake Magahey by less than a half second, winning the title in 14 minutes, 39.74 seconds.

The Florida Men’s swim and dive team ended with six medals racked and three of those being gold, to win the SEC Championships.

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Competition

UF’s mastery of the SEC, however, has not converted to the NCAA Championships. Top-ranked Texas will also go to Georgia as the defending national champion, having claimed six of the last seven titles.

The Gators look to break the UT run.

It has been 38 years since Florida won a national championship in men’s swimming.

A total of 270 participants (235 swimmers and 35 divers) will compete in the championships.

What to Expect

The championships take place from March 23 to March 26. The Gators look to win and get their first NCAA championship title in 38 years.

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