#1 Seed Kieran Smith Drops 200 Free for 400 IM on SEC Day 3 (HEAT SHEETS)

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 15

February 17th, 2022 College, News, SEC

2022 SEC SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Kieran Smith, the fastest swimmer in the SEC this season in the 200 free, has scratched that race on day 2 of the 2022 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships.

After swimming the 500 free on Wednesday and placing 2nd, Smith dropped the 200 free on Thursday. While he is the defending NCAA Champion in the event, he has never raced it at the SEC Championships, usually opting for the 400 IM instead.

While Smith is clearly not peaking for this meet, based on his 4:10 in the 500 free, his 1:30.42 leadoff leg on Florida’s SEC-Record setting 800 free relay was the best in the field, and he would’ve still been the favorite to win that event.

Instead, he’ll race the 400 IM on Thursday, an event he won at last year’s SEC meet. He’s the 9th seed in the event with a season best of 3:46.95, but his lifetime best of 3:37 from the 2020 SEC Championships is well ahead of expectations for what anyone else can do in this field.

Other Day 3 Heat Sheet Highlights:

  • Matt Sates, winner of the 500 free on Day 2, will swim the 200 free over the 400 IM on Thursday. He’s the 5th seed in the 200 free and hasn’t swum the 400 IM in yards yet, so far sticking to events that he had a chance to race against Emory.
  • Jordan Crooks, the breakout star of day 1 for Tennessee in the 50 free, has chosen the 100 fly over the 200 free for his 2nd event. After the 50 and 100 free, he has so far been about as good in the 100 fly, 100 back, and 200 free, swimming both the 100 fly and the 100 back at the team’s mid-season invite. But it looks like he’ll go 100 fly for this SEC meet. He’s the 9th seed in 47.06, but based on his drop in the 50 free (about eight-tenths), he should improve that seed substantially on Thursday.
  • In that same race, Alabama junior Matthew Menke has scratched as the #10 seed. That plan became clear after he swam to a 6th place finish the 200 IM on Wednesday – he’s the #1 seed in the 100 back and #3 seed in the 200 back later in the meet, and he wasn’t going to drop either of those races for the 100 fly.
  • Cora Dupre made another big decision on Thursday, opting to skip the 200 free (#2 seed) for the 100 fly (#5 seed). That’s the second-straight day in which she’s chosen a lower-seeded event, after picking the 50 free over the 200 IM on Wednesday, as it appears she’s focusing on a ‘short program’ at this meet. She was tied for 5th in the 50 free in 21.94 on Wednesday.
  • Auburn’s Meghan Lee is skipping the 400 IM, where she is the 18th seed, on Thursday after her breakout best times last week at the Auburn Invitational. At that meet, she had huge drops in the 200 fly, 200 IM, and 200 back. While she didn’t swim the 400 IM at that meet, her drops in those other races showed a lot of room to move up in the 400 IM too. This gives her a day off, though, to prepare for Friday. By the way – she dropped another four tenths in the 200 IM on Wednesday.
  • Auburn’s Emily Hetzer is making the opposite choice, racing the 400 IM (36th seed) over the 200 free (13th seed). She finished 21st in the 500 free on Wednesday.

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Drake
11 months ago

Sates up 2-0 on Smith

Ghost
Reply to  Drake
11 months ago

Wrong Drake. Both led off relay and smith beat him

Drake
Reply to  Ghost
11 months ago

oh yeah i forgot abt that. 2-1 to sates

Bulldawg
Reply to  Braden Keith
11 months ago

The scratch

Drake
Reply to  Braden Keith
11 months ago

bullying smith out of the 200

Club Coach
Reply to  Drake
11 months ago

Except that Smith has always swum the 400IM at SECs. He’s the defending champion in the 4IM.

Ghost
Reply to  Drake
11 months ago

He has never swum 200 free at secs and scratches happen before the 500!

Kachow
11 months ago

Kieran trying to dodge Sates

Hswimmer
Reply to  Kachow
11 months ago

More like he’s swimming it bc Finke isn’t there

Caleb
Reply to  Hswimmer
11 months ago

He did the same thing last year when Finke WAS there. just a chance to swim another event so he doesn’t get bored!

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Kachow
11 months ago

Didn’t they both lead off the 800 FRR and Smith beat him easily.
1:30.4 to 1:31.8

ClubCoach
Reply to  Kachow
11 months ago

Smith has always swum the 400IM at SECs (I believe he won it in 2020 and 2021, was second behind Bobby Finke in 2019)

Ghost
Reply to  Kachow
11 months ago

Maybe Sates is scared of Kieran in 4im and thought 200 was the easier route?!?

GOOBERGOOBERGOOBERGOOBERGOOBERGOOBERGOOBERGOOBER
Reply to  Kachow
11 months ago

Smith doesn’t dodge anything. He’s been to open water Nats multiple times and swam the 10k (25-50x his main event length). Let the man swim what he wants. He’s an incredibly versatile athlete, so maybe you should allow him to be that way.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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