2021 Men’s SEC Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


The first night of individual finals from the 2021 Men’s SEC Championships features a pair of heavy hitters expected to easily defend their titles, and then a battle of underclassmen in the 50 free.

Kieran Smith is one of five Florida Gators competing in the ‘A’ final of the 500 free, where he’ll look to lower his NCAA and American Record of 4:06.32 set last year.

Georgia freshman Jake Magahey comes in with the top seed, while Gator sophomore Alfonso Mestre really stood out by dropping more than four seconds this morning to qualify second. The race will also feature Mark Theall and Bobby Finke, last season’s second and third place finishers.

The 200 IM is expected to be the Shaine Casas show, where Caeleb Dressel‘s national record of 1:38.13 is very much in play. Casas swam a time of 1:38.95 early in the season.

After taking third in 2020, Mizzou’s Danny Kovac would have to be favored for second place after hitting a best time and Tiger school record this morning in 1:41.75.

The 50 free was a bit of a shocker in the prelims — three men went sub-19, all doing so for the first time. Leading the pack was Adam Chaney, a Florida freshman, who clocked 18.88 to become just the fourth swimmer to go under 19 before his 19th birthday.

Sophomores Dillon Downing (Georgia) and Brooks Curry (LSU) broke their respective school records in the heats, clocking 18.90 and 18.97, and fourth-seed Matt King, another freshman, can’t be counted out after splitting 18.61 on Alabama’s 200 medley relay.

In fact, six of the eight ‘A’ finalists in the 50 free are either freshmen or sophomores, with only one junior and one senior advancing.

The night will close with the 200 free relay. Georgia and Texas A&M are the top two seeds, but Florida has been on fire early in the meet and will be difficult to beat, especially with three guys making the 50 ‘A’ final.


Reminder: The entire diving portion of the meet was contested last week.

  1. Kentucky, 338
  2. Tennessee, 287
  3. Missouri, 232
  4. Texas A&M, 221
  5. Florida, 207
  6. Auburn, 202
  7. LSU, 176
  8. Alabama, 156
  9. Georgia, 152
  10. South Carolina, 90


  • SEC Meet Record: 4:06.32, Kieran Smith (FLOR), 2020
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:11.82
  • 2020 Winner: Kieran Smith (FLOR), 4:06.32
  1. Kieran Smith (Florida), 4:06.32
  2. Jake Magahey (Georgia), 4:06.71
  3. Trey Freeman (Florida), 4:12.76

Kieran Smith got out fast in the final of the 500 free, flipping in a blistering 1:35.70 at the 200 mark which put him over a second under his own American and NCAA Record pace.

Smith held 25-lows up until the last length, remaining under record pace, but Georgia freshman Jake Magahey began to make up ground on him, including splits of 24.84/24.47 on the second and third-last 50s to bring him within just over three-tenths with just 50 to go.

Smith dug deep and held on for the victory, closing in 24.26 to tie his American and NCAA Record of 4:06.32 on the nose and defend his title.

Magahey had an unbelievable swim, becoming the second-fastest performer in history in 4:06.71, shattering the previous UGA record of 4:09.48 set by France’s Sebastien Rouault in 2008.

The previous fastest time by a freshman was Felix Auboeck‘s 4:08.95. Magahey’s best time coming into the meet was a 4:10.48 from the UGA Fall Invitational in November.

Florida picks up some big points with Trey Freeman (4:12.76), Alfonso Mestre (4:12.77) and Bobby Finke (4:13.48) taking third, fourth and fifth, and Tyler Watson was seventh in 4:16.57 after a big best this morning.

Freeman’s time edges out his previous PB of 4:12.80, while Mestre downs his prelim best of 4:13.53.

Auburn freshman Mikkel Gadgaard edged out Mizzou junior Jack Dubois to touch first in the ‘B’ final, clocking a personal best time of 4:16.60. Gadgaard, a 21-year-old native of Denmark, swam a best of 4:17.37 in the prelims, which lowered his 4:18.31 from the Auburn Invite in November. Dubois went 4:16.95, his second-fastest ever behind a 4:15.79 at the 2019 SECs.


  1. Shaine Casas (Texas A&M), 1:39.26
  2. Danny Kovac (Missouri), 1:41.35
  3. Javier Acevedo (Georgia), 1:42.17

Shaine Casas out-split the field on all four 50s en route to a decisive victory in the 200 IM, defending his title in a time of 1:39.26.

This marks the second-fastest swim of Casas’ career (and fourth-fastest all-time), having gone 1:38.95 at the Art Adamson Invite in November.

The junior was slightly under his PB pace at the 100, splitting 20.90/24.54 for 45.44, but was slightly slower on both breast (29.17) and free (24.65).

All-Time Performances, Men’s 200 IM

  1. Caeleb Dressel (FLOR), 1:38.13
  2. Andrew Seliskar (CAL), 1:38.14
  3. Shaine Casas (TAMU), 1:38.95
  4. Shaine Casas (TAMU), 1:39.26

Missouri’s Danny Kovac was in a clear second after a quick front-half (21.18/25.00), holding strong down the stretch to earn the runner-up spot in 1:41.35, taking four-tenths off the school record he set in the heats.

Georgia took third, fourth and fifth for some big points, led by Javier Acevedo in 1:42.17, who clocks his second-fastest swim ever after going 1:41.75 in November. Taking fourth was freshman Luca Urlando, slipping under his best time by a few one-hundredths in 1:42.81.

Sophomore Matthew Menke set a new Alabama program record in 1:43.69 to win the ‘B’ final, lowering Liam Bell‘s 1:44.35 set last year. Menke set a best time of 1:45.13 in the prelims, having previously been 1:45.87 last season.


  • SEC Meet Record: 18.23, Caeleb Dressel (FLOR), 2016
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 18.96
  • 2020 Winner: Zane Waddell (BAMA), 19.07
  1. Adam Chaney (Florida), 18.77
  2. Matt King (Alabama), 18.96
  3. Dillon Downing (Georgia) / Brooks Curry (LSU), 19.16

After becoming just the fourth swimmer to break 19 seconds in the 50 free before their 19th birthday this morning in 18.88, Florida freshman Adam Chaney went even lower tonight, winning the SEC title in a time of 18.77.

Chaney now owns sole possession of third spot in the 17-18 age group rankings, trailing only Caeleb Dressel (18.67) and Ryan Hoffer (18.71). He’s also the second-fastest college freshman ever behind Dressel.

Chaney now ranks 18th all-time and seventh among Americans in the event. He entered his first collegiate season with a PB of 19.62, and lowered it to 19.51 in November before blasting an 18.88 this morning.

Another freshman, Alabama’s Matt King, busted through the 19-second barrier for the first time to claim second in 18.96, going way under his old best of 19.26.

Georgia’s Dillon Downing and LSU’s Brooks Curry both broke 19 for the first time this morning in 18.90 and 18.97, respectively, and tied for third here in 19.16.

Chaney leads the national rankings, with Downing second, King third and Curry tied for fourth with Hoffer.

UGA senior Camden Murphy swam his second personal best time of the day to win the consolation final in 19.50, edging Tennessee’s Scott Scanlon (19.55). Murphy’s time of 19.57 in the heats took out his 2019 best of 19.61, set leading off the 200 free relay at the 2019 SECs.


Reminder: The entire diving portion of the meet was contested last week.

  1. Florida, 507
  2. Kentucky, 420
  3. Georgia, 368.5
  4. Tennessee, 346
  5. Texas A&M, 330
  6. Missouri, 329
  7. Auburn, 276
  8. Alabama, 254
  9. LSU, 209.5
  10. South Carolina, 107


  • SEC Meet Record: 1:15.43, Alabama, 2019
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:17.17
  • 2020 Winner: Alabama, 1:16.00 (Sesvold, Waddell, Berneburg, DiSette)
  1. Florida, 1:15.21 * SEC Meet Record
  2. Georgia, 1:16.20
  3. Alabama, 1:16.32

The Florida men put an exclamation point on a fantastic day of racing, winning the 200 free relay in a new meet record of 1:15.21 and ended Alabama’s three-year winning streak.

The Gators were led off by Adam Chaney, who followed up his 50 free victory by going .01 faster in 18.76, giving him three 18-point swims on the day. Will Davis (18.62), Kieran Smith (18.81) and Eric Friese (19.02) only extended the lead the rest of the way, as they break the previous SEC Championship Record of 1:15.43 set by Alabama in 2019.

Chaney, Davis and Friese were all in the 50 free ‘A’ final, while Smith’s versatility is on full display after tying the fastest swim ever in the 500 earlier.

The Georgia Bulldogs lowered their school record by .15 to take second in 1:16.20, led off by Dillon Downing (19.14) and then getting a pair of sub-19s from Javier Acevedo (18.80) and Camden Murphy (18.96). Freshman Luca Urlando anchored them home in 19.30.

The Crimson Tide settle for third after winning in 2018, 2019 and 2020, with freshman Matt King breaking 19 seconds once again on the lead-off in 18.98.

Texas A&M joined Georgia with a school record of its own in 1:16.37, led by Shaine Casas (19.09 leading off) and Kaloyan Bratanov (18.94).

Mizzou won Heat 2 for fifth (1:17.19), and South Carolina won the opening heat in 1:17.48 for sixth, less than three-tenths off its school record set last year (1:17.20). The Gamecocks’ fastest leg came from sophomore Mark Shperkin (19.00), who was significantly faster than his 29th-place 20.10 in the individual 50.


Reminder: The entire diving portion of the meet was contested last week.

  1. Florida, 571
  2. Kentucky, 454
  3. Georgia, 424.5
  4. Tennessee, 392
  5. Texas A&M, 382
  6. Missouri, 379
  7. Auburn, 320
  8. Alabama, 308
  9. LSU, 249.5
  10. South Carolina, 155

The Gators have built a 146.5-point advantage over Georgia, who will have its work cut out for them over the next two days. Kentucky and Tennessee continue to cling to second and fourth for the time being due to diving prowess, with Texas A&M lurking in fifth.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Congrats to Mason Manta Ray Adam Chaney for winning the 50 free and then leading off the 200 free relay for the Gators!

1 year ago

I didn’t think Kieran Smith was legally allowed to go 18.8 on the 200 free relay…

1 year ago

Kieran Smith being able to do a 4:06 and a 18.8 split is not only versatile but I think it shows that he’s a legit athlete ready for the big Olympic stage

Samuli Hirsi
Reply to  SCCOACH
1 year ago

i must say that there are many like him who did not convert to olympic pool, hope for the best for him.

Reply to  Samuli Hirsi
1 year ago

Except he went a 1:46 and 3:47 LCM in summer 2019, i.e. before he dropped from a 1:32 to 1:30 and 4:16 to 4:06. So if any portion of those improvements carry over (plus whatever he drops this year), he’ll be in the fight for medals

1 year ago

OK Man VOLS u in 4th place —STEP UP and move past UGA!!!

GA Fan
Reply to  SwimFani
1 year ago

Not happening buddy. UGA just blew by them

Reply to  SwimFani
1 year ago

Quit dreaming. It isn’t the 1980s

1 year ago

Doooobs with that beautiful 500! Now… why wasn’t Sprinter Dooooooobs on the 200 free relay???

Danny Kovac’s Left Calf Muscle
1 year ago

Danny Kovac’s mullet is my favorite part of the meet thus far. If only he would grow his mustache too! What an awesome dude. ZOU!!!

Captain Ahab
1 year ago

Who ever is running the University of Missouri swimming pool is doing a good job. Lifeguards are in elevated stand, holding their excess on the rescue tube, hip pack on, whistle, shirt tucked in, well lit pool.

1 year ago

Will Davis split an 18.62 without a consistent kick, wow

Reply to  PVSFree
1 year ago

? Looks like he was kicking plenty to me

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »