2021 Men’s SEC Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap

2021 SEC MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The final night of the 2021 Men’s SEC Championships promises to be another exciting session, with the Florida Gators looking primed to win a ninth straight title. However, the Georgia Bulldogs have shown they won’t go down without a fight. There’s also a great battle in the works for third place.

The fastest heat of the 1650 free leads things off tonight, where NCAA and American Record holder Bobby Finke and Georgia freshman Jake Magahey are on a collision course for a potentially epic battle.

The two are a clear 1-2 in the NCAA this season, with Magahey (14:33.78) holding the top time over the two-time defending champion Finke (14:34.27). The Florida junior’s record time of 14:12.08 to win last year remains the fastest of all-time by over six seconds.

Shaine Casas is the big favorite to repeat in the 200 back, Georgia teammates Camden Murphy and Luca Urlando should have a great battle in the 200 fly, and Kieran Smith has the chance to go three-for-three individually in the 100 free.

The 200 breast appears wide open, with all eight finalists within a second of each other this morning. However, Aggie sophomore Andres Puente Bustamante looks like a good bet to move up one spot after taking second as a freshman.

Winners of three out of four relays so far, Florida will be the team to beat once again in the 400 free relay after putting three men into the individual ‘A’ final and another in the ‘B’.

1650 FREE EARLY HEATS UPDATE

Georgia freshman Tommy-Lee Camblong posted the top time from the early heats of the mile in 14:54.35, a time faster than all but three of the swimmer’s seeds in the last heat. A native of France, this was actually the first 1650 of Camblong’s career. He holds a best of 15:18.33 in the long course 1500.

Last season, that time would’ve placed sixth overall. It’s a perfect start for Georgia, who need just about everything to go right (and perhaps some luck) if they want to challenge Florida for the title.

Florida sophomore Alfonso Mestre, who was also entered without a time, was second-fastest in 15:00.60, and freshmen Zane Rosely (Kentucky) and Michael Bonson (Auburn) sit third and fourth with a pair of 15:06s.

TEAM SCORES (THRU DAY 3)

  1. Florida, 961.5
  2. Georgia, 881
  3. Tennessee, 655
  4. Texas A&M, 631
  5. Missouri, 601
  6. Kentucky, 577
  7. Alabama, 548
  8. Auburn, 502
  9. LSU, 323.5
  10. South Carolina, 219

1650 Free Timed Finals

  • SEC Meet Record: 14:12.08, Bobby Finke (FLOR), 2020
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 14:37.31
  • 2020 Winner: Bobby Finke (FLOR), 14:12.08
  1. Bobby Finke (Florida), 14:12.18
  2. Jake Magahey (Georgia), 14:24.96
  3. Greg Reed (Georgia), 14:52.82

Bobby Finke‘s earth-shattering 1650 free from last season that broke the American Record by six seconds looked like a perfect swim, but he proved tonight it wasn’t a one-off by any means.

Finke established the lead early on over Georgia’s Jake Magahey, and pulled away to the point where he was a full 25 yards in front. Finke touched in a time of 14:12.18, finishing exactly one-tenth off of his American and NCAA Records set last season for the second-fastest swim ever.

The Florida junior has now won this event in three consecutive years, with a shot at a perfect four-for-four next season. He also now owns three of the fastest seven swims of all-time.

Magahey swam a massive personal best to take second in 14:24.96, going well under his 14:33.78 from earlier in the season. This makes him the third-fastest freshman ever, trailing Felix Auboeck (14:22.88) and Finke (14:23.01).

Magahey has now dropped 26.58 seconds off his best time since he entered college, hitting the 13th-fastest swim ever while moving into 10th all-time among performers.. He also narrowly misses the UGA school record of 14:24.08, set by Martin Grodzki in 2012.

Georgia’s Greg Reed clocked 14:52.82 for third, well off his time of 14:43.69 from November, but it’s a big swim in regards to the team race.

Tommy-Lee Camblong‘s 14:54.35 from the early stands up for fourth, inching past Florida’s Brennan Gravley, as the Bulldogs go 2-3-4.

200 Back Finals

  • SEC Meet Record: 1:37.20, Shaine Casas (TAMU), 2020
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:39.16
  • 2020 Winner: Shaine Casas (TAMU), 1:37.20
  1. Shaine Casas (Texas A&M), 1:36.85
  2. Javier Acevedo (Georgia), 1:40.39
  3. Clark Beach (Florida), 1:40.83

Shaine Casas led from the gun en route to successfully defending his title in the 200 back, producing the ninth-fastest swim in history and breaking his SEC Championship Meet Record in the process.

Casas had built over a two-second lead by the halfway mark, flipping 46.63, and only extended the advantage on the back-half for a final time of 1:36.85. It’s the third-fastest swim of his career, having gone 1:36.54 and 1:36.62 in October and November, respectively.

100 back winner Javier Acevedo of Georgia closed in 25.81 to run down Florida’s Clark Beach and pickup second place, .01 off his prelim swim in 1:40.39. Beach was also very close to his morning time in 1:40.83, .06 under, for third.

Georgia’s Bradley Dunham and Ian Grum picked up some valuable points in fourth and fifth, with Dunham’s 1:41.22 marking a new PB.

100 Free Finals

  1. Matt King (Alabama), 41.66
  2. Brooks Curry (LSU), 41.80
  3. Kieran Smith (Florida), 42.11

Alabama freshman Matt King pulled off a tight 100 free victory over defending champ Brooks Curry in 41.66, taking almost a full half-second off his lifetime best set in the prelims (42.15).

King, 19, is now just over a tenth off of the Alabama school record of 41.52, set by Kristian Gkolomeev in 2016. King is also not far off the fastest-ever time by a freshman, done by Texas’ Daniel Krueger (41.49) in 2019.

Curry clipped .01 off his LSU record in 41.80 for second, and Kieran Smith had the fastest closing 25 of anyone to solidify third in 42.11. Smith set a best of 42.08 in the heats. His teammates Adam Chaney (42.54) and Eric Friese (42.68) took fourth and fifth.

TEAM SCORES (THRU 100 FREE)

Florida’s lead has been reduced to 42.5 points, while Alabama has shot up from seventh to third after three events.

  1. Florida, 1,200
  2. Georgia, 1,157.5
  3. Alabama, 721.5
  4. Texas A&M, 718
  5. Tennessee, 693.5
  6. Missouri, 665
  7. Kentucky, 657
  8. Auburn, 585
  9. LSU, 360.5
  10. South Carolina, 227

200 Breast Finals

  • SEC Meet Record: 1:51.58, Nic Fink (UGA), 2015
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:52.61
  • 2020 Winner: Benjamin Walker (TAMU), 1:51.92
  1. Lyubomir Epitropov (Tennessee), 1:52.69
  2. Jack Dalmolin (Georgia), 1:53.58
  3. Michael Houlie (Tennessee), 1:53.97

While the 200 breast was arguably one of the more wide open events coming into the meet, it still feels like a bit of an upset as Tennessee junior Lyubomir Epitropov used a monster back-half to win the title in 1:52.69.

Epitropov, a Bulgarian native who transferred to the Vols this summer from ECU, turned in fifth place at the 100 in 54.93 before splitting 29.13/28.63 coming back to mow down the leaders and annihilate his best time.

Epitropov came in with a best time of 1:54.32 from last March, and narrowly missed it this morning (1:54.34) before dropping 1.63 seconds tonight. He also breaks the Tennessee program record of 1:53.58 set by Matthew Dunphy in 2018.

Jack Dalmolin had a big swim for Georgia to take second in 1:53.58 after placing seventh last year, and Tennessee’s Michael Houlie, who led at the 100 and 150, held on for third in 1:53.97, a best time by eight-tenths.

Andres Puente Bustamante, the runner-up last season and top seed from prelims, was the fastest on the opening 50 but ended up back in fifth at 1:54.51.

Tennessee sophomore Brett Champlin, who was disqualified for a false start in the heats, got to swim a time trial after the 200 fly, recording a time of 1:55.05. That’s his second-fastest swim ever, trailing a 1:54.03 done last February.

200 Fly Finals

  • SEC Meet Record: 1:40.59, Hugo Morris (AUB), 2016
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:40.76
  • 2020 Winner: Camden Murphy (UGA), 1:40.93
  1. Luca Urlando (Georgia), 1:40.93
  2. Camden Murphy (Georgia), 1:41.12
  3. Danny Kovac (Missouri), 1:41.24

Luca Urlando held off teammate Camden Murphy to win his first SEC title in the 200 fly, producing a time of 1:40.93 for the third-fastest of his career.

Urlando, an 18-year-old freshman, took the lead on the second 50 and extended his advantage on the third, sitting a half-second up on Murphy at the 150. Murphy, the two-time defending champion, made up some ground but it wasn’t enough, clocking 1:41.12 for second place.

Urlando set the 17-18 National Age Group Record earlier this season in 1:40.67, and he was also slightly faster than his swim tonight at the 2018 Winter Junior Nats – West (1:40.91, the 15-16 NAG).

Though this is a big 1-2 for Georgia heading into the 400 free relay, Florida’s lead is now an insurmountable 72.5 points, clinching them the team title.

Missouri’s Danny Kovac hadn’t raced this event in college until this year, his junior season, and takes two more seconds off his best time for third in 1:41.24. This takes down the Mizzou record of 1:41.59 set by Canadian Mack Darragh.

Mason Wilby, who set the Kentucky record this morning in 1:42.69, lowered it again in 1:42.28 for fourth. Florida’s Dillon Hillis takes seven-tenths off his PB for fifth in 1:43.11.

TEAM SCORES (THRU 200 BREAST)

Florida clinches its ninth straight SEC title with a 72.5-point lead, as even a Georgia relay win and Gator DQ wouldn’t bridge the gap.

The battle for third is very much alive, with Tennessee charging down the stretch to sit 17.5 points up on Texas A&M. Alabama sits 15.5 back of the Aggies in fifth.

  1. Florida, 1,345
  2. Georgia, 1,272.5
  3. Tennessee, 810.5
  4. Texas A&M, 793
  5. Alabama, 777.5
  6. Missouri, 748
  7. Kentucky, 715
  8. Auburn, 623
  9. LSU, 381.5
  10. South Carolina, 232

400 Free Relay Timed Finals

  • SEC Meet Record: 2:46.03, Auburn, 2009
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 2:51.11
  • 2020 Winner: Alabama, 2:49.06 (Sesvold, Waddell, Berneburg, Stogner)
  1. Alabama, 2:48.22
  2. Florida, 2:48.85
  3. Missouri, 2:50.68

The Alabama men claimed their third straight 400 free relay in a time of 2:48.22, taking out Florida (2:48.85) with a pair of key 41s from Matt King and Jonathan Berneburg.

Following his win in the individual 100 free in 41.66, the freshman King dropped a 41.73 on the lead-off to give the Crimson Tide the lead in the final heat, with Florida’s Kieran Smith putting the Gators in second as he broke 42 for the first time in 41.94.

After Adam Chaney (42.24) gave Florida a small lead at the 200 over Sam DiSette (42.63), Berneburg dropped a 41.85 to overtake Trey Freeman (42.61), and then Colton Stogner (42.01) held Eric Friese (42.06) at bay to solidify the victory.

Both Berneburg and Stogner were on the winning relay last year as well.

Mizzou picked up third in 2:50.68, edging Georgia by a tenth with 42s across the board, led by anchor Danny Kovac (42.21).

The Bulldogs also had four 42s for a time of 2:50.78, with Javier Acevedo producing the fastest split in 42.14.

The other notable split came from Brooks Curry, who led off seventh-place LSU in 42.23, and South Carolina got disqualified.

FINAL TEAM SCORES

Florida wins its ninth straight men’s SEC title with 1,401 points, topping Georgia by 76.5.

Despite limping into the finish with a ninth-place showing in the 400 free relay, Tennessee holds on for third with 850.5 points, holding off Texas A&M and Alabama.

  1. Florida, 1,401
  2. Georgia, 1,324.5
  3. Tennessee, 850.5
  4. Texas A&M, 843
  5. Alabama, 841.5
  6. Missouri, 802
  7. Kentucky, 759
  8. Auburn, 671
  9. LSU, 427.5
  10. South Carolina, 232

In This Story

61
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
61 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Swimmer2
7 months ago

1650 heat starts at 6?

front half 500er
7 months ago

does the final 1650 heat start at 7 with the rest of the finals?

Last edited 7 months ago by front half 500er
Swimmer2
Reply to  James Sutherland
7 months ago

Will we get some live tweets!?

SwimFani
7 months ago

Who gonna win the 400 FRR? UF? BAMA or TN?

Marklewis
7 months ago

Bobby vs. Jake is a race worth watching.

Bobby swims a consistent pace usually. Jake seems to have a strong back half.

Snarky
7 months ago

Love how rowdy and Elizabeth have no idea finke was on pace for the AR. Duh

N P
7 months ago

Another 14:12 for Finke!

N P
Reply to  N P
7 months ago

Sub 14:10 coming at NCAAs, mark it.

front half 500er
Reply to  N P
7 months ago

And if the boot wasn’t just mind games, probably under 14 lol

eL eL
Reply to  front half 500er
7 months ago

Slight work

bobthebuilderrocks
7 months ago

Wow, 14:12 again. Kinda funny after watching Kieran go the exact same time as a year ago.

Marklewis
7 months ago

Bobby wins in 14:12. Right on his record.

He split 25.8 over and over again. Great pacing.

Last edited 7 months ago by Marklewis

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 »