Trey Freeman, a gold medalist for the United States in the men’s 800 freestyle relay at the 2022 World Championships, has retired from competitive swimming in the midst of his senior season at the University of Florida.
Freeman announced the news on Instagram Thursday afternoon, offering the following caption:
I am grateful for the all the highs and lows of the 16 years I spent in the water. I owe more thanks than I could ever possibly mention. So, to everyone that has been part of this chapter in my life, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
If anyone needs me I will always be around, but for now I will be sitting on my porch with my dog.
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Freeman, 22, has played a prominent role on the Florida men’s team in the NCAA since his freshman campaign in 2018-19, and is coming off a breakout summer in the long course pool after making the U.S. team for the 2022 World Championships and subsequently winning a gold medal in the men’s 800 free relay.
As a highly-touted recruit in the boys’ high school class of 2018, Freeman committed to the Florida Gators back in December 2016 from the Baylor School and Baylor Swim Club in Tennessee.
He joined the collegiate ranks in the fall of 2018, and was the runner-up at the 2019 SEC Championships in both the men’s 500 free and 1650 free as a freshman, and went on to score individual points at his debut NCAAs by placing 15th in the 500 free.
After undergoing knee surgery, Freeman ended up redshirting the 2019-20 season, making the announcement some two months before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the NCAA Championships that year.
As a sophomore in 2020-21, he placed third at SECs and 11th at NCAAs in the 500 free, and last season, he was the SEC champion in the 1650 free and went on to score in the 200 free (11th), 500 free (11th) and 1650 free (15th) at the 2022 NCAA Championships.
On the international stage, Freeman had a breakthrough performance to qualify for the 2022 U.S. World Championship team individually in the men’s 400 freestyle, finishing as the runner-up to fellow Florida swimmer Kieran Smith at the International Team Trials in a time of 3:46.93. Freeman also placed seventh in the 200 free in a time of 1:46.93, setting new personal best times in both events.
At the World Championships in Budapest, Freeman established a new best time of 3:46.12 to qualify for the final of the men’s 400 free, ultimately placing eighth in 3:46.53.
He also swam a preliminary leg on the U.S. men’s 800 free relay, splitting 1:46.91 in the morning as the team ultimately went on to win gold, earning Freeman a World Championship title.
Freeman’s departure from the Florida men’s team means that three of the Gators’ top-seven scorers from the 2022 NCAAs are gone, as both Smith and Bobby Finke graduated at the conclusion of last season.
Freeman last competed in Florida’s dual meet against Georgia in late October, and was a notable absence at the team’s midseason invite in Athens in mid-November.