Current and Former Florida Gators Sweep Men’s Freestyle Events at U.S. Trials

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

The Florida Gators had an excellent showing in the men’s events at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, specifically in the men’s freestyle events. Florida swimmers managed to pull off a sweep of the men’s free events, winning the 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1500.

There were 3 swimmers responsible for the Gators sweep, each of whom won 2 titles. Rising Florida senior Kieran Smith was the first Gator to win, taking both of the first 2 men’s free events. Smith took the 400 free on day 1 in a new personal best of 3:44.86, vaulting himself into the top 10 in the world this year. He then claimed victory in the 200 free, posting another lifetime best – 1:45.29.

Fellow rising UF senior Bobby Finke was next, winning the men’s 800 free final on day 5. Finke swam a 7:48.22, pulling away at the end of a highly-contested race. The swim was just off his personal best of 7:47.58, but it kept Florida at a perfect 3-for-3 in free events. Finke would go on to win the men’s 1500 in a new personal best of 14:46.06, touching as the only swimmer in the field under 15:00. Finke is the American Record-holder in the SCY 1650 free.

The pair both train with the varsity team at the University of Florida, which is led by Anthony Nesty. Nesty, a former Gator athlete himself and Olympic gold medalist, is already considered one of the most successful coaches among athletes who achieved his level of success as an athlete. In 2018, he was promoted from being Gregg Troy‘s long-time assistant to the head coach of the men’s team when Troy retired. This off-season, he was also put in charge of the women’s program after Jeff Poppell left to become the head coach at South Carolina.

Caeleb Dressel, who graduated from Florida in 2018, but still trains with the adjacent Gator Swim Club under Troy, won the other two men’s free events. Dressel took the men’s 100 free on night 5, clocking a new U.S. Open Record of 47.39. The swim was a touch off Dressel’s personal best of 46.96.

Dressel capped his meet by matching his own American Record in the men’s 50 free. He swam a 21.04, making him the top swimmer in the world this year by nearly 4-tenths of a second.

 

In This Story

20
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
20 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
DCSwim
1 month ago

If you told someone ten years ago this would happen, I don’t think they’d believe you

Khachaturian
1 month ago

Finke can break both the american records for the 1500 and 800

Khachaturian
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 month ago

i’m still mad he called the 800 a sprint event though so I am not routing for him in that event

Hswimmer
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 month ago

It’s a sprint for him lol

Notaswimmer
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 month ago

Bro chill

Hswimmer
1 month ago

Crazy!!

Huh
1 month ago

Greg and Nesty.. two of the best coaches in the business. Congrats to them.

Spectatorn
Reply to  Huh
1 month ago

more interesting to think Troy is often associates with high volume training that is not suitable of sprinter and his athlete won the sprint free events, while Nesty himself more a sprinter and turn out coaching two swimmers to won all mid-distance and long-distance freestyle events at trial.

Steve Wierhake
Reply to  Spectatorn
1 month ago

I’ve seen the “Troy training” comments more than once in recent years – and they were not complimentary. I happen to think those comments were misguided. Troy has had many successful swimmers in his career, including sprinters. Obviously Dressel is now proving many of Troy’s critics wrong. I will admit to being biased in favor of Troy – he was my coach in the late 70’s.

swimapologist
Reply to  Steve Wierhake
1 month ago

With all due respect to coach Troy and your experiences with him – it’s pretty widely acknowledged within swimming circles that Troy’s typical training was not good for Caeleb, that Caeleb was never doing Troy’s full training in college (though as the head of the program, of course we must still credit Troy for the atmosphere that created Dressel), and that Troy’s full force training was responsible for a lot of the struggle in 2018.

But, it sounds like Troy has adjusted since. So, good for him. But – I don’t think the training that created Lochte, for example, is what created Dressel.

FlyNDie
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

Are you saying that the motorcycle accident Dressel had in 2018 was only a minor impact to his performance, and that Troy’s training was the real culprit?

Hot take.

Aquajosh
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

That’s what good coaches do. They learn from their athletes and recalibrate. The Troy I knew at Bolles is nothing like the Troy UF had, and the Troy UF had is very different from the Troy the postgrad group has.

swimapologist
Reply to  Aquajosh
1 month ago

I don’t disagree with you – but the narrative that “see everyone was wrong about Troy’s training being too much for Dressel” isn’t really fully accurate. It’s probable that Troy’s training was too much for Dressel, so those critiques were correct. Troy adjusted, and now they’re zoom zoom zoom.

Eric the Eel > Michael Phelps
1 month ago

That was insane, Troy the GOAT

GATOR CHOMP 🐊
1 month ago

GATOR CHOMP!!!!!!

Skoorbnagol
1 month ago

Best collegiate program in the US for becoming the best version of yourself.
Troy, Nesty and co have built something great.

GoGators!
Reply to  Skoorbnagol
1 month ago

Maxime Rooney didn’t seem to think so and unfortunately paid the price for leaving. Watching Tokyo on TV like the rest of us

Martha
1 month ago

Awesome 👍