Florida Gators Declare Victory Over Hosts At 2020 Auburn Fall Invite

by Ben Dornan 3

November 20th, 2020 College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC


  • Wednesday, November 18th- Friday, November 20th
  • James E. Martin Aquatic Center, Auburn, AL
  • Short Course Yards (SCY)
  • Prelims/Finals
  • Teams: Auburn, Florida
  • Live Results

On the third and final night of the 2020 Auburn Fall Invitational, the University of Florida and Auburn University raced against each other to close out the meet. As several tight races ensued, Florida picked up a solid number of wins and ultimately won the meet.

Final Team Scores (Women)

  1. Florida: 508
  2. Auburn: 421

Final Team Scores (Men)

  1. Florida: 521
  2. Auburn: 426

WOMEN’S 200 Backstroke – FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:50.50
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 1:57.11

Top 3:

  1. Rosie Zavaros (Florida): 1:56.47
  2. Meghan Lee (Auburn): 1:57.90
  3. Kensley Merritt (Auburn): 1:58.29

Rosie Zavaros delivered Florida’s first win of the night with a 1:56.47 200 backstroke. She was a bit faster than her 1:56.62 this morning to take the top time. Going in the final, Zavaoros was joined by fellow Gators Annette Schultz and Madison Kolessar in the top three. Ultimately though, Auburn swimmers Meghan Lee and Kenset Merritt overtook the two Gators to take 2nd and 3rd for themselves.

Schultz was relegated to fourth with a 1:58.36 while Kolessar didn’t race in the final.

MEN’S 200 Backstroke – FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:39.16
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 1:45.04

Top 3:

  1. Lleyton Smith (Auburn): 1:43.98
  2. Bobby Finke (Florida): 1:44.00
  3. Miguel Cancel (Florida): 1:45.41

Following the Florida women’s win, Lleyton Smith answered back for Auburn to win the men’s 200 back. Lleyton was 0.13 seconds faster than this morning’s swim as the only one in the final to crack 1:44. Lleyton redeemed himself following a narrow loss in the 100 backstroke last night where Florida’s Adam Chaney won with a 47.23 to Smith’s 47.57.

Florida record holder in the 1650 freestyle Bobby Finke swam to second place in the 200 back and teammate Miguel Cancel got third.

WOMEN’S 100 Freestyle – FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 47.18
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 49.51

Top 3:

  1. Talia Bates (Florida): 48.52
  2. Katelyn Mack (Florida): 49.02
  3. AJ Kutsch (Auburn): 49.53

Talia Bates and Katelyn Mack from Florida swapped spots from prelims this morning as Bates took the win and Mack slipped down to second. No one was under 49 this morning but Bates managed to dip under the mark tonight to swim a 48.52. Mack improved upon her 49.12 from this morning with a 49.06.

AJ Kutsch got to the wall third for Auburn in a 49.53; right ahead of Florida’s Gabrielle Hills’ 49.59. Kathleen Golding fell from 3rd this morning to 7th in the final.

MEN’S 100 Freestyle – FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 41.71
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 43.80

Top 3:

  1. Eric Friese (Florida): 42.88
  2. Adam Chaney (Florida): 43.22
  3. Trey Freeman (Florida): 43.87

Eric Friese managed to keep the top spot in the men’s 100 freestyle, swimming a best time for the second time today. This morning he cracked the 43 mark for the first time with a 42.95 and did so again tonight, swimming a 42.88. With the swim, he gave Florida their third win of the night.

Fellow Gators Adam Chaney and Trey Freeman rounded out the top 3 with 43.22 and 43.87, respectively. The two were both faster than this morning with Chaney improving upon his 44.17, and Freeman his 43.87.

WOMEN’S 200 Breaststroke – FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 2:06.84
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 2:13.97

Top 3:

  1. Brynn Curtis (Auburn): 2:11.33
  2. Vanessa Pearl (Florida): 2:11.43
  3. Carly Cumming (Auburn): 2:11.97

In Auburn’s second win of the night, Brynn Curtis overtook top seed, Vanessa Pearl to narrowly win the 200 breast by 0.10 seconds. Curtis was 1.24 seconds faster than this morning and notched a new best time of 2:11.43.

The tight top three was rounded out by Gator Vanessa Pearl and Carly Cumming from Auburn. The rest of the field trailed as Cumming’s teammate Hanna Newby came in at a 2:13.40 for fourth.

MEN’S 200 Breaststroke – FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:52.61
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 1:58.43

Top 3:

  1. Kevin Vargas (Florida): 1:55.90
  2. Amro Al-Wir (Florida): 1:57.63
  3. Reid Mikuta (Auburn): 1:57.80

Kevin Vargas has one of the drops from prelims to finals of the night as he hit a 1:55.90 in the men’s 200 breast tonight from his 1:57.76 this morning. His previous best in the event was a 1:56.62 from the 2020 SEC Championships. The swim positions him a little bit closer but still a fair bit off the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 1:52.61.

Amro Al-Wir and Reid Mikuta were roughly 2 seconds behind Vargas as the only other sub-1:58 swims in the field.

WOMEN’S 200 Butterfly – FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:53.20
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 1:59.23

Top 3:

  1. Amanda Ray (Florida): 1:57.44
  2. Kenady Beil (Florida): 1:58.81
  3. Allison Piccirillo (Florida): 1:59.05

Adding just 0.07 seconds to her time from this morning, Florida’s Amanda Ray picked up the win in the 200 butterfly. She managed to hold off teammates Kenady Beil and Allison Piccirillo who went 2-3 in the race.

MEN’S 200 Butterfly – FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:40.76
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 1:46.69

Top 3:

  1. Kieran Smith (Florida): 1:43.22
  2. Dillon Hills (Florida): 1:45.71
  3. Jace Crawford (Florida): 1:46.35

Having been a few seconds over his best time in the 200 fly prelim, Florida’s Kieran Smith dropped to a 1:43.22 tonight t0 win the final and get under the 1:44 mark for the first time. He was more than a second quicker than his previous best of 1:44.74 last month. Smith is now within less than 3 seconds of the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 1:40.76.

To join Smith in the top 3, Dillon Hills and Jace Crawford from Florida swam 1:45.71 and 1:46.35, respectively.

WOMEN’S  – 1650 Freestyle FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 15:52.41
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 16:30.59

Top 3:

  1. Elise Bauer (Florida): 16:07.30
  2. Tylor Mathieu (Florida): 16:14.87
  3. Leah Braswell (Florida): 16:15.63

Elise Bauer swam an all-time best time of 16:07.30 in the 1650 to get under her former mark of 16:11.99 which she set in 2019. Bauer had extremely consistent splitting throughout the race, as she opened with a 27.60, closed with a 27.73, and swam a 29 point on every other 50 in the race.

Bauer held the lead until the end and left second place for Tylor Mathieu who trailed with 16:14.87. Less than a second after Mathieu, fellow Gator Leah Braswell was a 16:15.63 for third.

MEN’S  – 1650 Freestyle FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 14:37.31
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 15:26.19

Top 3:

  1. Bobby Finke (Florida): 14:34.27
  2. Brennan Gravley (Florida): 15:04.11
  3. Jack VanDeusen (Florida): 15:12.48

Bobby Finke swam a record-breaking last year when he hit a 14:12.08 at the 2020 SEC Championships to become the fastest ever American in the event. Finke was a fair bit over that race tonight but still managed to get under the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 14:37.31 to pull off a decisive victory with his 14:34.27. He was the only sub-15 minute swim in the field and he beat out teammate Brennan Gravely’s 15:04.11 for second and Jack VanDeusen‘s 15:12.48 for third.

WOMEN’S 4×100 Freestyle  – FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 3:14.61
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 3:16.35

Top 3:

  1. Florida ‘A’: 3:17.02
  2. Auburn ‘A’: 3:19.18
  3. Florida ‘B’: 3:21.48

As Florida and Auburn went head to head in the second final race of the night, the Gator’s contingent of Katelyn Mack, Talia Bates, Kathleen Golding, and Gabrielle Hills was quick enough to score the top time of the evening. Auburn ‘A’ was right behind them but couldn’t overtake Florida, ultimately finishing in second with a 3:19.19.

MEN’S 4×100 Freestyle – FINALS

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 2:51.11
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 2:52.46

Top 3:

  1. Florida ‘A’: 2:51.48
  2. Florida ‘B’: 2:57.28
  3. Auburn ‘A’: 2:57.86

As did the Florida women, the Florida men took the top time tonight in the 4×100 freestyle relay. Trey Freeman, Eric Friese, Adam Chaney, and Kieran Smith swam a 2:51.48 for the win with the fastest split in the field coming from Smith with a 42.23 anchor leg. Florida’s B team beat out Auburn’s A team for second place by a narrow margin of 0.58 seconds.

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2 years ago

Saying “declared victory” makes it sound illegitimate….

Reply to  Dhadhfjej
2 years ago

The Gators declared victory by swimming faster and stronger than AU. The Gators looked sharp and spirited too! It will be a great three team fight for the title if there even is an SEC meet. While UGA looks like the team to beat, the MAN VOLS will most likely come on stronger and surprise everyone…great diving, the coonskin hats, great TEAM spirit and cheering and a ferocious mindset should put TN head when the smoke clears!

Math Magician
Reply to  Dhadhfjej
2 years ago

Like the UCF football ‘declared’ National Championship!