2022 SEC SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, February 15 – Saturday, February 19, 2022
- Jones Aquatics Center, Knoxville, Tenn. (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: Men- Florida (9x) Women- Kentucky (1x)
- Live Results
- Live Video (Watch ESPN)
- Championship Central
- Psych Sheets
- 2021 SEC Scoring Breakdown
A decade of work for the Florida Gators came to a point on Saturday when the team won its 10th consecutive SEC Championship in men’s swimming & diving.
That makes for the 43rd championship overall for the Gators (which includes the first 5 from 1937 to 1941), well ahead of Auburn, who have the second most at 18.
Auburn still has the longest streak of consecutive titles in the conference, though, winning 16 in a row from 1997 through 2012. When that streak ended, Florida’s streak began, and through two head coaches (the first 6 under Gregg Troy, and the last 4 under Anthony Nesty).
The Gators didn’t get their victory without challenges, though: at least two stars and defending SEC Champions, Bobby Finke and Dillon Hillis, were pulled from the meet due to COVID-19 protocols.
But the Gators still dominated this meet, amassing 1,414 points and beating 2nd place Tennessee and Alabama by 476 points.
Margin of Victory
The next-largest margin of victory in conference history came in 2004, when Auburn beat Florida by 303 points.
Florida has cracked 1400 points on three other occasions in their 10 year streak (the league only expanded to C Final scoring in 2013 when Texas A&M and Missouri joined the conference).
That included a clean sweep of the relays, even winning the 400 medley relay after their top breaststroker Hillis withdrew from the meet.
Kieran Smith, in his endless versatility, came up big for the Gators in this meet, winning the 400 IM even at what seems to be less-than-full-rest for the meet, and the sophomore Adam Chaney came into his own as a bona fide star by winning the 100 back and breaking Ryan Lochte’s school record.
Even without Finke, the fastest man ever in the 1650 free, the Florida men opened the final day of competition on Saturday with 7 of the top 9 finishers in the conference in that event. And that’s not 6 of the top 8 finishers in the Big 12 or the AAC, tiny conferences ripe for dominance. That’s 7 of the top 9 finishers in the SEC.
That provided a monstrous statement for Florida as they rolled downhill to the title on Saturday. They scored 173 out of 362 available points in a single event. They outscored every other SEC team combined in a single event.
Gator Event Winners:
- 200 Medley Relay: Adam Chaney, Dillon Hillis, Eric Friese, Alberto Mester, 1:22.06 (SEC Championship Record)
- 800 Free Relay: Kieran Smith, Trey Freeman, Oskar Lindholm, Alfonso Mestre, 6:08.00 (SEC Championship/Conference Record)
- 200 Free Relay: Adam Chaney, Eric Friese, Kieran Smith, Macguire McDuff, 1:15.18 (SEC Championship Record)
- 400 IM: Kieran Smith, Senior, 3:39.33
- 100 Back: Adam Chaney, Sophomore, 44.51
- 400 Medley Relay: Adam Chaney, Amro Al-Wir, Eric Friese, Kieran Smith, 3:02.61
- 1650 Free: Trey Freeman, Junior, 14:39.74
- 200 Back: Kieran Smith, Senior, 1:39.51
- 400 Free Relay: Macguire McDuff, Adam Chaney, Eric Friese, Kieran Smith, 2:46.91
No Finke, no Hillis save for one relay, no Isaac Davis, no Will Davis, and still a record-setting performance for the Gators.
The next stop for the Gators will be the NCAA Championships from March 23-26 in Atlanta, Georgia. There, they return all but 12 individual points for a team that placed 3rd overall.
With Chaney hitting his full stride as a third star alongside Finke and Smith, and the Gators having no obvious relay weaknesses, another top three finish is theirs for the taking.
Florida Individual Scorers:
Anybody who thinks they’re going to catch the Gators anytime soon is going to have to find something special. The only senior on this list is the man at the top, Kieran Smith.
- Kieran Smith, Senior – 92 points
- Adam Chaney, Sophomore – 86 points
- Trey Freeman, Junior – 84 points
- Eric Friese, Junior – 72 points
- Alfonso Mestre, Junior – 72 points
- Oskar Lindholm, Freshman – 68 points
- Kevin Vargas, Junior – 59 points
- Tyler Watson, Junior – 55 points
- Macquire McDuff, Freshman – 51 points
- Jack Van Deusen, Sophomore – 48 points
- Jace Crawford, Sophomore – 47 points
- Amro Al-Wir, Sophomore – 46 points
- Alberto Mestre, Junior – 44 points
- Mason Laur, Freshman – 41 points
- Nico Hernandez-Tome, Junior – 40 points
- Joaquin Gonzalez Pinero, Freshman – 42 points
- Peter Bretzmann, Freshman – 28 points
- Julian Smith, Freshman – 28 points
- Brennan Gravley, Junior – 25 points
- Leonardo Garcia, Sophomore – 24 points