Florida Gators Win 10th Consecutive SEC Title in Men’s Swimming & Diving

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 4

February 19th, 2022 College, News, SEC

2022 SEC SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

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.

Winning Total
Margin of Victory
2013 1408 212
2014 1440 159.5
2015 1314.5 180
2016 1275 52
2017 1271.5 286.5
2018 1237 243
2019 1233 96
2020 1194 218.5
2021 1401 76.5
2022 1414 476

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:

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.

  1. Kieran Smith, Senior – 92 points
  2. Adam Chaney, Sophomore – 86 points
  3. Trey Freeman, Junior – 84 points
  4. Eric Friese, Junior – 72 points
  5. Alfonso Mestre, Junior – 72 points
  6. Oskar Lindholm, Freshman – 68 points
  7. Kevin Vargas, Junior – 59 points
  8. Tyler Watson, Junior – 55 points
  9. Macquire McDuff, Freshman – 51 points
  10. Jack Van Deusen, Sophomore – 48 points
  11. Jace Crawford, Sophomore – 47 points
  12. Amro Al-Wir, Sophomore – 46 points
  13. Alberto Mestre, Junior – 44 points
  14. Mason Laur, Freshman – 41 points
  15. Nico Hernandez-Tome, Junior – 40 points
  16. Joaquin Gonzalez Pinero, Freshman – 42 points
  17. Peter Bretzmann, Freshman – 28 points
  18. Julian Smith, Freshman – 28 points
  19. Brennan Gravley, Junior – 25 points
  20. Leonardo Garcia, Sophomore – 24 points

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yardfan
11 months ago

Can’t wait for Texas to shake that up.

Mike
11 months ago

Great write up! They definitely had guys step up in the absence of Finke and Hillis. On a side note, I believe this is Nesty’s 4th year and 4th SEC championship as head coach

ClubCoach
Reply to  Mike
11 months ago

Correct. Nesty took over as head coach beginning with the 2018-19 season.

Wolfensf
11 months ago

Like to see them do a last chance qualifier this year.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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