2019 SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, February 19 – Saturday, February 23
- Gabrielsen Natatorium, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: Texas A&M Women (3x), Florida men (6x)(results)
- Live results
- Live Video – SEC Network
- Championship Central
University of Florida freshman Robert Finke lived up to all of the hype he had coming into his collegiate career. The US National Teamer swam a 14:23.01 on Saturday in the men’s mile, which crushed the SEC Meet Championship Record by 12 seconds, very-nearly broke the NCAA Record, and goes down as the 5th-fastest performance in history.
The old SEC Meet record was a 14:35.47 set by Georgia’s Sebastian Roualt in 2006. The previous 4 best times in NCAA history were all done in the same final at the 2017 NCAA Championships. The American Record of 14:18.25 was done by Zane Grothe in December of 2017: after the end of his college career.
All-Time Best Performances, Men’s 1650 Yard Free:
- Zane Grothe, 14:18.25 – 2017 (Post-NCAA career)
- Clark Smith, 14:22.41 – 2017
- Felix Auboeck, 14:22.88 – 2017
- Akaram Mahmoud, 14:22.99 – 2017
- Robert Finke, 14:23.01 – 2019
- Jordan Wilimovsky, 14:23.45 – 2017
- Connor Jaeger, 14:23.52 – 2014 (Post-NCAA career)
- Martin Grodzki, 14:24.08 – 2012
- Chad La Tourette, 14:24.35 – 2012
- Anton Ipsen, 14:24.43 – 2018 (last year’s NCAA Champion)
Finke won the race by 25 seconds over his fellow highly-touted Florida freshman Trey Freeman, who took 2nd in 14:48.69.
Finke’s previous best time was a 14:37.49 done at the 2018 Florida Spring Senior Champs when he was still in high school. Freeman’s previous best was a 14:59.33 from the 2016 Speedo Winter Junior Champs, so his result was a big time drop as well.
Stunningly, Finke’s time is still not the fastest ever by a freshman. That belongs to Michigan’s Felix Auboeck, who swam 14:22.88 at the 2017 NCAA Championships, just getting out-touched by Clark Smith. Auboeck, however, was already 20 years old by the end of his freshman year – much older than most freshmen.
The previous best time by a freshman (since at least 2007-2008, as far back as the NCAA database goes) was a 14:33.55 done by Stanford’s Chad LaTourette in 2009.
Finke split 8:41.80 at the 1000, which is just off the 8:40.47 that Grothe split in his record-breaking swim. Only 3 1000 yard freestyles to the hand have been faster than Finke’s 1000 yard split.
Finke is a member of the USA Swimming National Team and represented America at the 2017 World Championships in the long course equivalent: the 1500 meter free. He finished 21st.