FLORIDA V. GEORGIA
- Friday, October 30th, 2020
- Athens, GA
- Short Course Yards (SCY)
- Georgia – 165.5
- Florida – 134.5
After slipping with an A relay 200 medley relay DQ, the Florida men were unable to steady the ship, as SEC opponents Georgia packed punch after punch in a clash today in Athens. The last time UF lost a season opener to UGA on the men’s side was 1952, and this was their first dual meet loss to Georgia since October 2016.
Georgia bagged 15 easy points at Florida’s expense on the medley relay; their A won in 1:26.71, though Florida’s relay was faster (butterflier Eric Friese was called for an early start). For UGA, Javier Acevedo was 21.68 on back, Jack Dalmolin was 24.54 on breast, Luca Urlando 21.19 on fly and Dillon Downing dropped a 19.30 anchor. On Georgia’s B relay, Camden Murphy rocked a 20.62 fly leg.
Downing gave UGA, a program that has struggled to maintain an elite sprint group, a rare sprint win over an adversary like Florida: he popped a 19.87 in the 50 free to edge UF’s Friese (20.04) and freshman standout Adam Chaney (20.15).
Following the relay, three men broke nine minutes in the 1000 free, with Georgia freshman Jake Magahey leading the way at 8:53.73, a lifetime best by over a second. The Bulldogs grabbed second with senior Greg Reed at 8:55.00, a lifetime best for him, while Florida junior Robert Finke, the American record-holder in the 1650 free, was upset and finished third (8:57.43). The trio jockeyed with similar splits for most of the race, and Reed had the early lead, but he and Finke slipped up to 27s at least twice down the back-half of the race as Magahey stayed under 27 the entire second 500.
Magahey negative split significantly, going 4:29.05 in the first 500 and 4:24.68 on the second, compared to borderline even splits from Reed (4:27.38/4:27.62) and Finke (4:28.86/4:28.57).
Florida’s Trey Freeman stopped the bleeding, clocking a 1:36.10 in the 200 free to edge ahead of UGA sophomore Zach Hils (1:36.36). Freeman competed for UF as a freshman (2018-19) but redshirted last season to recover from knee surgery. This is a huge swim for him; he hasn’t logged an official race since a September 2019 dual meet against Florida Atlantic, where he went 1:38.20 in the 200 free, 4:28.52 in the 500 free and 1:50.35 in the 200 back.
Florida junior Kieran Smith was thrown into the 200 fly to try to take out UGA’s 200 fly group, but Bulldog freshman Luca Urlando (1:44.05) and senior Camden Murphy (1:44.59) got the job done as Smith faltered to third (1:44.74). If the live results splits are accurate, Murphy touched at 50.89 (tied with Smith) at the 100, then fell way behind with a 28.23 third 50, then roared back with an absurd 25.47 final 50. That’s a good half-second quicker on the final 50 than Murphy’s own 200 fly SEC title-winning performance last February, where he went 1:40.93.
After the first diving break, where UGA’s Zachary Allen won the 1-meter (327.00) over Florida’s Leonardo Garcia (321.60), a Mizzou transfer, Smith laid waste to the 100 free field with a 43.35, well ahead of Hils (44.73).
Georgia was relentless, though. Javier Acevedo, a UGA senior, picked up wins in the 100 back (47.10) and 200 back (1:43.37). Magahey returned in the 500 free, going head-to-head with Florida’s Freeman. In another marquee match-up, despite Freeman taking it out quicker, Magahey out-split Freeman on the back-half to win it, 4:19.14 to 4:19.46.
Urlando and Murphy went 1-2 once more in the 100 fly; Urlando posted a 47.02 and Murphy a 47.04, and Murphy again unleashed monster closing speed (22.9/24.1 compared to Urlando’s 22.1/24.9).
- Dalmolin picked up a win in the 200 breast (1:59.99) for Georgia.
- Florida junior Dillon Hillis clocked a 54.73 to touch out Dalmolin (55.18) in the 100 breast.
- Garcia came back to win the 3-meter boards with a score of 399.83, winning by more than 50 points.
- Though he was denied the win in the 1000 free, Finke pulled out a tight victory in the 400 IM. He was 3:50.33, holding off a charging Andrew Abruzzo (3:50.83) of UGA.
- The Gators won by a hair in the 400 free relay, 3:55.66 to 3:55.77. Both teams had two sub-44 splits: Georgia had Hils (43.91) and Downing (43.32) while Florida had Chaney (43.46) and Smith (43.08). Downing really performed here, despite UGA losing the relay; his anchor leg was over two seconds quicker than his individual 100 free, where he finished seventh at 45.99.