Kieran Smith Becomes First Swimmer With Multiple Sub-1:30s In 200 Free

2021 NCAA MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • When: Wednesday, March 24 – Saturday, March 27, 2021
  • Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center / Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Prelims 10 AM/ Finals 6 PM (Local Time)
  • Short course yards (SCY) format
  • Defending champion: Cal (1x) – 2019 results
  • Streaming:
  • Championship Central
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results

Florida’s Kieran Smith became the first swimmer in history to break the 1:30-barrier in the 200 freestyle on multiple occasions on the opening night of the Men’s NCAA Championships, leading off the Gator relay in a time of 1:29.66.

Smith went sub-1:30 for the first time at last month’s SECs, leading off the relay in 1:29.48 to rank him second all-time in the event. One year prior, he announced his presence as an elite 200 freestyler by going 1:30.11 at the 2020 SECs.

The NCAA, American and U.S. Open Records belong to Dean Farris, who led off Harvard’s relay at the 2019 NCAAs in 1:29.15.

Tonight’s swim ranks fifth all-time, giving Smith three of the six fastest times ever.

It’s also notable that four of the five sub-1:30 swims have come on the relay lead-off, with Townley Haas‘ 1:29.50 the lone swim coming in the individual event.

All-Time Performances, Men’s 200 Freestyle (SCY)

  1. Dean Farris (Harvard), 1:29.15 – 2019
  2. Kieran Smith (Florida), 1:29.48 – 2021
  3. Townley Haas (Texas), 1:29.50 – 2018
  4. Blake Pieroni (Indiana), 1:29.63 – 2018
  5. Kieran Smith (Florida), 1:29.66 – 2021
  6. Kieran Smith (Florida), 1:30.11 – 2020
  7. Andrew Seliskar (Cal) / Andrew Seliskar (Cal), 1:30.14 – 2019
  8. Blake Pieroni (Indiana), 1:30.23 – 2018
  9. Zach Apple (Indiana), 1:30.34 – 2019

Compared to his swim at SECs, Smith’s splits were near identical. The biggest margin came on the opening 50, where he was .12 slower.

Smith Split Comparison

2021 SECs
2021 NCAAs
20.68 20.80
22.61 (43.29) 22.65 (43.45)
23.09 (1:06.38) 23.04 (1:06.49)
23.10 (1:29.48) 23.17 (1:29.66)

While Smith was the lone swimmer to hit 1:29 on the lead-off leg, there were two others in the 1:30s.

Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas took down his school record for the Aggies in 1:30.59, becoming the eighth-fastest performer in history, and Texas’ Drew Kibler went 1:30.65, just off his lifetime best of 1:30.57 set earlier this season.

All-Time Performers, Men’s 200 Freestyle (SCY)

  1. Dean Farris (Harvard), 1:29.15 – 2019
  2. Kieran Smith (Florida), 1:29.48 – 2021
  3. Townley Haas (Texas), 1:29.50 – 2018
  4. Blake Pieroni (Indiana), 1:29.63 – 2018
  5. Andrew Seliskar (Cal), 1:30.14 – 2019
  6. Zach Apple (Indiana), 1:30.34 – 2019
  7. Drew Kibler (Texas), 1:30.57 – 2020
  8. Shaine Casas (Texas A&M), 1:30.59 – 2021
  9. Dylan Carter (USC), 1:30.95 – 2017
  10. Simon Burnett (ARIZ), 1:31.20 – 2006

Texas won the event in a time of 6:07.25, with Cal second, the Aggies third and the Gators fourth. Leading off for the Golden Bears was Trenton Julian, who took almost a full second off his PB in 1:31.41 to rank 15th all-time. USC’s Alexei Sancov moved into 23rd with his 1:31.82.

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Barry
2 months ago

Simon Burnett, still 10th. That’s pretty remarkable.

sjp1650
Reply to  Barry
2 months ago

I think I still have that taped on VHS! Ahead of his time.

ACC
2 months ago

Swimswam sure does love these photos of Smith entering the water for backstroke.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  ACC
2 months ago

He was actually exiting the pool in that photo.

ibelieve
2 months ago

Seeing Simon Burnett’s time from 2006 still that high up is pretty insane considering how fast this event has gotten recently!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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