Kieran Smith Blasts 1:29.48 Leading off Florida’s 800-F-R, Now #2 All-Time

by Robert Gibbs 35

February 23rd, 2021 College, News, SEC


Florida junior Kieran Smith came within a few tenths of his second freestyle U.S. Open Record, as he led off Florida’s 800 free relay in 1:29.48, moving him to #2 all-time.

Smith came into tonight with a lifetime best of 1:30.11, which he did leading off Florida’s relay at last year’s SEC Championships, which put him at #4 all-time.

Fastest 200 Freestyles (SCY)

  1. Dean Farris – 1:29.15
  2. Kieran Smith – 1:29.48
  3. Townley Haas – 1:29.50
  4. Blake Pieroni – 1:29.63
  5. Andrew Seliskar – 1:30.14 (twice)

Of those five, 3 swam their best times leading off a 800 free relay, with Farris and Pieroni leading off an 800 free relay at NCAAs. Haas swam his best time as an individual event, and Seliskar at the 2019 NCAA Championships split 1:30.14 leading off an 800 free relay and to win the individual event. Despite Smith’s valiant efforts tonight, Texas A&M came out on top in tonight’s relay, snapping an 8-year winning streak for the Gators.

Last year, Smith followed up his 1:30.11 leadoff on Day 1 by swimming the fastest 500 free ever on Day 2, ripping a 4:06.32 that lowered that mark by nearly a second. He’s entered in both the 500 free and the 200 IM tomorrow, so it will be interesting to which event he ends up swimming.

Smith was faster on all four splits of his 200 free than he was at last year’s SEC Championships, but notably his finishing 50 did most of the damage, .43 seconds better. If Smith is getting better at the “endurance” part of his freestyle, that bodes well for his 500 free on Wednesday.

Smith – 2020 SECs
Smith – 2021 SECs
20.85 20.68
22.53 (43.38) 22.61 (43.29)
23.20 (1:06.58) 23.09 (1:06.38)
23.53 (1:30.11) 23.10 (1:29.48)

The difference between Smith and the fastest-ever Dean Farris comes in the opening 100. In his record-breaking swim, Farris split 42.8 on the first 100.

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7 months ago

I think we can probably take a guess at which one he’s swimming

Daniel Jablonski
7 months ago

Anyone want to see him swim both, and take the day off on day 3 to rest for the mile? 👀

Reply to  Daniel Jablonski
7 months ago

2 days off. SEC is an extra day so it would be a 2 day break before the mile on saturday.

(That is unless i missed if theyre shortening the meet to match NCAA lineups because its just mens teams this week)

Reply to  Questionable
7 months ago

The meet was shortened, and Smith doesn’t swim the mile which is on Friday this year.

Sun Yangs Hammer
7 months ago

The split comparisons between Dean and Kieran is pretty notable. Absolute mad lad on the back half

Reply to  Sun Yangs Hammer
7 months ago

Farris was out 42.8
Kieran 43.28

Reply to  PhillyMark
7 months ago

TBH I wouldn’t call Smith a “mad lad on the back half” but rather I’d say he swam a balanced 200. Dean dropped added like a second from the 3rd to the 4th 50.

Last edited 7 months ago by Waader
7 months ago

It’s crazy to think that 5 years ago no one had broken 1:31, and today to win NCAAs you need to be sub 1:30… dam son

Reply to  IM FAN
7 months ago

Wild to think a 1:32 won NCAA’s in 2015

Reply to  sscommentor
7 months ago

While the men’s 200 LCM free times seem stuck. Very different races.

7 months ago

Wow!!! I’ve been looking forward to an exciting Kieran vs. Kibler battle where they both break 1:29, but now I wonder if Kibler has any chance at all against the juggernaut Kieran has become. There are a lot of stars who excel in this event right now. Any guesses as to what it will take to make the A final at NCAAs in the 200 free? It’s gonna be fast, and Dean isn’t even swimming!

Reply to  Willswim
7 months ago

I’m already so excited for the 200 Free at NCAA’s 2022:

Farris back after redshirting

Kieran Smith in his final campaign

Kibler in his final campaign

Foster / Urlando as sophomores

+ who knows who else might have stepped up

Last edited 7 months ago by chinnychenchen
Reply to  chinnychenchen
7 months ago

Foster and Urlando are body lengths behind Smith’s 1:29.4 in SCY.

Human Ambition
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
7 months ago

Foster & Urlando is still cozy in their warmups.

7 months ago


Reply to  Applesandoranges
7 months ago
7 months ago

Hey guys, remember when the record was stuck at 1:31.2 for ten years

Reply to  DCSwim
7 months ago

I member

Reply to  DCSwim
7 months ago

Smith just made a 1:31.1 look pedestrian

7 months ago

He looks ready to swim a great 500 free tomorrow.

He’ll be way ahead of everyone as he tries to break his American record of 4:06. After the first 150, it will be Kieran against the clock.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Marklewis
7 months ago

Kieran vs Townley’s first 250

Last edited 7 months ago by Mr Piano
Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Mr Piano
7 months ago

LOL – ah yes, the day the piano fell!