Kieran Smith Repeats as SEC Championship Swimmer of the Meet in 2021

by Mark Dziak 6

February 28th, 2021 College, Diving, News, SEC

2021 SEC MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Tuesday, February 23 — Friday, February 26, 2021
  • Columbia, MO — University of Missouri
  • Prelims/Finals: 10am/5pm Tues, 10am/6pm Wed-Fri (Central Standard Time)
  • Defending Champion: Florida (9x) (results)
  • Live Video — SEC Network
  • Championship Central
  • Live Results

The University of Florida men took home their ninth straight SEC title this weekend at the Mizzou Aquatics Center in Columbia, Missouri. The Gators were led by junior Kieran Smith, who was named “Swimmer of the Meet” for the second consecutive year.

Smith finished first in the 500 free by tying his own NCAA and American Record in 4:06.32. He would pick up his second win by taking first in the 400 IM in 3:37.47. In his final individual event, Smith placed third in the 100 free with a time of 42.11.

Besides Smith’s record-tying swim in the 500 free, he swam the second-fastest 200 free ever as he led-off the 800 free relay in 1:29.48. He also split 18.81 on the Gator’s 200 free relay, 41.28 on the 400 medley relay, and led-off the 400 free relay in 41.94.

All eyes will be on Smith at the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship in Greensboro next month. He had a breakout 2019-2020 season where he originally set the record in the 500 freestyle. He was an A-finalist in the 200 IM and 400 IM as a freshman, but with last year’s meet canceled due to the coronavirus, 2021 will be Smith’s first NCAA meet with weighty expectations.

Smith shared the Commissioner’s Trophy with Shaine Casas of Texas A&M. The Commissioner’s Trophy is given to the student-athlete(s) who score the most individual points at the championships whereas “Swimmer of the Meet” is voted on by the coaches. 

Casas placed first in the 200 IM in 1:39.26, first in the 200 backstroke in 1:36.85, and took third in the 100 butterfly in 44.91.

Casas made the interesting choice to swim the 100 butterfly on day 3 of the meet rather than the 100 back as he was all-but-guaranteed a win in the backstroke. His time of 43.87 is the fastest in the country this year, over a second ahead of the next-fastest SEC swimmer coming into the meet. 

Top Point Scorers, 2021 SEC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships.

  1. (TIE) Kieran Smith, Jr., Florida – 91 (500 free – 1st; 400 IM – 1st; 100 free – 3rd)/Shaine Casas, Jr., Texas A&M – 91 (200 IM – 1st; 100 fly – 3rd; 200 back – 1st)
  2. Jake Magahey, Fr., Georgia – 88 (500 free – 2nd; 200 free – 1st; 1650 free – 2nd)
  3. Javi Acevedo, Sr., Georgia – 87 (200 IM – 3rd; 100 back – 1st; 200 back – 2nd)
  4. (TIE) Juan Celaya-Hernandez, Sr., LSU – 86 (1-meter – 1st; 3-meter – 2nd; platform – 4th)/Adam Chaney, Fr., Florida – 86 (50 free – 1st; 100 back – 2nd; 100 free – 4th)

The diving portion of the meet was held last week during the Women’s SEC Swimming & Diving Championships. LSU’s Celaya-Hernandez was named Men’s Diver of the Meet after finishing 2nd on 3-meter and winning the 1-meter. Texas A&M’s Kurtis Matthews won the 3-meter and was 2nd on 1-meter, but the tie-breaker was a 4th-place finish for Celaya-Hernandez on platform where Matthews placed 22nd.

SEC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship Team Scores

Place Team Points
1 Florida 1401
2 Georgia 1324.50
3 Tennessee 850.50
4 Texas A&M 843
5 Alabama 841.50
6 Missouri 802
7 Kentucky 759
8 Auburn 671
9 LSU 427.50
10 South Carolina 232

 

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Max Hardie
1 month ago

How does Kieran do in LC? Will he make the Olympic Team? 200 & 400 free and 400 IM?

Bub
Reply to  Max Hardie
1 month ago

Historically he’s been a better long course swimmer

wow
Reply to  Max Hardie
1 month ago

Doubt he swims 400IM, even though that was his best event a few years back. It’s on the same day as the 400 Free. I’d say he enters 100-200-400-800FR + 200 IM. Will probably swim 4 of those 5.

Last edited 1 month ago by wow
25Backstroke
Reply to  wow
1 month ago

200/400 definitely his best shots to make the team, but a dark horse in the IM events. I think the 100 is too competitive and the 800 isn’t his optimal range

Aquajosh
Reply to  Max Hardie
1 month ago

He was the top ranked US 200m freestyler in 2019 and he’s only gotten better since then.

Texas A&M Swim Fan
29 days ago

Got to disagree a little bit with SwimSwam on a “portion” of this article. Not ALL eyes will be on Smith ( admittedly a great swimmer) but my eyes WILL be on Shaine Casas who will be wearing the “Block T” swim cap for ATM👍👍. Better keep at least a portion of your 👀on him as well as the rest of those “Fightin Texas Aggies” that will be swimming there. I’m predicting “surprises” for all to 👀!!