Auburn V. Florida
- January 23, 2021
- James E. Martin Aquatic Center, Auburn, AL
- Meet Results
- Team Scores
- Women: Florida 215 — Auburn 84
- Men: Florida 158 — Auburn 142
The Auburn Tigers and Florida Gators wrapped up their regular season on Saturday at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center for Auburn’s senior day. At the end of the meet, both the Florida men and women swept Auburn, with the men’s winner coming down to the last event.
In SwimSwam’s 2020-2021 NCAA power rankings for December 2020, the Florida women were ranked No. 14 while the Florida men were ranked No. 3.
The Florida women first won the 200 medley relay with a 1:38.80, contributed by Lain Shahboz (25.55), Cecilia Porter (27.32), Talia Bates (23.84), and Katie Mack (22.09). Bates and Mack both earned two event wins for the Gators on Saturday’s dual. Bates then went on to win two events for the Gators on Saturday.
Bates first swam to a lifetime best in the 100 back, winning at 52.84. Bates’ time keeps her at No. 7 all-time in Florida program history, besting her former lifetime best of 53.03. Then, Bates won the 100 fly at 53.00, her 5th-fastest time in her career. Bates swam a lifetime best of 52.77 from the UNF dual three days ago, which is #10 all-time in program history.
Mack swept the sprint events on the women’s side, going 22.74/49.19. At the UNF dual meet, Mack swam a pair of lifetime bests, going 22.34/49.00. Florida teammate Kathleen Golding took second in the 100 free at 49.72. Later in the meet, she won the 200 IM at 1:57.96, just 0.03s off her lifetime best from the 2020 Auburn Fall Invitational from this past November.
Auburn’s lone event win came in the 1000 free, won by Averee Preble at 9:40.82, knocking seven seconds off her lifetime best from March 2019. That is now the top time in the NCAA this season, just 0.02s ahead of Tennessee’s Kristen Stege.
The Florida women then won the 400 free relay, with all four swimmers all going sub-50. The quartet of Bates (48.81), Gabrielle Hillis (49.19), Kirschtine Balbuena (49.86), and Mack (49.80) topped the event at 3:17.66. Bates’ lead-off time would have won the individual 100 free, which was just off her lifetime best of 48.23 from the UNF dual meet.
The Auburn men gave Florida a challenge on Saturday, as the clear winner was not determined until the last event. Kicking things off in the 200 medley relay, the Auburn A-relay held off Florida’s A-relay, anchored by NCAA record-holder Kieran Smith (19.41), by 0.14s at 1:27.62-1:27.76. Smith went on to crush three event wins for the Gators on Saturday.
Smith first won the 100 back at 47.22, just off his lifetime best of 46.73 from the 2020 Auburn Fall Invitational. Then, Smith flirted with another career best in the 100 free, winning the event at 42.75. That swim was just off his 42.14/42.52 performances at the 2020 SEC Championships from almost a year ago. Finally, Smith won the 200 IM in a 1:43.76, again off his career best of 1:41.72. His career 200 IM best currently ranks 2nd in the NCAA this season.
Taking second in the 200 IM was Auburn freshman Mikkel Dagaard at 1:49.62. Earlier in the meet, Dagaard was in a tight race with Florida’s Trey Freeman in the 200 free. Freeman won the event at 1:35.38, touching nearly two-tenths ahead in a lifetime best of 1:35.57. Then, Dagaard led an Auburn 1-2 finish in the 500 free, winning at 4:19.76. Teammate Michael Bonson took second in a PB of 4:21.13.
The Florida men then claimed the meet win against Auburn in the 400 free relay, with the quartet of Freeman (44.55), Adam Chaney (43.76), Eric Friese (42.90), and Will Davis (43.82) taking the top time at 2:55.03.
Up next for both teams will be the 2021 SEC Championships, held in Columbia, MO on February 17-20.