SEC Day 2 Scratches: Defending Champ Smith Opts Out of 200 IM, Will Swim 500 FR


The 2020 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships continue Wednesday morning with the meet’s first individual events: the 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free. After a historic 200 free leadoff on night 1, Florida’s Kieran Smith is making a change in his event lineup this season. Smith won the 200 IM in 2019 as a freshman. However, he’s scratched out of the event and will instead be swimming the 500 free.

Smith’s lifetime best is a 4:16.96 from 2017 when he was still in high school. He’s already been close to that this season in a dual meet, though, with a season-best 4:18.13 in January against Tennessee. Given his massive 4-second drop from his former individual 200 free best, it’s safe to say Smith brought his A game and will be a title threat. He was the 13th seed in the 200 IM and is the 6th seed in the 500 free.

Teammate Talia Bates, a standout freshman sprinter for the Gators, is slated to swim the 50 free tomorrow. Bates didn’t compete on the 200 medley relay tonight. Since the first half of Florida’s dual meet with Auburn in late January, Bates has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury and there was no given timeline for her return.

The Gators’ Sherridon Dressel did scratch the 50 free, however, where she was the #23 seed. This isn’t all that surprising, given that she has higher scoring potential in her other entries (both backstrokes, the 100 fly, and the 100 free). Dressel won’t compete individually on day 2, but will likely play a part in the timed finals of the 200 free relay.

Additional Day 2 Scratches

  • Florida’s Kathleen Golding made the opposite move of Smith, scratching from the #17 seed in the 500 free in favor of the 200 IM, where she’s #11.
  • Georgia’s Clayton Forde (#13) and Missouri’s Jack Dahlgren (#15) scratched out of the 500 free. Forde will swim the 200 IM as the 5th seed, while Dahlgren will not swim individually on day 2.
  • Tennessee’s Alexis Yager (#16) is out of the 200 IM and won’t swim individually on day 2.
  • Georgia’s Ian Grum (#17) and Florida’s Clark Beach (#22) were among the scratches in the men’s 200 IM. Neither will swim individually on day 2.

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2 years ago


Swimmer fan
2 years ago

I respect the decision, but really wanted to see that clash between Casas & Smith in the 2 IM.

2 years ago

He’s going under 4:10 fosho

cody miller's camera
Reply to  FOSHO
2 years ago


Last 50
2 years ago

407.1 American record

Reply to  Last 50
2 years ago

Unless he takes the Haas strategy…

Jay Ryan
Reply to  jd14
2 years ago

2:00/2:08 Positive split from Haas?

OG Prodigy
2 years ago

Extremely excited to watch a 1:30 200freestyler swim a 500. Can’t wait!

Reply to  OG Prodigy
2 years ago

Let’s just hope he doesn’t pull a Townley

Texas A&M Swim Fan
2 years ago

“Maybe just maybe” Smith “checking out” of the 200 IM might be due to Shaine Casa’s time!! That is probably the smart thing to do!!!

Reply to  Texas A&M Swim Fan
2 years ago

Or because he was ready to smash the NCAA record in the 500 by 2 seconds.

Konner Scott
2 years ago

Before tonight would have said WTF, but after tonight, yeah sure I get it.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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