2021 SEC MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, February 23 – Friday, February 26, 2021
- Columbia, MO – University of Missouri
- Prelims/Finals: 10 AM/5 PM Tues, 10 AM/6 PM Weds-Fri (Central Standard Time)
- Defending Champion: Florida (8x) (results)
- Live Video – SEC Network
- Championship Central
- Updated psych sheet
- Live Results
The Florida Gators have been well known for their distance prowess over the course of team history, and Caeleb Dressel‘s standout four-year tenure has helped bring their sprinting up to new heights in recent years.
But it’s a been a long time since they had a true top tier backstroker, someone who could keep them in the title hunt at the NCAA-level in a medley relay.
They had Michael Taylor for one season in 2018, who showed promise (helping them to third in the 200 MR at NCAAs), but they’re 100 back school record still belongs to Ryan Lochte from 2006, and the fastest time in school history in the 400 medley relay coming into the 2021 SEC Championships still only had a 46.41 backstroke lead-off.
The search appears to be over with the emergence of freshman Adam Chaney, who reset his 100 back personal best three times on Thursday, culminating with a 44.99 leading off the 400 medley.
That leaves him less than four-tenths off Lochte’s UF record (44.60), and also makes him the second-fastest swimmer in 17-18 age group history, trailing only Ryan Murphy (44.63).
With Chaney’s help, the Gators busted through the school record in the relay by half a second in 3:02.66, with Chaney’s split being the critical one in achieving both that feat, and the team winning the event by almost two seconds.
The former Mason Manta Ray almost became the first Gator to win the 100 back at SECs since 2011 earlier in the night, taking second to Georgia senior Javier Acevedo, but he would out-swim both him and the fastest man in the NCAA this season, Shaine Casas, on the relay lead-off.
100 breast winner Dillon Hillis, Eric Friese and Kieran Smith complimented Chaney’s lead-off perfectly, as the well-rounded team found their missing link and went faster than any Gator team could during the Dressel era.
Chaney, Hillis, Friese and Will Davis also helped lead Florida to the win in the 200 medley on the opening night, though there is still work to be done to hit that school record (which is fair considering Dressel anchored that team in *checks notes* 17.37).
Medley Relay Splits
In addition to Chaney’s lead-off, other splits that stand out from the 400 medley included Michael Houlie‘s 50.88 100 breast, Ben Patton‘s 51.16 breast leg, and Danny Kovac‘s 44.84 on fly. Florida’s Smith was the top freestyler in 41.28, which is incredible considering he won the 400 IM earlier in the night.
|Shaine Casas||Texas A&M||45.01|
|Guy Gropper||South Carolina||48.84|
|Andres Puente Bustamante||Texas A&M||52.06|
|Luke Massey||South Carolina||52.43|
|Jace Brown||Texas A&M||46.96|
|Jordan Yip||South Carolina||48.02|
|Kaloyan Bratanov||Texas A&M||42.05|
|Mark Shperkin||South Carolina||42.78|
TEAM SCORES (THRU DAY 3)
- Florida, 961.5
- Georgia, 881
- Tennessee, 655
- Texas A&M, 631
- Missouri, 601
- Kentucky, 577
- Alabama, 548
- Auburn, 502
- LSU, 323.5
- South Carolina, 219