SEC Day 3 Analysis: Gators Find Medley’s Missing Link With Adam Chaney

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 HillisEric 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.

Backstroke Lead-offs

Swimmer School Split
Adam Chaney Florida 44.99
Shaine Casas Texas A&M 45.01
Matthew Menke Alabama 45.18
Javi Acevedo Georgia 45.54
Jack Dahlgren Missouri 46.21
Lleyton Smith Auburn 46.91
Micah Chambers Tennessee 48.05
Kyle Barker Kentucky 48.11
Miguel Velasquez LSU 48.28
Guy Gropper South Carolina 48.84

Breaststroke Splits

Swimmer School Split
Michael Houlie Tennessee 50.88
Ben Patton Missouri 51.16
Dillon Hillis Florida 51.35
Mitchell Mason LSU 51.95
Andres Puente Bustamante Texas A&M 52.06
Reid Mikuta Auburn 52.12
Derek Maas Alabama 52.19
Luke Massey South Carolina 52.43
Jack Dalmolin Georgia 53.1
CJ Layne Kentucky 56.67

Butterfly Splits

Swimmer School Split
Danny Kovac Missouri 44.84
Camden Murphy Georgia 44.96
Eric Friese Florida 45.04
Kayky Mota Tennessee 45.94
Colton Stogner Alabama 46.02
Jace Brown Texas A&M 46.96
Nik Eberly Auburn 47.11
Mason Wilby Kentucky 47.20
Michael Petro LSU 47.61
Jordan Yip South Carolina 48.02

Freestyle Splits

Swimmer School Split
Kieran Smith Florida 41.28
Matt King Alabama 41.33
Kaloyan Bratanov Texas A&M 42.05
Dillon Downing Georgia 42.13
Freddie Rindshoej Missouri 42.38
Mark Shperkin South Carolina 42.78
Seth Bailey Tennessee 43.19
Max Berg Kentucky 43.24
Christian Sztolcman Auburn 43.29

TEAM SCORES (THRU DAY 3)

  1. Florida, 961.5
  2. Georgia, 881
  3. Tennessee, 655
  4. Texas A&M, 631
  5. Missouri, 601
  6. Kentucky, 577
  7. Alabama, 548
  8. Auburn, 502
  9. LSU, 323.5
  10. South Carolina, 219

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JCO
6 months ago

Smith, Curry, & King should be an electric 100 free tomorrow

Swammer
Reply to  JCO
6 months ago

Ya plus Chaney.

Pawprint
6 months ago

Curry was 41.0 but he did leave early. But could have been the quickest split potentially.

bobthebuilderrocks
6 months ago

Also, I think for 2019 they had Stokowksi and then he transferred, but looks like they have found their backstroker now.

Anon
6 months ago

Solid chance Adam becomes most valuable swimmer in his class when factoring in relays given he is arguably the best sprinter. Pretty impressive when you confident how deep that class is across the board.

wolfensf
6 months ago

So for the 2-4 relay legs their reaction (take-off) time is included in their splits right?

John
Reply to  wolfensf
6 months ago

The time starts when the swimmer before them touches the wall

Dan
6 months ago

Looking at relay take off times plus splits vs individual races, Florida could go 1-2 seconds faster in the 400 Medley Relay assuming Adam can repeat or be close to that 44.9

ShoeBaca
Reply to  Dan
6 months ago

Flat start swims include their own reaction times… at least +0.6 seconds for all non-backstroke swims.

Don’t forget the difference of body mechanics from flat start to relay exchange.

Just saying – don’t be a magician when predicting relay swims based on non-relay logic.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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