ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Florida men’s swimming & diving team finished day three of the 2019 SEC Championships in first place with 636 points on Thursday at the Gabrielsen Natatorium. Maxime Rooney broke the Georgia pool record in the prelims and followed that up with a stellar performance in the finals as he broke the record for a second time.
Robert Finke, Kieran Smith, and Grant Sanders swept the 400 IM A Final. This is the first time since a team as swept an individual event since 2013, when Gators Marcin Cieslak, Sebastien Rousseau, and Cameron Martin swept the 200 Fly. Finke placed first with a personal-best time of 3:40.94. Smith clocked a career-best 3:41.50 and finished in second. Sanders completed the sweep in third with a swim of 3:42.87. Alex Lebed recorded a season-best mark of 3:44.93 and placed second in the B Final. Ross Palazzo finished in second place in the C Final with a career-best 3:46.46.
Rooney followed his prelim performance with an outstanding swim in the 100 Fly A Final as he broke the Georgia pool record for the second time in as many swims. Rooney’s time of 45.06 is currently the fastest in the NCAA and is an NCAA A Cut. Rooney currently ranks fourth in Florida history. Kacper Stokowski recorded a sixth-place finish in the A Final with a mark of 45.96. Will Davis added a personal-best swim with the fastest time in the B Final with a time of 45.99. Davis moved into the No. 6 spot in the UF record books. Brennan Balogh clocked a career-best swim of 46.79 and won the C Final.
Khader Baqlah collected a bronze finish in the 200 Free A Final with a swim of 1:32.71. Trey Freeman swam a career-best 1:34.09 and placed seventh. Dakota Mahaffey placed fourth in the B Final with an effort of 1:35.30. Erge Gezmis notched a personal-best mark of 1:35.77 and placed fourth in the C Final. Grady Heath collected a fifth-place swim of 1:35.91.
Nick Lydon led the divers with a career-high points total with 331.30 and placed 16th on the 3-Meter. Alex Farrow added a score of 292.60 and placed 23rd. Lyle Hayes-Macaluso tallied a point total of 225.90 and placed 31st.
Sanders and Smith started the prelims strong as the pair finished first and second, respectively, in the 400 IM prelims. Sanders notched a personal-best time of 3:42.17 and Smith added a swim of 3:42.32. Finke earned a spot in the A Final with his sixth-place mark of 3:44.12. Lebed picked up a spot in the B Final with a swim of 3:45.28 and placed 10th. Palazzo swam a 3:47.98 and collected a spot in the C Final with his 17th-place finish.
In the prelims, all four Florida swimmers clocked career-best marks in the 100 Fly. Rooney led the charge with a blistering 45.32 to post the fastest time and break the then Georgia pool record in the process. Stokowski placed fifth in prelims with a personal-best swim of 45.72 and earned a spot into the A Final. Stokowski’s time is the fifth-fastest in UF history. Davis finished in 12th after his mark of 46.47 and picked up a spot in the B Final. Balogh posted a time of 47.10 and earned a slot in the C Final.
The Gators had six of the seven swimmers make a final in the 200 Free. Baqlah and Freeman qualified for the A Final. Baqlah had the fifth-best swim with a mark of 1:33.86. Freeman notched a time of 1:34.17. Mahaffey was the lone swimmer from Florida to qualify for the B Final with his 12th-best swim of 1:35.29. Gezmis collected a C Final spot with his effort of 1:35.88 and placed 20th. Heath posted the 21st-fastest time with a 1:35.92. Beach clocked a personal-best time of 1:36.03 and finished the prelims in 23rd. Christoph Margotti swam a 1:37.27 and finished in 34th place.
Day four begins with the 200 Fly prelims at 10 a.m. ET on Friday.
1. Florida – 636
2. Missouri – 625
3. Texas A&M – 492
4. Tennessee – 442
5. Alabama – 441.5
6. Georgia – 436
7. Kentucky – 386.5
8. Auburn – 343
9. South Carolina – 292
10. LSU – 265