ATHENS, Ga. – Kieran Smith picked up the first individual SEC championship for the Gators on Wednesday at the Gabrielsen Natatorium. The University of Florida men’s swimming & diving team finished day two of the 2019 SEC Championships in second place with 353.5 points.
In the 500 Free A Final, Trey Freeman posted the fourth-fastest swim in Florida history with a personal-best time of 4:12.80 and placed second. Khader Baqlah finished right behind in third with a career-best 4:12.96 and moved into the No. 5 spot in UF history. Robert Finke won the B Final and finished ninth overall with a career-best 4:14.86, which is the 10th best in program history. Erge Gezmis placed 12th overall with a personal-best mark of 4:16.49.
Smith just out touched Missouri’s Nick Alexander by two one-hundredths of a second with a swim of 1:43.13 to win the 200 IM A Final. Grant Sanders notched an eighth-place finish with a mark of 1:45.06. Alex Lebed posted a season-best time of 1:43.85 to win the C Final and placed 17th overall.
In the 50 Free B Final, Will Davis recorded a career-best time of 19.36 and tied with Zane Waddell of Alabama for first place. Bayley Main placed sixth in the C Final with a swim of 19.88.
The men’s 200 Free Relay team posted the fourth-best time in program history. Maxime Rooney, Davis, Main, and Smith combined for a time of 1:16.29 and placed second.
Freeman posted the fastest time by a Gator and fourth best in the prelims of the 500 Free with a swim of 4:16.25. Baqlah clocked a time of 4:17.07 and finished with the seventh-fastest time to make the A Final. Finke had the 11th-fastest mark in prelims with a time of 4:17.25 and qualified for the B Final. Gezmis also qualified for the B Final and recorded a mark of 4:18.51 for the 13th-best time in prelims. Ross Palazzo finished prelims in 34th place after a personal-best swim of 4:24.66. Grady Heath added a 40th-place swim with an effort of 4:27.51.
With a personal-best time of 1:42.94, Smith registered the fastest swim in the 200 IM prelims and secured an A Final spot. Sanders made the A Final with the seventh-best mark in prelims with a season-best mark of 1:44.23. Lebed swam a season-best effort of 1:45.91 and earned a spot in the C Final. Marco Guarente finished in 38th with a 1:48.11. Stanley Wu notched a career-best time of 1:48.52 and placed 41st.
Davis recorded the 11th-fastest swim in the 50 Free prelims and earned a spot in the B Final with time of 19.53. Main clocked a season-best mark of 19.78 and earned a spot in the C Final with a 17th-place finish. With a season-best swim of 20.00, Christoph Margotti finished in 26th.
Day three begins with the 400 IM prelims at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday.