Special to Gatorsports.com
Athens, Ga. – The Florida men and Texas A&M women won the SEC Swimming & Diving Championships held Saturday at Georgia’s Gabrielsen Natatorium.
The Gators won their seventh consecutive and 40th overall title in men’s swimming & diving with a total score of 1,233 points. Missouri finished second with 1,137 points. It was the first SEC title for first-year UF coach Anthony Nesty, who replaced the retired Gregg Troy last spring.
The Aggies earned their fourth consecutive SEC title in women’s swimming & diving with a final score of 1,107 points. Florida came in second with 1,023.50 points.
The Florida freshmen swept the 1650 freestyle events, as Leah Braswell won the women’s with a time of 15:53.54 and Robert Finke won the men’ with an SEC meet record time of 14:23.01, the fourth fastest time ever by an NCAA swimmer.
This extends the university’s streak for consecutive SEC titles across all sports to 42 years. This is the 242nd SEC title for Florida and 250th conference championship in the history of the university.
Finke broke almost every record possible in one swim. With his personal-best time of 14:23.01, he set the fourth-fastest time in NCAA history, the fastest time in UF history, an SEC Championship record and broke the Georgia pool record.
Clark Beach recorded a third-place finish in the 200 Back A Final with a career-best swim of 1:39.95. Grant Sanders placed third in the 200 Breast A Final.
The 400 Free Relay team of Maxime Rooney, Khader Baqlah, Bayley Main and Kieran Smith placed second with a combined effort of 2:48.82.
For the second-place UF women, Braswell and Taylor Ault made a statement in the 1,650 Free as the two finished first and second, respectively. Braswell clocked the fifth-fastest time in Florida history with a 15:53.54. Ault notched a career-best time of 16:00.52 and has the ninth-fastest swim in UF history.
Sherridon Dressel finished third in the 100 Free B Final with a time of 48.73. Bella Garofalo recorded a career-best 49.18 and won the C Final. Kelsey Dambacher posted a personal-best time of 49.19 and placed second.