UF roundup: Swim team wins 2 medals on first night of SEC Championships
COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Gators shot out of a canon on night one of the SEC Championships with a win in the 200 Medley Relay and a second-place finish in the 800 free relay.
The team of Adam Chaney, Dillon Hillis, Eric Friese, and Will Davis have the fastest time in the nation in the 200 Medley Relay with a time of 1:23.17, which set a pool record at the Mizzou Aquatics Center and won the 200 Medley Relay title edging out Alabama by .11 seconds.
In the 800 Free Relay the quartet of Kieran Smith, Trey Freeman, Clark Beach, and Miguel Cancel placed second with a time of 6:12.24 and with time got an A-cut for Nationals. Smiths' lead off 200 free time in the relay of 1:29.48 is a SEC and school record.
No. 6 Florida continues its homestand at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on Thursday at 6 p.m. against UNF.
The Gators (8-0) enter the matchup with the Ospreys (1-4) after having swept the Bubly Invitational field of Georgia Southern and Charlotte last weekend.
Katie Chronister (4-0) picked up two wins in the Bubly Invitational against Eagles and the 49ers, along with a third win earlier in the week against the Dolphins from Jacksonville to earn her first SEC Pitcher of the Week accolade.
After Thursday's action, Florida will host Louisville Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. The team will then conclude Sunday with a single game against McNeese State at 1 p.m.
The Top-10 matchup between Florida and Loyola originally scheduled for Sunday in Baltimore, Md., has been postponed due to health and safety protocols.
The two teams will look to reschedule this game later on in the season.
The Gators (1-1) next play at Kennesaw State at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
The Florida track and field program will begin championship season as its returns to Fayetteville, Ark. to compete in the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships Thursday, Friday and Saturday inside the Randal Tyson Track Center.
The men’s and women’s teams, which rank eighth and seventh, respectively, on the latest USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field national polls, will enter the championship meet with 12 NCAA top-10 times and marks, including five that rank among the five-best in the nation and two that lead the NCAA.
Hurdler Grace Stark and thrower Thomas Mardal lead the nation in the 60-meter hurdles and the weight throw, respectively. Mardal, who took the title last year in the weight throw, will try to repeat Thursday. Meanwhile Stark, who earned silver in 2020 and owns the world under-20 record, will look to secure her first conference crown.
Sophomore Joseph Fahnbulleh, who ranks second in the nation and in the world, will headline the 200 meters for the Gators. Fahnbulleh posted a time 20.42 seconds two weeks ago at this year’s Tyson Invitational.
In the 60 meters, 2020 SEC Champion Raymond Ekevwo will look to earn his second gold medal as he enters tied for second in the nation. Meanwhile sophomore Semira Killebrew, who won silver last year, will look to clinch the title on the women’s side.
Newcomer Talitha Diggs will represent the Gators in the 400 meters. Diggs, who earned consecutive SEC Women’s Freshman of the Week honors this season after positing the sixth-and-fifth-fastest times in the 400 and 200 meters, will be joined by senior Taylor Manson.
On the distance front, redshirt sophomore Gabrielle Wilkinson, who ranks eighth in the nation will compete in the 800 meters, while junior Imogen Barrett will run the mile.
Jumpers Kala Penn and Natricia Hooper, who rank ninth and 10th, respectively on this year’s NCAA Division I Indoor Qualifying list, will represent the Gators in the triple jump.
The championships will be streamed live on SEC Network+ with a broadcast starting at 11 a.m. on Thursday, 12:55 p.m. and 6:25 p.m. on Friday, and 1:55 p.m. and 6:25 p.m. on Saturday.