Florida's Adam Chaney, Jake Mitchell swim to silver at national championships

Special to Gator Sports
Kieran Smith starts his heat in the Men's 200 Freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Monday, June 14, 2021, in Omaha, Neb.

IRVINE, Calif. — Adam Chaney set a personal-best 53.68 in the 100-meter back, while Jake Mitchell had a tight finish in the 400-meter freestyle as the Gator duo claimed silvers on Friday night at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Irvine, Calif. 

Kieran Smith claimed bronze in the 400-meter freestyle so the UF program now has claim to 10 medals this week.

Chaney finished just .13 seconds behind first place. The Mason, Ohio native, who was an All-American and All-SEC First Team in the 100 yard back this year, will compete in the 50-meter freestyle on Saturday. Mitchell secured his highest finish of the week after finishing fifth in the 200-meter freestyle on Wednesday. The Michigan transfer, who swam a 3:46.59 on Friday night, joined Kieran Smith and Bobby Finke to go two-three-four in the 400-meter freestyle.

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Smith notched his third medal of the week, earning silver in the 200-meter freestyle and bronzes in the 400-meter IM and tonight's 400-meter freestyle, where he touched the wall in 3:48.48.

After scratching the 1,500-meter freestyle earlier in the week due to a non-COVID illness, Finke used a strong final leg to climb back to a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter freestyle at 3:48.99. Finke will wrap up his week on Saturday with the 800-meter freestyle, an event he won gold in the Olympics last year.

Gators sweep 400 individual medley

Kevin Vargas and Katie Ledecky both claimed national titles and personal bests in the 400 IM on the third day of the Phillips 66 National Championships on Thursday.

Vargas, who finished second in the morning preliminary session, swam a 4:11.45 during the final, shaving nearly three seconds from his prelim time, and ranking him in the top-10 in the world this year.

In his home state of California, Vargas used a strong breaststroke leg of 1:10.48 to pull ahead for good.

Ledecky's personal-best time of 4:35.77 in the 400-meter IM would have been third at this year's FINA World Championships, and dropped nearly three seconds off her previous best. It was the first personal best for Ledecky since 2018, and her third national title in as many days.

“I just wanted to have fun with it," Ledecky said to USA Swimming. "As much fun as you can have in a 400 IM. Just no expectations, hoping to go a best time so I’m really thrilled with how that went."