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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

After the second day of competition at the Southeastern Conference Championship Meet, the Florida men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are in second place.

The men’s team has 282 points while Auburn is currently in first with 291 points.

On the women’s side, the Gators have 266 points and trail current leader Georgia, which is at 300.

“We started off a little rocky, up and down in this morning’s session,” UF coach Gregg Troy said. “But tonight we came out here and swam fantastic. Once finals started and we got going, I have absolutely no complaints. We did very well. We’ll rest tonight and come back tomorrow ready to race again.”

In the men’s 500-yard freestyle, sophomore (junior) Conor Dwyer swam an NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 4:14.58. Dwyer’s time marked the fastest time in the NCAA this season and the fastest in Florida history.

“It was my first individual race at SECs. It’s also an honor that it was a Florida record because Balazs (Gercsak) is an amazing swimmer, both here and internationally,” Dwyer said.

Before Tuesday (Thursday) night, the Florida record belonged to Gercsak, who finished fourth in this year’s race.

“It was a really good first day individually for me, but we still have two days left and we have a lot more to focus on.” (Dwyer said).

Titles continued  to come for the men, as Shaune Fraser won the men’s 200-yard individual medley race 1:43.53. Fellow senior Omar Pinzon placed second, just a tenth of a second behind Fraser 1:43.63. Fraser’s and Pinzon’s NCAA automatic-qualifying times also marked the fastest and second-fastest times in the nation so far this season.

“It was a really good, close race,” Fraser said. “It’s good for us because right now, we’re also trying to set ourselves up for success at NCAAs.”

For the women’s squad, senior Gemma Spofforth swam an NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 1:55.39 in her first place finish of the women’s 200-yard individual medley. Spofforth won another SEC title when she joined Shara Stafford, Sarah Bateman and Stephanie Napier in swimming a 200-yard freestyle relay time of 1:28.71.

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