Kieran Smith Ties 500 Freestyle American Record; Pulls Magahey to 4:06 at SEC Men’s Swimming Championships (RACE VIDEO)

kieran-smith
Photo Courtesy: Christina Long / Georgia Athletics

Talks circled all day over how fast Kieran Smith of Florida would go in the 500 freestyle final on Wednesday night at the 2021 SEC Men’s Swimming Championships in Columbia, Missouri. Was a 4:05 possible? 4:04? After going 1:29.48 last night in the 200 free, his 4:06 American record looked to be in jeopardy.

Smith went out fast…a 1:35.70 was over a second quicker than his 1:37 split from last season, and it looked like he would destroy his own record. But by the 300, Georgia freshman Jake Magahey was coming, as he split under 25 on his last 3x50s, closing the gap with each stroke. Smith looked to be hurting bad and it wasn’t just the record that was closing the gap on him.

Magahey is one of the rising stars in the sport, a junior national champ out of Swim Atlanta, and the national public school record holder in the 500 freestyle in high school, and had the fastest time in the nation entering today.

Kieran Smith finished in 4:06.32 to tie his own American record from last season, just holding off Georgia freshman Magahey (4:06.71) who is now second all-time in the event. Smith looked to be in trouble at the 450 turn, but used a strong underwater kickout to sprint away from Magahey on the final 25 in what was one of the fastest 500 free fields ever assembled.

This sets up an interesting matchup between these two, not only in four weeks at NCAAs, but in 109 days at Olympic Trials as Kieran Smith never got the opportunity to race at last year’s NCAAs.

Florida sophomore Trey Freeman, returning this season from a redshirt, finished in third at 4:12.76 as the Gators put five total swimmers in the A-final. Alfonso Mestre dropped another second on his best with a 4:12.77 to finish fourth as 1650 American record holder Bobby Finke was fifth at 4:13.48.

Texas A&M’s Mark Theall (4:15.57), Florida’s Tyler Watson (4:16.57) and Georgia’s Andrew Abruzzo (4:18.40) also swam in the championship final.

All-Time Rankings:

  1. 4:06.32, Kieran Smith, Florida, 2020, 2021
  2. 4:06.71, Jake Magahey, Georgia, 2021
  3. 4:07.25, Zane Grothe, Indiana, 2017
  4. 4:08.19, Townley Haas, Texas, 2019
  5. 4:08.26, Drew Kibler, Texas 2020

 Event 3  Men 500 Yard Freestyle
==================================================================
         NCAA: N 4:06.32  2/19/2020 Kieran Smith, Florida
     SEC Meet: S 4:06.32  2/19/2020 Kieran Smith, Florida
         Pool: P 4:12.78  2/18/2016 Akaram Mahmou, S. Carolina
                 4:11.82  A
                 4:23.34  B
    Name           Year School            Prelims     Finals              
==================================================================
                        === A - Final ===                         
 
  1 Smith, Kieran S  JR Florida-FL        4:14.69    4:06.32NA      
    r:+0.69  22.04        46.31 (24.27)
        1:10.81 (24.50)     1:35.70 (24.89)
        2:00.86 (25.16)     2:26.23 (25.37)
        2:51.53 (25.30)     3:16.90 (25.37)
        3:42.06 (25.16)     4:06.32 (24.26)
  2 Magahey, Jake M  FR Georgia-GA        4:12.39    4:06.71PA      
    r:+0.77  22.50        47.33 (24.83)
        1:12.23 (24.90)     1:37.57 (25.34)
        2:02.82 (25.25)     2:27.98 (25.16)
        2:53.09 (25.11)     3:17.93 (24.84)
        3:42.40 (24.47)     4:06.71 (24.31)
  3 Freeman, Trey P  SO Florida-FL        4:14.84    4:12.76PB      
    r:+0.72  22.91        47.77 (24.86)
        1:12.74 (24.97)     1:38.25 (25.51)
        2:03.92 (25.67)     2:29.93 (26.01)
        2:56.03 (26.10)     3:22.14 (26.11)
        3:47.85 (25.71)     4:12.76 (24.91)
  4 Mestre, Alfonso  SO Florida-FL        4:13.53    4:12.77PB      
    r:+0.74  22.77        47.70 (24.93)
        1:13.09 (25.39)     1:38.61 (25.52)
        2:04.36 (25.75)     2:30.11 (25.75)
        2:56.14 (26.03)     3:22.36 (26.22)
        3:48.27 (25.91)     4:12.77 (24.50)
  5 Finke, Bobby C   JR Florida-FL        4:15.22    4:13.48 B      
    r:+0.74  22.51        47.06 (24.55)
        1:12.27 (25.21)     1:37.74 (25.47)
        2:03.45 (25.71)     2:29.37 (25.92)
        2:55.40 (26.03)     3:21.69 (26.29)
        3:47.87 (26.18)     4:13.48 (25.61)
  6 Theall, Mark J   SR Texas A&M-GU      4:16.52    4:15.57 B      
    r:+0.68  22.67        47.18 (24.51)
        1:12.10 (24.92)     1:37.50 (25.40)
        2:03.43 (25.93)     2:29.63 (26.20)
        2:56.34 (26.71)     3:23.27 (26.93)
        3:49.92 (26.65)     4:15.57 (25.65)
  7 Watson, Tyler J  SO Florida-FL        4:15.93    4:16.57 B      
    r:+0.72  23.30        48.22 (24.92)
        1:13.83 (25.61)     1:39.40 (25.57)
        2:05.45 (26.05)     2:31.86 (26.41)
        2:58.32 (26.46)     3:24.71 (26.39)
        3:50.79 (26.08)     4:16.57 (25.78)
  8 Abruzzo, Andrew  JR Georgia-GA        4:15.98    4:18.40 B      
    r:+0.78  23.34        48.62 (25.28)
        1:14.39 (25.77)     1:40.42 (26.03)
        2:06.46 (26.04)     2:32.79 (26.33)
        2:59.29 (26.50)     3:25.83 (26.54)
        3:52.47 (26.64)     4:18.40 (25.93)

Team Scores through 500

  1. Florida 274
  2. Georgia 189
  3. Texas A&M 143
  4. Auburn 132
  5. Missouri 117
  6. Kentucky 113
  7. Tennessee 110
  8. Alabama 99
  9. South Carolina 83
  10. LSU 77

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