By Sharon Robb
ATLANTA, March 23, 2022—University of Florida is among favorites to dominate the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Wednesday through Saturday at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta.
Seventeen Gator swimmers and divers are competing in the four-day meet. Adam Chaney, Jace Crawford, Will Davis, Bobby Finke, Trey Freeman, Nicholas Hernandez-Tome, Dillon Hillis, Mason Laur, Oskar Lindholm, Macguire McDuff, Alfonso Mestre, Kieran Smith, Kevin Vargas and Tyler Watson advanced to the national championships based on their season-best times in 12 different events.
Leonardo Garcia and Anton Svirskyi joined the group after qualifying at NCAA Diving Zones the first week of March. Garcia will compete in all three events. Svirskyi qualified on both the 3-meter springboard and platform.
All five relays also qualified for the NCAA Championships: 200 free relay (1:15.18), 400 free relay (2:46.91), 800 free relay (6:08.00), 200 medley relay (1:22.06) and 400 medley relay (3:02.61).
The Gators have NCAA experience to the meet, with Chaney, Davis, Finke, Freeman, Friese, Hillis, Mestre, Smith, Vargas and Watson all having competed at the championships in their careers.
Florida Gold Coast swimmer and St. Andrew’s alum Izaak Bastian, a national record holder for the Bahamas, will make his third NCAA appearance.
Bastian, a team captain, will compete on the medley relays.
He helped secure bronze at ACCs behind a school record and he was also a part of the 200 medley relay in 2019 that placed seventh at the NCAA Championships. Bastian placed 10th in the 100 breaststroke (52.38) and was 17th in the 200 breaststroke (1:55.36) at ACCs.
The No. 23rd-ranked Seminoles will compete in the 200 medley relay followed by the 800 free relay on Wednesday.
“We are excited for the men’s meet this week,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “We have all five relays going with a shot at scoring, so that is a little extra special. It should be a great week for us.”
Prelims will start on Thursday at 10 a.m. with FSU’s three individual qualifiers, Max McCusker, Yordan Yanchev and Mason Herbet competing. The top 16 advance to finals at 6 p.m. and relays will be included at the end of each finals session.
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
Hurricanes platform diver Zach Cooper is among favorites. Cooper will be joined Max Flory, who won the platform event and also qualified in both springboard events at the NCAA qualifier. Cooper is a three-time NCAA All-America and two-time ACC gold medalist.
ESPN3 will provide digital broadcast coverage for preliminary and finals sessions. Additionally, ESPNU will air a two-hour show at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 5. Links can be found on WatchESPN or at the Championship Central webpage.
The official website for the men’s championship is http://www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-men/d1. As the host institution, Georgia Tech’s website also has Championship Central, where heat sheets and results will be updated each day.
The DI Men’s Swimming & Diving Program can be viewed at http://www.NCAA.com/gameprograms. The program is free to view and can be downloaded and printed.
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
All prelims, 10 a.m., all finals 6 p.m.
Day 1, Wednesday, 200 medley relay (Finals only); 800 free relay (Finals only).
Day 2, Thursday, 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 1-meter diving, 200 freestyle relay (finals only).
Day 3, Friday, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 3-meter diving, 400 medley relay (finals only).
Day 4, Saturday, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, platform diving, 1650 free (4:05 p.m. start), 400 free relay (finals only).
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com