Nic Fink seemed like an unassuming character, sporting silver-framed glasses and a Georgia beanie with ear flaps hiding his still-damp hair.
But the junior completed a three-peat of the 100-yard breaststroke at the Southeastern Conference swimming and diving championships Friday, breaking the 17-year-old conference record of 51.86 seconds set by Tennessee‚Äôs Jeremy Linn.
‚ÄúI knew Nic was going after that tonight,‚Äù assistant coach Stefanie Williams said of Fink‚Äôs 51.25-second record.
Fink said he expected it.
‚ÄúI think (Friday) morning I swam it pretty well and I kind of shut down at the end, so I was expecting a nice little drop (Friday night) and I was happy that it came,‚Äù said Fink, who was the only first-place finisher for Georgia‚Äôs men and women.
He also swam the breaststroke leg in the men‚Äôs 400 medley relay, a race in which Georgia placed second in 3 minutes, 5.55 seconds behind Auburn‚Äôs 3:05.38.
‚ÄúWe knew we had a great relay together,‚Äù Fink said. ‚ÄúWe haven‚Äôt had all the pieces together and we knew we had a shot at the title. We‚Äôre thrilled. We took a three-second cut off of the team record, which was a little surprising, but we‚Äôre going to be back and ready to go at NCAAs.‚Äù
The Georgia men sit in third place with 806 points while the Georgia women keep hold of a commanding lead, compiling 1,098 points through four days. Texas A&M is in second with 911 points and Florida is in third with 799.
Olivia Smolgia surged in the 100 backstroke, finishing second in 51.53 seconds, another medal to add to the freshman‚Äôs collection after she won the 50 freestyle Wednesday.
‚ÄúI really just got pumped up for it and tried to do the best I could, but definitely not (expecting this),‚Äù Smolgia said of her first SECs. ‚ÄúI wanted it to go as well as it has been going, but to actually have it, it‚Äôs really cool.‚Äù
Smolgia was also a part of the women‚Äôs 400 medley relay team, which took second in 3:29.87, just a half of a second behind Texas A&M.
‚ÄúIt was tough,‚Äù Smolgia said. ‚Äú… I had a little bit of recovery time, but everyone was basically in the same boat. ‚Ä¶ Shannon (Vreeland) finished it so hard. 46.9, that‚Äôs insane. She went so, so fast. It‚Äôs all about racing and I think we did that really well.‚Äù
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