Ridgefield swimmer Smith verbally commits to Florida

Swimmer Kieran Smith, a rising senior at Ridgefield High School, has given a verbal commitment to attend the University of Florida.

Smith announced the decision on his Instagram page, wearing a Florida T-shirt in a photo and writing, "Proud to call myself a future gator!!!"

Earlier this month, SwimSwam magazine ranked Smith eighth in its top-20 national list of boys swimmers in the class of 2018. "Outside of [top-ranked Reece] Whitley, the best all-around IMer (individual medley swimmer) in the class," said the magazine about Smith.

"I chose the University of Florida because it’s the perfect fit for me," Smith told Swimming World magazine. "They have an excellent undergraduate program in kinesiology, which is exactly what I’m looking for. On the swimming side, Coach [Gregg] Troy and Coach [Anthony] Nesty do an excellent job of helping middle distance swimmers and IMers like myself thrive."

Florida won its fifth straight Southeastern Conference (SEC) title in March and then finished third (for the second consecutive year) at the NCAA championships.

As a junior at Ridgefield High, Smith won all six of his individual races in three post-season meets last fall. He finished first in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke at the FCIAC championships, then won the 200 and 500 freestyles at the Class LL and State Open meets.

His times in the 200 freestyle (1:37.28) and the 500 freestyle (4:24.69) at the Open were both meet and state records. Smith lowered his own state and meet record in the 500 freestyle.

Smith also swam the anchor leg on Ridgefield's 400 freestyle relay, which finished first at the State Open in a new school-record time.

Smith and Ridgefield Aquatic Club teammate AJ Bornstein (also a rising senior at Ridgefield High) are competing in the USA Swimming Phillips 66 Nationals and World Championships Trials (June 27-July 1) at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind.