We have uncovered the schedule for the 2012 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships, which it was revealed last week would run 5 days.
It will basically follow the official “4 day meet format” for Common Site meets that is allowed for under NCAA rules, and is used at the Division II NCAA championships. The only difference is moving the 200 medley and 800 free relay to the first day (Tuesday) – allowed by mutual agreement of the coaches.
The first day (which will be held on Tuesday) will look largely the same as the normal four-day conference championship schedule, as will the 2nd day.
But it’s the third day of competition where things will get interesting. First will come the standard beginning of day 3 – the 400 IM, 100 fly, and 200 free. But there will be no relay on that day, as compared to the NCAA schedule, where the quivalent day is kicked off with the 200 medley relay (that race is not typically swum on day 3 of most conference championships anyway).
Day 4 will wrap up that lineup, with the 400 medley relay, the 100 back, and the 100 breast; but will stick the 200 fly in there to lighten the load on the final load for the final day of the competition.
There are likely some financial impacts to this – with Texas A&M (the hosts) and Missouri joining the conference, a 5th day will probably still be a sell-out. That will continue to increase revenue for the event.
Competitively, the overwhelming advantage is to the 100 fly/100 backstroke swimmers; a combination that is becoming more-and-more common around the country. It should also drastically reduce the length of the final session, which with both the mile and all of the 200 yard events can run a bit lengthy.
If the Pac-12 were to pick up this same schedule, though, it would be a nightmare for a swimmer like Tom Shields, with the 200 fly and 100 back suddenly coming in back-to-back races.
I think more importantly, it also helps to highlight events. Often times at these meets, crammed into three days, it’s easy to glaze over some outstanding races. It will be interesting to see if other conferences follow suit – it is unlikely to result in more missed school time, as most teams take the whole week off regardless.
Check out the full schedule below.
200 Medley Relay
800 Free Relay
200 Free Relay
400 Medley Relay
400 Free Relay