The races on tonight’s Finals session agenda for the 2015 SEC Championships will be electrifying, with the men’s and women’s 200 fly, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 400 medley relay. Keep refreshing this page for event-by-event updates as the Finals unfold tonight. You can also follow our live Twitter account, @SwimSwamLive, for quicker, brief updates on event results.
- Tuesday, February 17-Saturday, February 21
- Auburn, Alabama – James E. Martin Aquatic Center
- Prelims/Finals W-F 10AM/6PM, Tuesday 10AM/5:30PM (Central time)
- Defending Champs: Georgia women (5x) Florida men (2x) (results)
- Live results
- Live video
- Championship Central
Going into the final day of the 2015 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships, the Georgia women are handily on their way to a 6th-straight conference title, and with the top seed in the women’s 100 free and 200 back should nail down the title with a bang.
Men’s 200 Back
Tennessee’s Sean Lehane hit a season-best in the 200 back to take the top spot out of prelims. The junior was 1:40.50, and moves to #4 in the nation this season. Just behind him is new #6 in the nation, Carter Griffin of Missouri (1:40.55).
Also breaking into the 1:40s was Auburn’s Joe Patching at 1:40.94. That should set up a great battle for the event title tonight.
Alabama put two men up, wiht Connor Oslin in 4th (1:41.57) and Christopher Reid in 5th (1:41.85). Georgia also has two up, with Tynan Stewart (6th in 1:42.00) and Jared Markham (8th in 1:42.85). In between is Florida’s only A finalist, Corey Main, who was 1:42.27.
Florida stacked 3 in the B final and 1 in the C, but the 200 back should still be a great opportunity for Georgia to make up some ground on the defending champs, who lead by 132 after yesterday’s finals.
Women’s 200 Back
A Georgia Bulldog will lead the 200 backstroke, but it’s not top-seeded freshman Kylie Stewart. Junior Hali Flickinger was the prelims winner, going 1:51.74. That took almost two full seconds off her lifetime-best, and moves her to 5th in the NCAA, displacing Stewart from that slot.
Kentucky’s Danielle Galyer is the second seed, going 1:52.59, with Texas A&M freshman Lisa Bratton and Arkansas junior Anna Mayfield tying for third in 1:52.98.
Stewart sits 5th in 1:53.14, about a second off her season-best. It appears the talented rookie is saving some rest for the national championships, where she could be one of only a few swimmers with a shot to challenge Cal’s duo of Elizabeth Pelton and Missy Franklin.
Kentucky also put a freshman into the A final with Bridgette Alexander (1:53.41), and the last two slots went to Florida Gators, with Ashlee Linn and Georgia Hohmann going 1:53.96 and 1:53.99 to cover for the absent Sinead Russell.
Men’s 100 Free
In a reverse of the 50 free final, Florida’s Caeleb Dressel topped Alabama’s Kristian Gkolomeev in the second-to-last heat of the 100 free. Dressel’s 42.31 chops a half-second off his lifetime-best, and sneaks under the 17-18 National Age Group record held by Stanford’s David Nolan.
Gkolomeev was 42.55, and those two times will hold up as the top seeds heading into tonight. Gkolomeev almost certainly has more in the tank after splitting a dirty 41.3 on the 400 medley relay last night, but Dressel was 41.5 in that race, so tonight’s final should be another slug-fest.
Auburn loaded up the A final with four swimmers, which should also make them awfully dangerous in tonight’s 400 free relay. Kyle Darmody leads the way at 42.89, with Arthur Mendes joining him under 43 at 42.94.
Those two are 3 and 4, with freshman Jacob Molacek (43.00) fifth. Missouri’s Michael Chadwick was 43.15 for sixth before Auburn’s final championship finalist, Peter Holoda, came in at 43.18.
Also into the A final will be Alabama’s Brett Walsh, who continued a strong meet with a 43.23, his lifetime-best.
Women’s 100 Free
Florida’s Natalie Hinds rocketed away with the top women’s 100 free seed, going a lifetime-best 47.37. That beat out the field by almost one full second, and topped Hinds’ time from last year’s NCAA Championships by .03.
Her closest challengers at the moment are Tennessee’s Harper Bruens (48.26) and Georgia’s 50 free champ Chantal van Landeghem (48.27). The Bulldogs also put Maddie Locus into the final at 48.36, and the Vols will be represented by Faith Johnson at 48.50.
Texas A&M senior Sammie Bosma was 48.63 for sixth, with Auburn’s Allyx Purcell (48.66) and Arkansas’ Maddie Monreo (48.71) rounding out the top 8.
Of note is that top incoming seed and 2014 SEC champion Olivia Smoliga missed the final in this event, tying for 9th with A&M’s Lili Ibanez at 48.89.
Men’s 200 Breast
After completing a four-for-four sweep of the 100 breaststroke over his collegiate career last night, Georgia’s Nic Fink tore through the 200 breast with equal fury, breaking the SEC meet record and nabbing the top seed in 1:51.58. That time for Fink is a lifetime-best by three tenths, and moves to #1 in the NCAA this year. If reigning NCAA champ and American record-holder Kevin Cordes struggles at NCAAs – he’s had a rough go of it so far this year – Fink is probably one of the best bets to top him in what would be a massive upset.
Fink broke the SEC record set last year by Alabama’s Anton McKee, and McKee will be one lane over from him in the final tonight. The Icelander was 1:53.53 for the second seed.
Florida seniors Matt Elliott (1:54.04) and Eduardo Solaeche (1:54.36) will surround those two in the middle lanes tonight. Just behind them in qualifying was Missouri’s Sam Tierney (1:54.72) and the breakout swimmer of the event, freshman Nils Wich-Glasen of South Carolina. Wich-Glasen was 1:54.73, a lifetime-best by a full second and one of South Carolina’s top qualifiers all week.
Also into the A final: Tristan Slater out of Tennessee (1:55.24) and Michael Duderstadt of Auburn (1:55.36).
Women’s 200 Breast
The top two qualifiers in the women’s 200 breast came out of the final heat, where Tennessee’s Molly Hannis out-dueled Texas A&M’s Ashley McGregor 2:08.36 to 2:08.89.
Hannis, who was outstanding in the long course pool at last week’s Orlando Pro Swim Series event, will be the top seed in the event, which will be the senior’s last ever swim at the SEC Championships.
Behind McGregor is Auburn’s Annie Lazor, who won the first circle-seeded heat in 2:09.08. Kaylin Burchell, from Auburn’s rival Alabama, won the middle circle-seeded heat in 2:09.16 and sits fourth.
A light event for Georgia features only Annie Zhu as an A finalist. The junior went 2:09.71.
Arkansas put senior Nikki Daniels into the championship heat at 2:09.89, and joining her will be Auburn-to-Mizzou transfer Abby Duncan (2:10.44) and A&M’s Franko Jonker (2:11.10).
A few of the bigger names dropped off in this event, including A&M’s talented freshman Bethany Galat, who faded from a 2:09 seed to a 2:13.17, and Missouri’s Katherine Ross, who dropped from a 2:11 seed to a 2:13.25 and a spot in the C final.
Stay tuned for a breakdown of each team’s Ups/Mids/Downs and a scoring preview of tonight’s finals, which begin at 6 pm Central Time.