In team battles that are expected to be as contentious as the SEC Championships, every swimmer in every A, B, or C final can have a huge impact on a team’s overall finish. With that in mind, let’s take a look at who ended up where after day 2’s prelims. For the sake of time, we’ll focus on the teams expected to be contending for top 3 finishes at this meet.
For those unfamiliar with the terminology: “Up” means a swimmer who is in the A-final, as those swimmers cannot fall lower than 8th barring a DQ. “Mid,” new for this year, is what we’ll call teams in the “B” final, who are bound from 9th-16th places. “Down” will mean C-finalists, who are between 17th-24th place. Keep in mind only the A-final in diving is fought-out.
The Florida men’s distance group started off the morning with a bang as the Gators return 8 swimmers to the finals of the 500 free alone with 3 up, 2 mid, and 3 down. UGA men return 5 tonight but with only Kevin Litherland representing the Bulldogs in the A final, 3 mid and 1 down. Former UVA coach Mark Bernardino has wasted no time with the South Carolina distance group as the Gamecocks sneak two into the show (A final) and add one more to the B.
Georgia women go 3 up 2 mid and 1 down in the 500 this morning with the lady Gators not far behind with 2 up 1 mid and 2 down. Texas A&M leaves the morning with 2 up 1 mid and 1 down looking to help the Aggies get back into the championship race.
After losing some ground in the 500 the Georgia men have stormed back with the top 2 seeds in the 200 IM adding Nic Fink to give them 3 up and 2 mid with 0 down in the 200 IM. UF men qualify 2 up 1 mid and 0 down. Auburn goes 2 up and 2 mid in the individual medley. Florida ladies lead the pack with 3 up and 1 mid this morning. Georgia qualifies 2 up and 1 mid and Texas A&M qualifies 6 for tonight’s 200 IM finals with 2 up 2 mid and 2 down.
The murmurs of there being a new king of sprint in the state began last year at SEC’s with the Rolling Tide’s 200 Free relay placing second not too far behind Auburn’s relay led by Marcelo Chierighini. With Chierighini gone it appears the rumors are true with Bama’s Kristian Gkolomeev headlining “Bama Speed” with the top seed for tonight’s 50 free final with an 18.88, Bama goes 2 up and 2 mid to set them up well for the evening. Caeleb Dressel received much flack for his college choice but the Jacksonville native looked pretty relaxed this morning going an 18.89 leaving us with a NCAA championship level showdown this evening. Florida ended the morning with 1 up 0 mid and 1 down. Georgia men follow suit with 1 up 0 mid and 1 down for tonight’s competition. Tennessee’s sprint group looks to be in good shape with 1 up 2 mid and 2 down after an impressive swim off by South African Ryan Coetzee.
On the women’s side of the 50 Georgia qualifies 2 up but reigning NCAA champion Olivia Smoliga will be joining her fellow teammate Lauren Harrington in the B. UF’s Natalie Hinds will be the lone sprint representative for the Gators this evening, luckily she’ll be competing for top points in the A. Texas A&M qualifies 2 up 0 mid and 2 down. More of the same with the Lady Volunteers qualifying 2 up 1 mid and two down.
Expect the Georgia women to take the lead after Wednesday evening’s swims, while the Florida and Georgia men will continue to fight as the Gators play catch-up to Georgia’s diving advantage.
Here’s a reminder of the scoring rules, and where we were after night 1, which will be followed by up/down tables (women’s 1-meter diving is included):
Scoring for a 24-place meet: 32-28-27-26-25-24-23-22/20-17-16-15-14-13-12-11/9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, and then doubled for relays.
1. LSU 164
2. Georgia 148
3. Kentucky 144
4. Florida 140
5. Missouri 137
6. A&M 132
7. South Carolina 120
T8. Alabama 105
T8. Auburn 105
10. Tennessee 104
11. Arkansas 103
12. Vanderbilt 60
1. Auburn 177
2. Tennessee 164
3. Georgia 146
4. South Carolina 140
5. Missouri 132
6. Texas A&M 127
7. Alabama 121
8. Florida 119
9. LSU 114
10. Kentucky 98
Note: these tables have been updated to include prelims from the women’s 1-meter event.