2016 SEC Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

Karl Ortegon
by Karl Ortegon 38

February 18th, 2016 College, News, SEC


  • Tuesday, February 16 – Saturday, February 20
  • Mizzou Aquatic Center, Columbia, MO (Central Time Zone)
  • Prelims 10AM / Finals 6PM (Wed-Sat), Tuesday Times Finals 5:30PM (Central Time)
  • Defending Men’s Champion: Florida (3x) (results)
  • Defending Women’s Champion: Georgia Bulldogs, 6 Consecutive Titles (results)
  • Championship Central
  • Psych Sheet
  • Live results
  • Live Video

The Georgia and Texas A&M women have loaded up with finalists in this session, while the Florida and Auburn men look to do some damage themselves. Caeleb Dressel wrecked the U.S. Open and American record in the 50 free with an 18.39 this morning — read more about that right here.


  1.  Brittany Maclean, UGA – 4:33.10
  2.  Hali Flickinger, UGA – 4:33.90
  3. Sarah Gibson, Texas A&M 4:39.61

This morning, Hali Flickinger dropped a 4:35.56 to rule prelims and smash the pool record. She and her UGA teammate Brittany Maclean were neck and neck the first half of the race, but Maclean inched ahead ever so slightly and didn’t give up her small lead through the finish.

Maclean and Flickinger were both under the SEC record tonight, and distanced themselves early from an otherwise tight field. It was A&M’s Sarah Gibson who pulled ahead to grab third place, holding off a charging Gator, Jessica Thielmann.

Georgia was well-represented in this heat, also picking up 5th place with Stephanie Peters and 8th place with Rachel Zilinskas. Arkansas senior Anna Mayfield grabbed 7th, while South Carolina sophomore Taylor Worrell (American record holder Kelsi Worrell’s younger sister) earned a new program record with her 4:43.20. She was .03 off of the record in prelims.

Aiden Lister of Arkansas finished on top in the B final with a 4:42.91.


  1. Pawel Werner, Florida – 4:13.31
  2. Akaram Mahmoud, South Carolina – 4:13.48
  3. Mitch D’Arrigo, Florida -4:13.92

This one came down to the wire, but the Gators kept the title in their hands for another year. Mitch D’Arrigo, the 2015 champion, finished third, but it was Pawel Werner who used excellent walls to get past South Carolina’s Akaram Mahmoud in the last 75 or so.

Auburn’s Hugo Morris took it out very fast out of lane 7, but his body length lead faded, and South Carolina’s Tomas Peribonio pushed past him to finish 4th.

Florida’s Arthur Frayler got his hand to the wall in 6th, while UGA rounded out the A final. Kevin Litherland and Garrett Powell turned in the 7th and 8th place finishes.

Bulldog freshman Aidan Burns roared ahead of a tight lead pack in the B final to win it in 4:18.88.


  1. Lisa Bratton, A&M – 1:54.97
  2. Bethany Galat, A&M – 1:55.86
  3. Meghan Raab, UGA – 1:55.99

Lisa Bratton took almost a full second off of her previous best to blast the 1:54.94 that earned the Texas A&M sophomore the SEC title. She unleashed a field-fastest 28.12 backstroke leg that put her far too ahead of the competition to lose.

Finishing in her wake was her teammate Bethany Galat, who was out the fastest after fly. UGA’s Meghan Raab had a quick breaststroke leg to shoot her past Tennessee’s Amanda Carner (who notched a school record with her 1:56.12) and A&M freshman and prelims top seed Sydney Pickrem. Carner and Pickrem grabbed 4th and 5th.

The Aggies made up half of this field, and sophomore Kristin Malone was there for 6th place. Following her was Mizzou’s Katharine Ross, who split an unreal 32.64 breaststroke leg, and touching 8th was UGA’s Annie Zhu.

Emily Cameron, another ‘Dawg, earned the win in the B final.

MEN’S 200 IM

  1. Joe Patching, Auburn – 1:42.21
  2. Jan Switkowski, Florida – 1:42.55
  3. Mark Szaranek, Florida – 1:42.64

In what’s largely regarded as Florida’s bread-and-butter event, the 200 IM, it was Auburn’s Joe Patching who ended up on top. Patching was out incredibly quick in 46.90, and didn’t concede much on breaststroke to either Gator. He now owns the NCAA’s #1 time.

Jan Switkowski and Mark Szaranek both put forth sub-1:43 efforts to grab 2nd and 3rd.

UGA’s Gunnar Bentz followed up in fourth, as he and the rest of the top 4 smashed his own pool record. Auburn packed it on with Michael Duderstadt and Jacob Molacek touching in 5th and 6th for a big points run.

Sophomores rounded out the A final, as ‘Dawg Jay Litherland and Tennessee’s Sam McHugh finished 7th and 8th.

Georgia’s Ty Stewart rocked a 1:45.39 to win the B final.


  1. Olivia Smoliga, UGA – 21.67
  2. Faith Johnson, Tennessee – 21.95
  3. Madeline Banic, Tennessee – 21.96

Olivia Smoliga, 2014 NCAA champion as a freshman, looks to be back. She didn’t seem to live up to her freshman form as a sophomore, but now in her junior season, Smoliga blasted a 21.67 to take the victory. She didn’t even make the A final at SECs last season, but really took it to the competition tonight. Smoliga now holds the three fastest 50 free times in the entire NCAA this season, and this makes her perfect at SEC Championships in this event.

Tennessee was all over the place in this final, with Faith Johnson and Madeline Banic touching 2nd and 3rd. If that wasn’t enough for the Vols, Kira Toussaint and Harper Bruens touched 6th and 8th, respectively.

4th went to Florida’s Natalie Hinds, followed closely by Beryl Gastaldello of Texas A&M. LSU’s Leah Troskot touched just ahead of Bruens in 7th.

Mizzou’s Anna Patterson and Tennessee’s Alex Cleveland tied for the B final win at 22.43. Lexie Lupton (A&M) and Alyssa Tetzloff (Auburn), both freshmen, tied for 2nd in the B final at 22.47.


  1. Caeleb Dressel, Florida – 18.23
  2. Peter Holoda, Auburn – 19.17
  3. Michael Chadwick, Mizzou – 19.23

Caeleb Dressel won this one before his head came up off the dive. With the rest of the field at his hips by the time he surfaced for his first arm stroke, he only extended his lead at the turn. 18.23 destroys his 18.39 from this morning, which in and of itself destroyed NCAA, American, and U.S. Open records.

While Katie Ledecky is capable of making the world’s top distance freestylers look slow or tired, Dressel made the rest of this field look absolutely pedestrian. Seeing someone that far ahead of the best sprinters in the SEC is utterly amazing– Dressel beat 2nd place Peter Holoda of Auburn by almost a FULL second. He actually did beat Michael Chadwick, a likely candidate for the United States 400 free relay team at the next Olympics, by an exact full second.

As Dressel took off his goggles and cap and reveled in his victory, the rest of the field finally touched the wall. Kristian Gkolomeev of Alabama, who tied for the NCAA crown in 2014, was 19.25 for 4th behind Chadwick. Gkolomeev’s teammate Brett Walsh was 8th in this final.

Florida got some more points here with Corey Main‘s 5th place finish. Tennessee’s Kyle Decoursey turned in a 6th place finish here, while Auburn’s Kyle Darmody grabbed 7th.

Auburn had a great showing in this event, with freshman Zach Apple pulling out a 19.48 to finish on top in the B final.


  1. Mauricio Robles, Tennessee – 459.75
  2. Clark Thomas, Mizzou – 429.40
  3. Sam Thornton, Texas A&M – 391.95

Setting a new SEC record en route to his conference title was Mauricio Robles in the 1-meter diving event. Mizzou’s Clark Thomas was 2nd after a very strong final dive, while last night’s 3-meter champion, Aggie Sam Thornton, collected third place.


  1. Tennessee – 1:27.36
  2. Georgia – 1:28.70
  3. Texas A&M – 1:29.07

Tennessee, who stacked four girls into the A final of the 50 free earlier, absolutely crushed this relay. Only the lead-off, Faith Johnson, was over 22 seconds at 22.08. Bruens (21.90) and Toussaint (21.80) were strong, but freshman Madeline Banic was the big leg here, splitting a 21.58. They broke the pool record with their time of 1:27.36.

Georgia was out ahead with Smoliga’s 21.96, but only Kylie Stewart was able to get under 22 for the rest of the relay at 21.95. Texas A&M got a quick anchor leg from Gastaldello, who turned in a 21.71 at the end to edge past Auburn, who grabbed 4th.


  1. Florida – 1:16.46
  2. Auburn – 1:16.63
  3. Alabama – 1:16.82

Dressel didn’t go sub-18, but his 18.41 on the third leg of Florida’s relay was enough to help them to the SEC title and a pool record. Corey Main led off in 19.43, followed by a 19.57 from Szaranek. Dressel vaulted them from 5th to 1st, and Jack Blyzinskyj‘s 19.05 was enough to hold off charging anchors from Auburn and ‘Bama.

Auburn had two blazing last legs, first with Duderstadt at 18.95, followed by Darmody at 18.86 to anchor. The Crimson Tide, meanwhile, got their big leg from anchor Gkolomeev, to the tune of 18.63. Mizzou and Tennesse rounded out the top five here, with Decoursey’s 18.85 2nd leg pushing the Vols up to 5th from the first heat.



Tennessee, much in part due to their impressive sprint showing tonight, holds a very slim lead over Georgia, with Texas A&M not very far behind. Florida sits at 4th, but nearly 150 points back of the Aggies, as the top three teams have established themselves with force tonight.

  1. Tennessee – 437.5
  2. Georgia – 430
  3. Texas A&M – 412.5
  4. Florida – 274
  5. Mizzou – 244.5
  6. LSU – 226
  7. Kentucky – 222
  8. Arkansas – 219
  9. Auburn – 217.5
  10. South Carolina – 173
  11. Alabama – 150
  12. Vanderbilt – 92


As for the men, this one’s shaping up to be an incredibly tight competition between Florida and Auburn, followed by an even tighter race between Georgia and Alabama, with Mizzou and Tennessee in tow.

  1. Florida – 504
  2. Auburn – 497
  3. Georgia – 362
  4. Alabama – 361
  5. Mizzou – 312
  6. Tennessee – 284
  7. Texas A&M – 260
  8. South Carolina – 248
  9. Kentucky – 233
  10. LSU – 213

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5 years ago

Um.. I believe it is a 18.39 not 19.39.

5 years ago

Brittany MacLean takes 500 in 4:33.10. Interested to see what Leah Smith will put up tomorrow. Hali Flickinger second in a very strong 4:33.90, she’s having a great year and is definitely a contender for the 200 fly and maybe the 800 free relay at OTs.

5 years ago

Where do I go to watch the live stream!?!?

5 years ago

Florida men grab 132 points in the 500 free. They continue to impress with their depth in that event. Last year i believe they scored around 125 points in the 500 free at SECs

5 years ago

SwimFiah: ESPN app, it’s free to watch

5 years ago

In my opinion it looks like the dawgs are back in form after a bit of a slump from their top swimmers (Smoliga, Maclean) last year.
Should be a good title race come March

5 years ago


5 years ago


About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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