2016 SEC Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


If the Georgia Bulldog women are going to make a run at a seventh-straight SEC title, tonight is the night to do it.

The Bulldogs lead all teams with 5 A finalists and 8 total scoring swims lined up individually, plus another opportunity in the 400 medley relay. Current leaders Texas A&M put just two swimmers into A finals with 8 scoring swims, and second-place Tennessee has just 2 up and 7 scorers.

Leading the way for Georgia is Hali Flickingerwho is the top 200 fly seed. Teammate Megan Kingsley is second in what could be a huge event for the ‘Dawgs.

Tennessee’s Kira Toussaint is the top 100 back qualifier in search of her first SEC title, and Missouri’s duo of Katharine Ross and Abby Duncan are the top two 100 breast seeds in front of a home crowd.

On the men’s side, Missouri also leads the 100 breast with junior Fabian Schwingenschlogl. Georgia’s Pace Clark is knocking on the door of a 1:39 in the 200 fly as the top seed in that event, and Alabama is in search of its first SEC title of 2016 with Connor Oslin leading all 100 backstrokers.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event updates from the SEC meet as they happen.

Women’s 200 Fly – Finals

  1. Hali Flickinger, UGA – 1:52.62
  2. Sarah Gibson, A&M – 1:53.75
  3. Megan Kingsley, UGA – 1:53.92

It was a smooth and easy win for Georgia senior Hali Flickinger to open the night. Flickinger built a lead of more than a full second at the 100-mark and maintained that margin all the way to a 1:52.62 SEC Championship. Flickinger was second in this race a year ago, and bested her time by a few tenths in the 2016 iteration of the race.

This event was set up well for Georgia to make a points run at Texas A&M, but Aggie flyer Sarah Gibson came up clutch, moving up to second place in 1:53.75. The SEC 100 fly champ, Gibson was a distance freestyler up until this season, but has become a key butterfly piece for the Aggies.

Georgia’s Megan Kingsley was third in 1:53.92, leading Gibson through the 150 but dropping off a bit in the home stretch. Still, the entire top three hit NCAA A cuts and will compete at the national championships.

Fourth went to LSU’s Kara Kopcso in 1:54.46. Tennessee’s Maddie Tegner was 1:55.84 for fifth, followed by a pair of Florida Gators – Alyssa Yambor-Maul (1:56.10) and Taylor Katz (1:56.62).

Tennessee retook the lead on the event, now sitting 9 ahead of Texas A&M. Meanwhile Georgia charged, getting a B final win from Caitlin Casazza to pull within 40 of the Aggies and 30 of the Vols.

Men’s 200 Fly – Finals

  1. Hugo Morris, AUB – 1:40.59
  2. Pace Clark, UGA – 1:40.80
  3. Gunna Bentz, UGA – 1:41.56

Auburn continued a strong meet on the men’s side with a 1:40.59 SEC title from Hugo Morris in the 200 fly. Morris, a sophomore, held tough in a very tight heat – at the 100-turn, the top five were all separated by just three tenths of a second.

Top prelims qualifier Pace Clark was second behind Morris at that turn, and held the spot in 1:40.80, just a tenth off his prelims swim. His teammate Gunnar Bentz was 1:41.56 for bronze. The versatile Bentz has been very effective in three A finals for Georgia so far, but has now used up his individual event entires, which might leave the Bulldogs a bit weak in tomorrow’s 200 breaststroke.

Florida’s Jan Switkowksi went 1:41.98 to push Bentz, winding up fourth overall. Auburn’s second A finalist Arthur Mendes was next in 1:42.02 and Florida stacked two more into the A heat with 6th-place Austin Manganiello and 8th-place Mark Szaranek.

That keeps the Gators in the team points lead, up 58 on Auburn. Georgia is still 46 back of the Tigers as the top three have started to separate from the field.

Women’s 100 Back – Finals

  1. Olivia Smoliga, UGA – 50.80
  2. Kira Toussaint, TENN – 51.14
  3. Danielle Galyer, KY – 51.78

Olivia Smoliga is on fire for the Georgia Bulldogs, swimming better than we’ve seen her swim in a full year. The junior rolled to a career-best 50.80 repeat win in the 100 backstroke, passing up top-seeded Kira Toussaint of Tennessee.

Smoliga now sits #2 in the nation, behind only Courtney Bartholomew of Virginia. In an interesting twist, Bartholomew swam just minutes later at the ACC Championships in North Carolina, going 50.74.

Toussaint, the Dutch star who transferred in from Florida Gulf Coast this year, went 51.14 for the Vols, taking second but gaining three tenths from her prelims swim. The battle is particularly heated at the top here because Smoliga’s Bulldogs are attempting a comeback on Toussaint’s Vols, who lead the SEC points right now.

Kentucky’s Danielle Galyer went 51.78 for third, moving up and past Georgia’s Kylie Stewart (51.91) from their seeds. Missouri racked up some points with a pair of A finalists in last summer’s long course breakout star Hannah Stevens (52.23) and Nadine Laemmler (52.32) and Auburn also added two finishers in 7th (Sarah Reynolds) and 8th (Jillian Vitarius).

The Bulldogs comeback effort is in full swing now – they trail A&M by just a razor-thin 5-point margin after the backstroke, and Tennessee is just 33 ahead of the Aggies in a race that’s getting tighter by the moment.

Men’s 100 Back – Finals

  1. Connor Oslin, BAMA – 45.25
  2. Taylor Dale, UGA – 45.58
  3. Jack Blyzinskyj – 45.66

Alabama junior Connor Oslin matched Smoliga in successfully defending his 2015 SEC 100 back title. Oslin was two tenths faster than he was last year, going 45.25 for the win. That also improves his second-ranked time nationally, behind only reigning NCAA swimmer of the year Ryan Murphy.

It was a junior-dominated event, with third-years sweeping the top five spots. Georgia’s Taylor Dale went 45.58 to rattle his own personal best and take second place. Florida’s Jack Blyzinskyj was 45.66 and LSU’s Logan Rysemus was the last man under 46 at 45.96 for fourth place.

2014 SEC champ Kyle Darmody was 46.09 to take fifth. The Auburn junior hasn’t been back under 46 since his freshman year in 2014, but this was his best time since that season.

The team points battle is starting to spread out more at the top – Florida expanded its lead to almost 80, and Georgia is now almost 60 back of second-place Auburn.

Women’s 100 Breast – Finals

  1. Katharine Ross, MIZZ – 58.38
  2. Bridget Blood, BAMA – 59.44
  3. T-3 Abby Duncan, MIZZ – 59.68
  4. T-3 Annie Lazor, AUB – 59.68

In a big moment for Missouri, the Tigers got their first-ever SEC swimming win from Katharine Ross in front of a home crowd. Ross was a career-best 58.38 to lower her own school record and lead a 1st-and-3rd charge for Mizzou.

Her teammate Abby Duncan was third in 59.68, with Alabama’s Bridget Blood in between at 59.44.

Mizzou’s only previous SEC title since joining the conference in 2012 came from diver Loren Figueroa on 1-meter in 2013.

A tight middle of the field saw 6 swimmers crack a minute. Auburn’s Annie Lazor tied Duncan at 59.68. Texas A&M transfer Jorie Caneta was 59.97 and LSU’s Colleen O’Neil also got under at 59.99 for sixth.

The strong Aggie breaststroke corps also took home the B final win with Sycerika McMahon, and A&M retook the lead in what’s been a back-and-forth team battle. They now lead Tennessee by 7 and Georgia by 24.

Men’s 100 Breast – Finals

  1. Michael Duderstadt, AUB – 51.94
  2. Fabian Schwingenschlogl, MIZZ – 52.13
  3. Mauro Castillo, A&M – 52.65

An outstanding 100 breast field saw all 8 A finalists get under 53 seconds, plus SEC champ Michael Duderstadt break 52. He went 51.94, just off his lifetime-best, barreling home on a field-best 27.4 closing split to pass up Missouri’s Fabian Schwingenschlogl (52.13).

Texas A&M’s Mauro Castillo also used a huge closing split (27.6) to surge all the way to third place in 52.65, easily the best swim for the Aggie men so far this week.

After breaking the Kentucky school record in a time trial on Tuesday, senior George Greenhalgh picked up a 4th-place finish tonight, going 52.77. He was 52.53 in prelims, just two one-hundredths off his school record.

South Carolina’s Nils Wich-Glasen was 52.83, touching out a Missouri duo of Jordy Groters and Eddie Mapel, who tied for sixth at 52.85. That’s a big boost for Mizzou, with three A finalists racking up points.

Alabama’s Anton McKee took 8th but also got under 53 at 52.97. The Missouri depth came through big, though, and pushed the tigers past Alabama and into 4th place overall. Meanwhile Auburn took advantage of Florida’s extremely weak breaststroke roster, moving to within 26 points of the Gators as Florida scored zero breaststrokers. In fact the Gators didn’t even enter a breaststroker into prelims, choosing to use Caeleb Dressel instead in the 100 free.

Men’s Platform Diving – Final

  1. Mauricio Robles, TENN – 439.90
  2. Sebastian Masterton, KY – 389.70
  3. Scott Lazeroff, AUB – 377.10

Tennessee’s Mauricio Robles rose to the platform diving title, adding a second SEC title to his 1-meter trophy from Wednesday night.

Robles staked his claim as the conference’s best diver, winning twice and taking third on 3-meter on opening night. It was a young field behind the junior, with Kentucky freshman Sebastian Masterton second and Auburn rookie Scott Lazeroff third. Masteron was also second on 3-meter for the Wildcats.

Kentucky also got a fourth-place finish from Levi Lindsey to rack up some big points late in the evening. The only other team with two divers in the A final was Alabama, which got 5th with Brent Sagert and 7th from Dylan Marin.

Florida and Auburn left Georgia in the dust after the event – the Gators are up 22 on the Tigers and 164 on Georgia heading into the medley relay.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay – Timed Final

  1. Texas A&M – 3:30.15
  2. Georgia – 3:30.83
  3. Missouri – 3:31.29

Texas A&M won a big 400 medley relay battle to maintain the team points lead. This is the third time in the last four years the Aggies have won this relay, and it came mostly thanks to a key 59.44 breaststroke split from Jorie Caneta.

That wasn’t the best split in the field, but took advantage of Georgia’s biggest weakness as the two teams battled for the title. Georgia took an early lead, with 100 back champ Olivia Smoliga outsplitting Lisa Bratton 51.37 to 52.01. But Caneta’s split beat Georgia’s Annie Zhu (1:00.42) by almost a full second to take the lead.

Sarah Gibson had the fastest 100 fly split in the pool at 51.23, and Beryl Gastaldello anchored in 47.47 to seal the 3:30.15 win. That’s the third-best time in the NCAA this year behind Virginia and Louisville’s dual at the ACC Championships earlier tonight.

Georgia was also fast on the final two legs, with Kylie Stewart going 51.54 on fly and Hali Flickinger 47.50 on free, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the A&M breaststroke margin for the win. Georgia finished in 3:30.83 for second.

Missouri took third place in 3:31.29, getting the field’s best breaststroke split from Katharine Ross at 58.03. They held off a surging Tennessee squad that went 3:31.49 on a 47.84 anchor leg from Faith Johnson. Tennessee also had the best backstroke split on a 51.06 from Kira Toussaint, but really fell behind on the breaststroke leg and couldn’t rebound in time.

The top 6 teams all earned automatic NCAA bids.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay – Timed Final

  1. Florida- 3:03.86
  2. Auburn – 3:05.44
  3. Alabama – 3:06.17

The Florida Gators took home the 400 medley relay to end the night, also getting a huge breaststroke split to make the difference. This time it was star sprinter Caeleb Dressel who filled in on the breaststroke leg, going 51.09 on a huge swim to power his team to the lead.

Jack Blyzinskyj had the fastest backstroke split as well, even beating conference champ Connor Oslin of Alabama. Blyzinskyj was 45.41, combining with Dressel to creat an insurmountable lead early.

Jan Switkowski was 45.30 on the fly leg (also the best in the field) and Corey Main’s 42.06 was more than enough on the anchor leg as Florida went 3:03.86 for a new SEC meet record and the fastest time in the nation this year by a full second.

Auburn took second in 3:05.44, coming from behind on defending conference champs Alabama thanks to a huge 41.13 anchor leg from Peter Holoda, who could be in line to break 42 individually tomorrow.

The field was dotted with great freestyle splits, including a 42.01 from third-place Alabama and Kristian Gkolomeev and a 41.76 from Missouri’s Michael Chadwick in fourth. In fact, the entire top 6 in this event earned automatic NCAA qualifying times.

Team Scores After Day 4


We are set up for an absolute thriller on the final day, with the top three teams all within 32 points, or the value of one single individual event win. Texas A&M leads, with Tennessee still second and a hard-charging Georgia team third.

  1. Texas A&M – 847.5
  2. Tennessee – 828.5
  3. Georgia – 815.5
  4. Missouri – 545
  5. Auburn – 538
  6. Florida – 507
  7. LSU – 482
  8. Kentucky – 405
  9. Alabama – 377
  10. Arkansas – 371
  11. South Carolina – 324.5
  12. Vanderbilt – 130


Despite that big Florida win in the 400 medley, things are still surprisingly close with Auburn trailing by just 30. Georgia is all but locked into third place by now, 150 back of Auburn, and Missouri is rolling at home, sitting fourth and narrowly beating out Alabama at this point.

  1. Florida – 982
  2. Auburn – 952
  3. Georgia – 802
  4. Missouri – 673
  5. Alabama – 667
  6. Tennessee – 534
  7. South Carolina – 432
  8. T-8 LSU – 418
  9. T-8 Texas A&M – 418
  10. T-8 Kentucky 418

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Super confused and intrigued
5 years ago

Can anyone shed some light on Toussaint’s breakout? She rolls onto her left side and breaks out with her right arm(or maybe rolls onto her right side and breaks out with her left arm) in a weird sweeping stroke.
I also am totally unqualified to commentate on this. It looks weird and she’s the only one I saw do it, but she wrecked Smoliga in the relay.

Super confused and intrigued
Reply to  Super confused and intrigued
5 years ago

Before you say anything I know wrecked is a vast overstatement.

Reply to  Super confused and intrigued
5 years ago


Tennessee is doing some cutting edge stuff in Knoxville.

I know this is a separate thread, but going back to Peter Steven’s DQ and the assumption that Tennessee breaststrokers are all cheating…I think Tennessee is just pushing the envelope a bit. Kredich is doing an unbelievable job with the program.

Reply to  Super confused and intrigued
5 years ago

Here’s an article. It’s referred to as the “top arm breakout.” I taught it to a few of my swimmers this year and they love it. http://swimswam.com/volunteers-pioneers-top-arm-breakout/

super confused and intrigued
Reply to  Super confused and intrigued
5 years ago

that’s fascinating. will try this with mine. thanks!

5 years ago

51.06 breaststroke split for Dressel on Florida’s medley relay. So, will it be the 100 fly, or the 100 breast at NCs?

samuel huntington
Reply to  aquajosh
5 years ago

should be 100 breast – all the good breaststrokers just graduated and I don’t think he’ll beat Conger/ Schooling

seriously he is so fast
Reply to  samuel huntington
5 years ago

good point. Although that Tennessee guy with the ridiculous turnover is pretty quick.

seriously he is so fast
5 years ago

thats tough. maybe fly because he’ll want to crush souls in three strokes?(breast on relays)

bobo gigi
5 years ago

I wonder if Dressel will still have some gas for the 100 free today after swimming so many races and especially a useless breaststroke leg in the medley relay (not useless for Florida).
Look at Gkolomeev. He’s very quiet this week. He doesn’t make any noise. He will be rested when it counts.
I think Dressel should very easily beat Gkolomeev in the 100 free this week. Probably with at least a full second of advantage. We’ll see at NCAAs that the race will be much closer. Same remark about Chadwick.

Cool to see Miss Smoliga swim a new PB in the 100 back after struggling a little bit in the last 2 years. That’s perfect timing. It’s… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Ugh, again the comments about the “useless” breastroke. As for Dressel’s breastroke leg, I would say is was also not useless to him either, judging by his celebration afterwards. Don’t discount the personal importance of swimming a best split on a relay, contributing to an important team win, and enjoying the moment. Hopefully that will translate into confidence on bigger stages in bigger events, like when he clobbers the French as part of the U.S. 4 X 100 free relay at Rio.

Swimming all that sprint breastroke apparently made him a faster sprint freestyler. Racing is racing, power is power, fast twitch is fast twitch. Swimming sprint breastroke helps you learn to get quickly into that sweet spot of… Read more »

bobo gigi
5 years ago

And thanks Jared for your recaps which should be a model for all other swimswam contributors.
You post the podium for each event! Thanks.
By the way I’ve remarked you were in charge of 3 conference meets at the same time on Friday! 🙄

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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