2016 SEC Championships: Day 5 Prelims Live Recap


It’s the final day of competition at the 2016 SEC Championships and the race for a team championship on both the men’s and women’s sides is still a close one. Last night, the Auburn men tightened the gap on Florida. The Tigers now have a 30 point deficit, with 952 points to Florida’s 982. The Georgia women (815.5)  moved into position to catch up with Texas A&M and Tennessee after sitting in a distant 3rd before last night’s finals. The Aggies (847.5) still have a narrow lead on Tennessee (828.5), but any of these 3 teams could take home the team title tonight.

Georgia’s Hali Flickinger and Olivia Smoliga will be looking to add another gold to their medal haul in the 200 back and 100 free, respectively. After an incredible showing in the 50 free earlier this week, we could see another American Record out of Caeleb Dressel in the men’s 100 free.


Hali Flickinger blazed to the top seed in the 200 back this morning, clocking a 1:50.95 to lead the field headed into finals. Flickinger’s time was a new pool record, breaking the previous record of 1:52.15 set by Dominique Bouchard in 2012. Defending SEC champion Danielle Galyer qualified 2nd behind Flickinger with a 1:51.40.

Behind those two, Lisa Bratton (1:52.56), Kylie Stewart (1:52.69), and Nadine Laemmler (1:52.82) all hit the 1:52 mark to earn the next 3 spots in the championship final. Florida’s Ashlee Linn set herself up in 6th place with a 1:53.07. Rounding out the top 8, Caroline Baddock (1:53.90) and Bridgette Alexander (1:53.96) clipped the 1:54 barrier for 7th and 8th, respectively.

  1. Hali Flickinger, Georgia – 1:50.95
  2. Danielle Galyer, Kentucky – 1:51.40
  3. Lisa Bratton, Texas A&M – 1:52.56
  4. Kylie Stewart, Georgia – 1:52.69
  5. Nadine Laemmler, Missouri – 1:52.82
  6. Ashlee Linn, Florida – 1:53.07
  7. Caroline Baddock, Auburn- 1:53.90
  8. Bridgette Alexander, Kentucky- 1:53.96


The old pool record fell 3 times during the men’s 200 back prelims. Before today, Carter Griffin held the record at 1:41.67. Following the final heat of prelims, the record is now shared by Auburn’s Joe Patching and Tennessee’s Sean Lehane at 1:40.89. Those two men tied in their heat, each claiming the top spot headed into finals. The 3rd through 5th seeds, Carter Griffin (1:41.11), Connor Oslin (1:41.44), and Christopher Reid (1:41.48), were also under the old record.

Corey Main broke 1:42 to take 6th in 1:41.92. Closing out the championship qualifications were Brock Bonetti (1:42.75) and Thomas Smith (1:42.78).

  1. Joe Patching, Auburn- 1:40.89
  2. Sean Lehane, Tennessee- 1:40.89
  3. Carter Griffin, Missouri- 1:41.11
  4. Connor Oslin, Alabama- 1:41.44
  5. Christopher Reid, Alabama- 1:41.48
  6. Corey Main, Florida- 1:41.92
  7. Brock Bonetti, Texas A&M- 1:42.75
  8. Thomas Smith, LSU- 1:42.78


The women’s 100 free pool record was also rewritten multiple times this morning. First, Kira Toussaint erased Karlee Bispo’s 47.93 from 2009 with her own 47.78, a new personal best. Natalie Hinds fired back right after with a 47.44 to claim the record and the top seed headed into finals. Up to challenge those two will be the 50 free champion, Georgia’s Olivia Smoliga, who qualified 3rd in 48.24.

Tennessee will make up half of the championship final tonight with Toussaint, Faith Johnson (48.26), Harper Bruens (48.51), and Madeline Banic (48.70). That means big points for Tennessee, who are looking to surpass Texas A&M in the team rankings. The Aggies will have Beryl Gastaldello (48.29) in the final as the 5th seed. LSU’s Leah Troskot closed out the top 8 in 48.81.

  1. Natalie Hinds, Florida- 47.44
  2. Kira Toussaint, Tennessee- 47.78
  3. Olivia Smoliga, Georgia- 48.24
  4. Faith Johnson, Tennessee- 48.26
  5. Beryl Gastaldello, Texas A&M- 48.29
  6. Harper Bruens, Tennessee- 48.51
  7. Madeline Banic, Tennessee- 48.70
  8. Leah Troskot, LSU- 48.81


All eyes were on Caeleb Dressel this morning in the men’s 100 free after the sophomore Gator broke the American Record in both prelims and finals of the 50 free earlier in the meet. Dressel was well ahead of his heat, looking smooth on the way to a new pool record and top seed of 41.71. Also under Jimmy Feigen’s old pool record were Auburn’s Peter Holoda in 42.23 and Missouri’s Michael Chadwick in 42.31.

Laurent Bams (42.71), Arthur Mendes (42.89), and Kristian Gkolomeev (42.90) each broke 43 to grab the 4th through 6th seeds. Kyle Darmody swam to a 43.09, good for 7th, getting Auburn a 3rd championship finalist in this event. Alex Linge took the 8th spot in 43.19.

  1. Caeleb Dressel, Florida- 41.71
  2. Peter Holoda, Auburn- 42.23
  3. Michael Chadwick, Missouri- 42.31
  4. Laurent Bams, Alabama- 42.71
  5. Arthur Mendes, Auburn- 42.89
  6. Kristian Gkolomeev, Alabama- 42.90
  7. Kyle Darmody, Auburn- 43.09
  8. Alex Linge, LSU- 43.19


There were 4 women under 2:09 in prelims of the 200 breast this morning, led by Alabama’s Bridget Blood in 2:08.25. Annie Zhu (2:08.64) took 2nd overall, a fingernail ahead of Sydney Pickrem (2:08.67). Katherine Ross, the 100 breast champ, was 4th with a 2:08.91.

Ross’ teammate Abby Duncan took the 5th spot in 2:09.38, just ahead of Auburn’s breaststroke duo of Annie Lazor (2:09.76) and Natasha Lloyd (2:10.17). Closing out the top 8 was Texas A&M’s Bethany Galat in 2:10.20.

  1. Bridget Blood, Alabama- 2:08.25
  2. Annie Zhu, Georgia- 2:08.64
  3. Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M- 2:08.67
  4. Katharine Ross, Missouri- 2:08.91
  5. Abby Duncan, Missouri- 2:09.38
  6. Annie Lazor, Auburn- 2:09.76
  7. Natasha Lloyd, Auburn- 2:10.17
  8. Bethany Galat, Texas A&M- 2:10.20


Alabama’s Anton McKee, the 2014 SEC champion in this event, set himself up as the top seed in the men’s 200 breast tonight with a 1:54.09. McKee will look to reclaim his SEC title in this event, but he’ll be challenged by Mauro Castillo-Luna (1:54.93) who was also under 1:55 this morning. McKee will also have to hold off 3rd and 4th seeds, Fabian Schwingenschlogl (1:55.05) and 100 breast champ Michael Duderstadt (1:55.31), if he wants to take home the title.

Nils Wich-Glaesen put himself in the mix with a 1:55.48 for 5th overall. There was a tie for 6th behind him between Eddie Mapel and Ethan Browne at 1:55.86. George Greenhalgh rounded out the top 8 in 1:55.98.

  1. Anton McKee, Alabama- 1:54.09
  2. Mauro Castillo-Luna, Texas A&M- 1:54.93
  3. Fabian Schwingenschlogl, Missouri- 1:55.05
  4. Michael Duderstadt, Auburn- 1:55.31
  5. Nils Wich-Glaesen, South Carolina- 1:55.48
  6. Eddie Mapel, Missouri- 1:55.86
  7. Ethan Browne, Tennessee- 1:55.86
  8. George Greenhalgh, Kentucky- 1:55.98

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5 years ago

Maybe dressel is focusing on 50 free after all an very good time but he is not showing he is 47 freestyler at the time. But maybe he.can get the second spot but rooney and schneider are going to fight hard for it.

Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

Where are you getting this from? 41.7 is less than a second off of Morozov’s record of 40.76. And this is a prelim.. How about waiting to judge how well his 100 is after swims the final?

Reply to  Pvdh
5 years ago

What he/she said

Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

I fully expect Dressel to be 41 flat, possibly 40-high and no worse that 41.3 tonight. Fireworks will fly.

5 years ago

Might Vlad the Impaler have been slightly juiced when he set the record.? Inquiring minds want to know.

Jake Presley
Reply to  Applesandoranges
5 years ago

No doubt that the Russians are drugged

5 years ago

I don’t think people realize that 41.7 is a good time, the American/NCAA/US open records in this event are insane. I predict he will use a more Cielo like race than a Morozov one and go 19.39, 21.42 for a 40.81 to just miss the NCAA record, but get a new American record.

Reply to  Ok
5 years ago

It is a good time but it is not a time that translate to a 47 mid low lcm many people were bettingn on a 21 and 47 low long course. 21 low is doable for his easily now

Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

Lezak 42.22 / 47.58 (46.06 relay split)
Phelps 41.93 / 47.51
Walters 41.92 / 47.33
Cielo 40.92 / 46.91

It’s prelims of conference… give it a rest, dude.

5 years ago

I can’t really comment on yards performances as I have very little understanding of conversions. However, .2 faster than anybody in history over the 50 is hugely impressive for Dressel in any context – Particularly given the WR holder, Cesar Cielo, swam yards too.

Off-topic – Ben Proud broke the British 50m freestyle at long course BUCS with a 21.73. The 50m plot thickens.

Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

21.7 isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire. Several countries have 2 swimmers below that mark.

Reply to  Pvdh
5 years ago

“Several countries” have numerous swimmers below that mark un-tapered in February? hmm.

Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

Swim fans believing top level time being at all untapered has to be one of the funniest things. So naive.

Reply to  Pvdh
5 years ago

So, a minute ago 21.7 was “hardly lighting the world on fire”… Now it’s a “top level time” and he must have been tapered? British Nationals are 6 weeks away – Would ANY probable team-member be stupid enough to taper 6 weeks out from trials without the ‘need’ to?

With all due respect, tapering for BUCS (quite a low standard – 22.7 for silver) would be like Phelps tapering for a GP meet 6 weeks out from Olympic Trials… Just not likely or logical in any way.

5 years ago

With cielo out only us now has this situation. But agree that a 21,7 won’t do anything on global stage

Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

21.7 in February, un-tapered is impressive, no? BUCS don’t have the same importance in Britain as NCAAs do in Britain and very few swimmers tapered/rest up.

Anyway, my comment wasn’t intended to detract from the topic of the article so I’ll leave it there, I was just making an observation that the boys are building up behind Manaudou.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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