2016 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live


After the uproar that was Caeleb Dressel‘s other-worldly 100 free on day 2 of the 2016 SEC Championships, day 3 will settle the meet in with no sprint freestyle events in either the prelims or finals sessions, including relays. That will turn the focus of the meet to the team battle, , where after 2 days of competition the Florida men sit just 2 points ahead of Auburn and the Tennessee women are just 7.5 points ahead of the defending champions from Georgia.

Women’s 400 IM – Prelims

Texas A&M freshman Sydney Pickrem earned the top qualification into the finals of the women’s 400 IM with a morning swim of 4:07.36. While this IM field  isn’t quite as good as it’s been in year’s past, including seeing defending champion Hali Flickinger from Georgia choose to enter a different event schedule instead, but the racing is still set up to be highly competitive in the final.

The top 6 qualifiers all finished within 1.5 seconds of each other, a virtual stalemate in a 400 IM prelim, including just a few tenths separating the top three: Amanda Carner of Tennessee qualified 2nd in 4:07.68, and Lisa Bratton from A&M qualified 3rd in 4:07.79.

The A&M Aggies, with hopes of upsetting the defending champions from Georgia, made a big move in these prelims with 3 swimmers into the A-Final, compared to just one for the Bulldogs.

Top 8:

  • Pickrem A&M (4:07.36),
  • Carner TENN (4:07.68),
  • Bratton A&M (4:07.79),
  • Emily Cameron UGA (4:08.33),
  • Lauren Driscoll TENN (4:08.68),
  • Jess Thielmann FLOR (4:09.29),
  • Bethany Galat A&M (4:09.65),
  • Sharli Brady MIZZOU (4:09.81).

Alabama’s Mia Nonnenberg, the 4th seed coming into the meet, slid to the B-Final (12th qualifier) after adding 5 seconds to 4:12.59.

Men’s 400 IM – Prelims

A pair of sophomores sit on top of the men’s 400 IM qualifying ranks in a second-straight event with a Georgia Bulldog not defending their 2015 title. For the men’ it’s American record-holder Chase Kalisz who isn’t competing in the race this year, instead taking a redshirt season to prepare for the Olympic Trials.

Tennessee sophomore Sam McHugh, the second-fastest returner from last year’s A final, took the top seed in 3:44.36. Just a tick behind him is Georgia sophomore Gunnar Bentz (3:44.76), who takes over for Kalisz in the loaded Bulldog IM group.

Last night’s 200 IM winner Joe Patching qualified third for Auburn at 3:45.12, and one of the biggest drops in the championship heat came from South Carolina sophomore Tom Peribonio, who went 3:45.26 for the fourth spot. Peribonio was just 3:47 and in the B final a year ago at this meet.

Auburn freshman Samuel Stewart is just a tenth back of Peribonio at 3:45.33 in what should be an exciting final. Georgia All-American Jay Litherland and Florida sophomore Mark Szaranek, the fastest returner from last year’s SEC final, both snuck into the back of the A heat as well, with room to move up.

Top 8:

  • McHugh, TENN – 3:44.36
  • Bentz, UGA – 3:44.76
  • Patching, AUB – 3:45.12
  • Peribonio, SC – 3:45.26
  • Stewart, AUB – 3:45.33
  • J.Litherland, UGA – 3:45.54
  • Szaranek, FLOR – 3:45.92
  • Lebed, FLOR – 3:46.33

Women’s 100 fly – Prelims

Used solely as a distance freestyler at SECs last year, Texas A&M’s Sarah Gibson has made a successful foray into regular butterfly swims this year, and turned that event expansion into a top seed in the 100 fly. Gibson went a blistering 50.99, breaking both 52 and 52 for the first time in one fell swoop.

That’s the first 50-second swim we’ve seen in the NCAA this year, and it unseated defending SEC champ Beryl Gastaldello, an Aggie teammate, for the top spot.

Gastaldello was 51.61 for the second finals opening, a good sign for an A&M team trying to track down Georgia by stacking the top seeds. The Bulldogs put just one swimmer into this final – sophomore Kylie Stewart in fourth at 52.13.

Tennessee freshman Maddie Banic continues her stellar rookie season with a 52.05 and the third qualifying spot. Banic previously led the NCAA at 51.19 before Gibson’s swim, and should have the speed to challenge for the title tonight.

Tennessee also added Harper Bruens (52.16) to the final. Last year’s third-place finisher Natalie Hinds is in for Florida, along with LSU’s second championship finalist of the meet so far in Kara Kopcso, and Auburn’s freshman sensation Aly Tetzloff snuck in with the 8th qualifying time.

Tonight’s final could be extremely close in the bottom half – places 3 through 8 are separated by just four tenths of a second.

Top 8:

  1. Gibson, A&M – 50.99
  2. Gastaldello, A&M – 51.61
  3. Banic, TENN – 52.05
  4. Stewart, UGA – 52.13
  5. Bruens, TENN – 52.16
  6. Hinds, FLOR – 52.22
  7. Kopcso, LSU – 52.24
  8. Tetzloff, AUB – 52.44

Men’s 100 fly – Prelims

The man fans have been waiting for – Florida’s Caeleb Dressel – returned to the pool for the men’s 100 fly, earning another runaway top seed.

One day after twice shattering the American record in the 50 free, Dressel was a 45.14 to take top billing in the 100 fly, leading the field by more than half a second. That’s just a tenth off his lifetime-best, set mid-season.

The only other swimmer under 46 was Auburn senior Arthur Mendes, who went 45.72.

One of two LSU Tigers to make the A final, Logan Rysemus was 46.02. (The other was senior Alex Linge at 46.67 – Linge was sixth overall last year).

Florida’s Jan Switkowski tied Georgia’s Pace Clark for the fourth spot at 46.14, with Auburn’s Luis Martinez and Missouri’s Andrew Sansoucie rounding out the A heat for tonight.

Alabama’s Brett Walsh, the fastest returner behind Dressel after taking 4th last year, faded to 47.06 and barely made the B final. Also missing a return trip to the A final was Florida’s Jack Blyzinskyj, who was 46.68 to miss the championship heat by .01 seconds.

Top 8:

  • Dressel, FLOR – 45.14
  • Mendes, AUB – 45.72
  • Rysemus, LSU – 46.02
  • Clark, UGA – 46.14
  • Switkowski, FLOR – 46.14
  • Martinez, AUB – 46.22
  • Sansoucie, MIZZ – 46.58
  • Linge, LSU – 46.67

Women’s 200 free – Prelims

Georgia’s Brittany MacLean set herself up for a second individual SEC title of 2016 by putting up the top 200 free time at 1:44.51. MacLean had a bit of a rough outing as a junior, taking 5th in this event, but looks back to top form in her final NCAA season. MacLean won the 500 free impressively on night 2.

It’ll be a 1-2 sweep for Georgia heading into the final, with sophomore Meaghan Raab going 1:45.26, just off her lifetime-best, for second.

Texas A&M holds the next two spots as the team battle between the Bulldogs and Aggies heats up. Freshman Claire Rasmus was 1:45.81 and senior Meredith Oliver 1:46.07 for the Aggies.

Kentucky’s first swimming A finalist of the meet comes in teh form of freshman Greena Freriks at 1:46.13, just five hundredths ahead of Florida’s Amelia Maughan, last year’s SEC champ.

Top 8:

  • MacLean, UGA – 1:44.51
  • Raab, UGA – 1:45.26
  • Rasmus, A&M – 1:45.81
  • Oliver, A&M – 1:46.07
  • Freriks, KY – 1:46.13
  • Maughan, FLOR – 1:46.18
  • Malone, A&M – 1:46.46
  • Stirrat, LSU – 1:46.50

Men’s 200 free – Prelims

Georgia swept the top seeds in the 200 free, with Matias Koski going 1:34.23 for the #1 spot out of prelims in the men’s event. Koski, the defending conference champ, barely beat out Auburn’s Hugo Morris (1:34.59) and Florida’s Mitch D’Arrigo (1:34.59). Last season, it was Koski and D’Arrigo who came down to the touch for the SEC title.

Missouri posted three A final times in front of the home crowd, with freshman Mikel Schreuders and junior Carter Griffin leading the way in a 1:34.84 tie for fourth. Michael Chadwick went 1:35.05 for seventh.

In between is Auburn’s Peter Holoda, and LSU continues to impress with another A finalist – Jake Markham snuck in with an eighth-place 1:35.08.

In a blow for Florida, last year’s 3rd-place finisher Pawel Werner missed the A final, taking 10th in 1:35.21.

Top 8:

  • Koski, UGA – 1:34.23
  • Morris, AUB – 1:34.31
  • DArrigo, FLOR – 1:34.59
  • Schreuders, MIZZ – 1:34.84
  • Griffin, MIZZ – 1:34.84
  • Holoda, AUB – 1:34.86
  • Chadwick, MIZZ – 1:35.05
  • Markham, LSU – 1:35.08

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Prediction for an otherworldly 100, or just counting both 50s?


Is Caeleb swimming fly or breast?


Well, he came and swam the 100 fly this morning, taking 1st seed (45.14). I too am wondering if he will swim the 100 breast or 100 free. On one hand, winning the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 breast all at the SEC Championships would be an incredible feat, but would he won the 100 breast? It would be very close between him and Schwizenswogl from Mizzou. The other advantage of doing the 100 breast tomorrow would be that he would have swam both the 100 fly and 100 breast in intense competition, and could better decide what to focus on for NCAA’s, since the fly and breast are on the same day. After his 50 free, he would… Read more »


Counterpoint – he’ll swim the 100 breast in the 4 medley relay tomorrow night, which will give him a chance to see where he’s at. And in a tight team race, I can’t see Florida not taking the better shot at 20 points with him swimming the 100 free.


anyone else noticing that Texas A&M is thoroughly beating georgia? UGA will be lucky to beat Tennessee for 2nd right now


Things are looking very good for the Aggie women.

Of course, they’ll need to hold onto their seeds tonight. Two top seeds and at least 2 in every A-Final helps a lot, but if the Georgia girls step and the Aggie girls stumble a bit, there could be a huge swing in momentum. Luckily A&M still is a favorite over Georgia in the 400 medley relay and should make it close in the 400 free relay, winning those points would be big.


I predicted this on the preview article and everyone thought i was crazy….no way….UGA has some studs, but not the depth of these other teams. Better suited for NC’s. I am expectiing some apologies 🙂

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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