2017 SEC Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


Swimmers are gearing up for day 2 finals at the 2017 SEC Championships, with the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 200 free relay, and women’s 1-meter diving on tonight’s schedule. Texas A&M leads the team battle on the women’s side, and are poised to build a big lead after loading up the 200 IM final with 4 of their swimmers. They’ve also got Sarah Gibson as the top seed in the 500 free.

The Florida men will look to move into the lead tonight, and are headlined by American Record holder Caeleb Dressel in the 50 free. Dressel, who posted a scorching 17.90 50 free split on last night’s 200 medley relay, will be chasing his own record tonight after turning in an 18.51 this morning.

The men’s 200 IM should be one of the top races to watch tonight. Georgia’s Chase Kalisz will line up as the top seed, but Florida All-American Mark Szaranek and Auburn’s defending SEC champion Joe Patching will be on either side to challenge him. The Bulldogs’ Gunnar Bentz and Florida’s Jan Switkowski will also be in the hunt.


  1. Sarah Gibson, Texas A&M, 4:38.92
  2. Ashley Neidigh, Auburn, 4:39.91
  3. Kendal Casey, Kentucky, 4:40.81

The women’s 500 free was an exciting race to watch, as Texas A&M’s Sarah Gibson and Auburn’s Ashley Neidigh battled down the stretch. Gibson made her big move on the last 50 yards, blasting off the final walls to break ahead with a 26.79 closing split. She brought home the title in 4:38.92, while Neidigh finished a second later to earn silver in 4:39.91.

The Kentucky women have one of the strongest teams in their program’s history, which was evident as Kendal Casey and Geena Freriks battles for the final podium spot. It came down to the final touch, with Casey (4:40.81) getting her hand on the wall just 4 hundredths ahead of Freriks (4:40.85).


  1. Fynn Minuth, South Carolina, 4:11.07
  2. Mitch D’Arrigo, Florida, 4:12.71
  3. Kevin Litherland, Georgia, 4:15.98

South Carolina’s Fynn Minuth has got to be one of the most improved swimmers this year. He came into this season with a best time of 4:26 in the 500 free, but as of today he’s an SEC champion with a lifetime best of 4:11.07. Minuth jumped out to an early lead and was able to hold off a late charge from Florida’s Mitch D’Arrigo, who took 2nd in 4:12.71.

A trio of Georgia men came in behind them, with Kevin Litherland earning the final podium spot in 4:15.98. His brother, Jay Litherland (4:16.41), touched the wall 4th, followed by teammate Walker Higgins (4:16.54)


  1. Meghan Small, Tennessee, 1:53.31
  2. Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M, 1:53.64
  3. Bethany Galat, Texas A&M, 1:54.86

Tennessee freshman Meghan Small had the home crowd on their feet as she battled with Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem. On the back half, Pickrem (1:53.64) started to make her comeback, but Small was able to hold her off to win in 1:53.31. With that, she set a new Pool Record and Tennessee school record. The Aggies’ Bethany Galat rounded out the podium in 1:54.86, while Kentucky freshman Asia Seidt followed closely with a 1:55.02 for 4th place. All 4 swimmers met the NCAA ‘A’ standard.

Defending champion Lisa Bratton wound up touching 5th in 1:56.30.

MEN’S 200 IM

  1. Chase Kalisz, Georgia, 1:41.28
  2. Mark Szaranek, Florida, 1:41.30
  3. Jan Switkowski, Florida, 1:42.25

Georgia’s Chase Kalisz came from behind to take the lead after the breaststroke leg, but Florida’s Mark Szaranek blasted a 24.16 on the free leg to try and run him down. It came down to the touch, but Kalisz got his hand there first to win in 1:41.28 ahead of Szaranek’s 1:41.30. That broke the former SEC Meet Record set by Ryan Lochte back in 2005.


  1. Maddy Banic, Tennessee, 21.54
  2. Olivia Smoliga, Georgia, 21.56
  3. Bailey Scott, Alabama, 21.84

Tennessee’s Maddy Banic (21.54) made it back-to-back golds for the Volunteers, touching out Georgia’s NCAA champ Olivia Smoliga (21.56) by 2 hundredths. Alabama’s Bailey Scott had a big swim, taking the bronze in 21.84 ahead of Texas A&M’s Beryl Gastaldello (21.95). All-American sprinter Chantal Van Landeghem touched 5th for the Bulldogs in 22.07.


  1. Caeleb Dressel, Florida, 18.46
  2. Zane Waddell, Alabama, 19.17
  3. Michael Chadwick, 19.21

Florida’s Caeleb Dressel was a couple tenths shy of his best time, but he still dominated the field to win gold in 18.46. That result probably isn’t up to par with his 17-second relay splits this week, but Dressel was just a bit off-kilter on his turn, which cost him an approach to his American record in this event.Alabama freshman Zane Waddell rocked a lifetime best 19.17 to take silver, while Missouri’s Michael Chadwick landed the final podium spot with a 19.21 for bronze.

Finishing just a hundredth shy of the podium was Texas A&M’s Cory Bolleter (19.22). Auburn’s Zach Apple followed just a hundredth behind him, touching 5th in 19.23. Also finishing in the 19.2-range was Tennessee’s Kyle Decoursey (19.25) in 6th place.


  1. Lauren Reedy, Missouri, 364.30
  2. Rebecca Hamperian, Kentucky, 354.90
  3. Julia Vincent, South Carolina, 351.85

Missouri’s Lauren Reedy earned the Tigers’ first gold of the meet, winning the 1-meter diving finals with a score of 364.30. South Carolina’s Julia Vincent, who won the 3-meter last night, earned her 2nd medal of the meet with a bronze behind Kentucky’s Rebecca Hamperian.


  1. Georgia, 1:27.57
  2. Auburn, 1:27.86
  3. Tennessee, 1:27.96

Georgia picked up their 2nd relay win of the meet in a close battle with Auburn and Tennessee. The Bulldogs were just a tenth ahead of Auburn heading into the final 50, but Chantal Van Landeghem anchored with a 21.73 to get the job done. Tennessee’s 50 free champ Maddy Banic turned in a 21.53 anchor split, nearly running down Auburn’s Allyx Purcell (21.92). Auburn freshman Julie Meynen put up the Tigers’ fastest split with a 21.59 on the 3rd leg.


  1. Florida, 1:15.67
  2. Auburn, 1:16.03
  3. Alabama, 1:16.40

Florida’s Caeleb Dressel once again brought the Gators up from behind, but he was even faster than his 17.90 split last night. Dressel clocked a 17.86 on the 2nd leg, helping the Gators win the race in 1:15.67. Jan Switkowski also split sub-19 for the Gators, touching in 18.90 on the 3rd leg. Alabama and Auburn battled closely behind them, with Auburn’s Kyle Darmody (18.79) edging out the Crimson Tide’s Laurent Bams (19.08) on the anchor leg.

The 2nd fastest split of the field came from Missouri’s Michael Chadwick, who put up an 18.64 on the 2nd leg en route to their 1:17.45 for 4th place.


 1. Florida, University of          486.5   2. Auburn University                 346
  3. Texas A&M University              324   4. Georgia, University of            314
  5. Alabama, University of            287   6. South Carolina, University of,    278
  7. Tennessee, University of, Knox  261.5   8. Louisiana State University        199
  9. Kentucky, University of           196  10. Missouri, University of           186


 1. Texas A&M University              488   2. Georgia, University of            410
  3. Auburn University                 371   4. Missouri, University of           349
  5. Tennessee, University of, Knox    344   6. Kentucky, University of           310
  7. Florida, University of            238   8. Louisiana State University        231
  9. South Carolina, University of,    203  10. Alabama, University of            187
 11. Arkansas, University of, Fayet    133  12. Vanderbilt University              30

Editor’s note: Auburn’s Ashley Neidigh is the sister of author Lauren Neidigh.

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Steve W
7 years ago

Looks like there’s an error on the men’s 200 Free Relay results. Florida couldn’t have won if they finished at 1:15.67 and Auburn finished at 1:15.03. Did Auburn actually finish at 1:16.03?

7 years ago

If I was directing a tv broadcast and really wanted to just f with your head, you know, maliciously piss you off, you know what I’d do? I’d cut away from the race to show the splits on the scoreboard–every 50!!! And I’d linger there for about 10 seconds so that you’d miss seeing half of every race. I’d also cut to a camera angle at the finish that obstructs a view of the wall. That’s what I’d do.
Thanks espn. Great job.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

And Lauren, another new PB for your sister Ashley in 4.39.91. First time ever under 4.40. And more important a second place. Congrats to her.

Lauren Neidigh
Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago


bobo gigi
7 years ago

A little correction Lauren. Caeleb Dressel won the 50 free in 18.46. Not 18.41.
It means a difference of 0.60 s between his time flat-start and his relay split of 17.86.
Pure logic.
It will hard to break that 18-second barrier in the future. But if one guy can do it, it’s Caeleb Dressel.
It would be absolutely huge.
But is it only humanly possible? 🙂

Chase Kalisz, unlike Bentz and Jay Litherland, looks amazing this week. It’s a big accomplishment to break a Lochte record in SCY when we know he’s much better in long course. I doubt he’s fully rested for that meet, it would be stupid, so we can expect big things… Read more »

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Why most of people are more exciting about Dressel’s 17.86 relay split than his 18.41 in the individual race?
It’s at the same level.
You add around 0.5 s/0.6 s to the relay split to have a prediction of a flat-start time.
All his times are pure logic.
And very impressive for right now.
I can’t imagine he’s fully rested.
He saves the best for NCAAs and it should be a big show there.

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Because he’s been 18.2 flat start, so he was slower, and no one has ever been faster than 17.86. Pure logic.

Reply to  Bigly
7 years ago

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he goes 17.6 or so at NCAAs on a relay. People think it is so amazing, and it is, but considering his flat start times It would be reasonable to have expected that out of him last year. His relay exchanges look better than last year, Thats why he’s already 17.8

7 years ago

Can anyone tell me what’s going on with Evan Pinion and Katie Armitage? Why aren’t they swimming for Tennessee?

Reply to  VFL
7 years ago

VFL – we’ve asked the question on Katie, to no avail. We’ll let you know if we get any information.

Reply to  VFL
7 years ago

Has evan Pinion Swam at all this season?

7 years ago

Wow! Florida’s old school record in the 200 FR was a 1:16.2 and they went 1:15.6! Big things happening for Florida sprinting!

7 years ago

I really hope that the Georgia men have a lot more to give for NCAAs. I was expecting a much lower time for Jay in that 500 after how I saw him close out his 4IM at trials and the olympics. I think that might be his best time but I am looking for another few seconds come NCAAs. I also thought Bentz would be faster in his 2IM. We will see what happens as the weekend rolls along. I am excited to watch both of them (and Kalisz) swim the 4IM.

Reply to  PKWater
7 years ago

Yes Bentz was dissapointing I mean the dude got 4th in the 200 IM at OT

Reply to  PKWater
7 years ago

They’re both better LC swimmers, they’ve always been

bobo gigi
Reply to  Swimnerd
7 years ago

And Swimnerd is right. Gunnar Bentz and Jay Litherland are much better in long course. And that’s a good thing in my opinion.

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Not this month though

Reply to  Swimnerd
7 years ago

That is true, I think most of the Georgia contingent is better at LC. I just thought that I could see some of these swimmers, who are some of the best in the world, beat up on some of these other college kids who I haven’t really heard of.

bobo gigi
Reply to  PKWater
7 years ago

The big meet is NCAAs. Where it counts.

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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