2017 SEC SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, February 14 – Saturday, February 18
- Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center, Knoxville, TN (Eastern Time Zone)
- Prelims 10AM / Finals 6PM
- Defending Champion: Florida men (4x), Texas A&M women (results)
- Championship Central
- Psych Sheet
- Day 2 Finals Heat Sheet
- Live results
- Live Video
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.
WOMEN’S 500 FREE
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).
MEN’S 500 FREE
- Fynn Minuth, South Carolina, 4:11.07
- Mitch D’Arrigo, Florida, 4:12.71
- 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)
WOMEN’S 200 IM
- Meghan Small, Tennessee, 1:53.31
- Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M, 1:53.64
- 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
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.
WOMEN’S 50 FREE
- Maddy Banic, Tennessee, 21.54
- Olivia Smoliga, Georgia, 21.56
- 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.
MEN’S 50 FREE
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.
WOMEN’S 1-METER DIVING
- Lauren Reedy, Missouri, 364.30
- Rebecca Hamperian, Kentucky, 354.90
- 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.
WOMEN’S 200 FREE RELAY
- Georgia, 1:27.57
- Auburn, 1:27.86
- 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.
MEN’S 200 FREE RELAY
- Florida, 1:15.67
- Auburn, 1:16.03
- 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.
MEN’S TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 2
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
WOMEN’S TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 2
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.