2017 SEC Championships: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


The first set of individual events are set to take place this morning at the 2017 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee. Swimmers will compete in the 500 free, 200 free, and 50 free this morning, while divers will compete in the women’s 1-meter.

Texas A&M holds a narrow lead over Georgia after day 1, with just 3 points separating them. Not far behind are the 3rd place Missouri Tigers. The Aggies also lead on the men’s side after getting their 200 medley relay on the podium and 3 divers into the championship final last night. Sitting in 2nd is defending champion Florida, followed by LSU and Tennessee.


  1. Sarah Gibson, Texas A&M, 4:40.94
  2. Ashley Neidigh, Auburn, 4:41.36
  3. Sycerika McMahon, Texas A&M, 4:42.47
  4. Kira Zubar, Missouri, 4:43.00
  5. Kendal Casey, Kentucky, 4:43.05
  6. Geena Freriks, Kentucky, 4:43.47
  7. Rachel Zilinskas, Georgia, 4:43.72
  8. Ayumi Macias, Arkansas, 4:43.89

Texas A&M’s Sarah Gibson and Auburn’s Ashley Neidigh battled in the penultimate heat of the 500 free prelims, setting themselves up for another showdown as the top 2 seeds for finals. The Aggies have set themselves up well with 2 championships finalists, as Sycerika McMahon was the 3rd fastest swimmer this morning. Also getting 2 in were the Kentucky women with Kendal Casey and Geena Freriks.

Georgia’s Rachel Zilinskas will bring some representation for the Bulldogs. This has typically been a big event for Georgia, who had 4 championship finalists last season before graduating Hali Flickinger and Brittany Maclean.


  1. Mitch D’Arrigo, Florida, 4:12.43
  2. Fynn Minuth, South Carolina, 4:12.94
  3. Akaram Mahmoud, South Carolina, 4:14.34
  4. Walker Higgins, Georgia, 4:14.43
  5. Jay Litherland, Georgia, 4:17.23
  6. Ben Lawless, Florida, 4:17.28
  7. Kevin Litherland, Georgia, 4:18.16
  8. Isaac Jones, Kentucky, 4:18.59

Florida All-American Mitch D’Arrigo led the way through prelims of the 500 free, while Ben Lawless got into the final at 6th to give the Gators 2 finalists. South Carolina’s distance group impressed, with Fynn Minuth putting up a big swim to take 2nd seed in 4:12.94 ahead of teammate Akaram Mahmoud (4:14.34). The Bulldogs should get big points in this race, with Georgia’s Walker Higgins, Jay Litherland, and Kevin Litherland maing it into the top 8.

There were a handful of men in the 4:18-range, with Kentucky’s Isaac Jones closing out the top 8. Florida freshman Maxime Rooney just missed out with a 4:18.66 for 9th, as did Missouri’s Nicholas Davis with a 4:18.76 for 10th.


  1. Meghan Small, Tennessee, 1:54.86
  2. Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M, 1:55.23
  3. Lisa Bratton, Texas A&M, 1:56.23
  4. Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo, Texas A&M, 1:56.60
  5. Bethany Galat, Texas A&M, 1:56.69
  6. Asia Seidt, Kentucky, 1:56.70
  7. Emma Barksdale, South Carolina, 1:56.84
  8. Meaghan Raab, Georgia, 1:57.37

Tennessee freshman standout Meghan Small put on a show for the home crowd this morning, charging to a 1:54.86 to take top seed. The Aggies set up a huge points haul behind her, qualifying in the next 4 spots with Sydney Pickrem, Lisa Bratton, Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo, and Bethany Galat. Kentucky freshman Asia Seidt, who came in as the top seed, will also be in the running tonight after taking 6th in prelims.

MEN’S 200 IM

  1. Chase Kalisz, Georgia, 1:42.84
  2. Mark Szaranek, Florida, 1:43.00
  3. Joe Patching, Auburn, 1:43.32
  4. (T-4) Gunnar Bentz, Georgia, 1:44.24
  5. (T-4) Jan Switkowski, Florida, 1:44.24
  6. Anton McKee, Alabama, 1:44.47
  7. Michael Duderstadt, Auburn, 1:44.80
  8. Alex Lebed, Florida, 1:44.86

Georgia’s Chase Kalisz got the ball rolling with a 1:42.84 to lead 200 IM prelims, followed closely by Florida All-American Mark Szaranek and Auburn’s defending SEC champion Joe Patching (1:43.32). Florida will have 3 in tonight’s final with Jan Switkowski and Alex Lebed making it in as well.

Gunnar Bentz tied for 4th seed to give the Bulldogs 2 ups, while Auburn’s Michael Duderstadt took 7th to give the Tigers another finalist.


  1. Olivia Smoliga, Georgia, 21.82
  2. (T-2) Chantal Van Landeghem, Georgia, 22.00
  3. (T-2) Madeline Banic, Tennessee, 22.00
  4. Bailey Scott, Alabama, 22.21
  5. Kira Toussaint, Tennessee, 22.24
  6. Beryl Gastaldello, Texas A&M, 22.32
  7. Leah Troskot, LSU, 22.39
  8. Haylee Knight, LSU, 22.43

Georgia sprint stars Olivia Smoliga and Chantal Van Landeghem turned in a 1-2 finish in prelims, with Smoliga posting the only sub-22 of the morning. Tennessee and LSU each got 2 in. Madeline Banic tied for 2nd and Kira Toussaint touched 5th to give the Vols some representation. The Tigers’ Leah Troskot and Haylee Knight closed out the championship final qualifications in 7th and 8th.


  1. Caeleb Dressel, Florida, 18.51
  2. Cory Bolleter, Texas A&M, 19.04
  3. Kyle Decoursey, Tennessee, 19.21
  4. Zane Waddell, Alabama, 19.35
  5. Michael Chadwick, Missouri, 19.41
  6. Peter Holoda, Auburn, 19.50
  7. (T-7) Zach Apple, Auburn, 19.59
  8. (T-7) Enzo Martinez Scarpe, Florida, 19.59

American Record holder Caeleb Dressel shot off the blocks en route to an 18.51 this morning, posting the only sub-19 of the field. Texas A&M’s Cory Bolleter nearly accomplished a sub-19 swim himself, clocking in at 19.04 for 2nd ahead of Tennessee’s Kyle Decoursey. Alabama freshman Zane Waddell and Missouri sprint stud Michael Chadwick also touched in 19-low to round out the top 5.

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

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bobo gigi
6 years ago

A good time drop and a new PB for Ashley Neidigh in the 500 free. 😉

6 years ago

rough morning for the UGA women…especially in the 500…got better in the im and real good in the 50. has the SEC gone a little down hill on the women’s side with AU, UF and UGA down?

Reply to  korn
6 years ago

It would be interesting to line up the A & B cut performances by event and by conference and compare with prior years. I noticed the ACC seemed pretty deep in some events.

6 years ago

Zane Waddell will soon be a household name

E Gamble
Reply to  OslinFan6
6 years ago

This must be Zane’s dad. Aww ?

6 years ago

Connor Oslin waiting patiently for tomorrow… or so I hear

JP input too short
6 years ago

Fynn Minuth’s mid-D free prowess kinda came out of nowhere starting last summer… if I remember right, he was mostly a flyer out of high school. That SC longer freestyle program is good!

6 years ago

Adam Koster of A&M and Cobe Garcia of Kentucky tied for 15th in the 50 with 19.81s. They did a swimoff for the spot in the B final. Both touched again in the swimoff with identical 19.70s! One more swimoff was done, which was won by Koster 19.77 to 19.79. How often do you see second swimoffs??

Reply to  Aquajosh
6 years ago

Luckily it was only the 50 and not the 200 fly!

Joel Lin
6 years ago

Well, well…looks like Flynn Minuth is the latest middle distance / distance free ringer to be cut by the Bernardino cloth.

Seems to just happen over and over. What a trajectory that kid is on. He’s a player.

6 years ago

2 people in the a final one person in the b final for Georgia in the IM

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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