2017 SEC Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


SEC swimming fans’ eyes are on Knoxville, Tennessee toight, as day 3 finals of the 2017 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships are underway. Tonight’s finals brings competition in the 400 IM, 100 fly, and 200 free for the men and women. Georgia’s Chase Kalisz and Florida’s Mark Szaranek highlight the men’s 400 IM, while a rematch between Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem and Tennessee’s Meghan Small looms on the women’s side. Florida’s Caeleb Dressel and Texas A&M’s Sarah Gibson will each be aiming for their 3nd individual SEC titles of the meet in the 100 fly. In the 200 free, Florida’s Maxime Rooney will be seeking his first SEC title as a freshman.


  1. Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M, 4:02.25
  2. Bethany Galat, Texas A&M, 4:03.88
  3. Meghan Small, Tennessee, 4:04.93

Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem (4:02.25) lowered her personal best by 2 seconds en route to back-to-back SEC titles in the 400 IM. Pickrem took off on the backstroke leg to pass teammate Bethany Galat, never looking back to win the gold. Galat wound up 2nd, while Tennessee’s 200 IM champ Meghan Small touched 3rd. All 3 swimmers cleared the NCAA ‘A’ cut.

South Carolina’s Emma Barksdale had a big swim to take 4th in a personal best 4:06.07. She was just shy of the NCAA ‘A’ cut, but should still easily get an invite to the big meet. Georgia’s Emily Cameron followed to round out the top 5 in 4:07.69.

MEN’S 400 IM

  1. Chase Kalisz, Georgia, 3:36.21
  2. Mark Szaranek, Florida, 3:36.54
  3. Jay Litherland, Georgia, 3:40.84

Georgia’s Chase Kalisz and Florida’s Mark Szaranek were stroke-for-stroke again in tongiht’s IM rematch.Szaranek once again thundered home, posting a 24.57 on the final 50 split, but Kalisz was able to hold him off, winning the race by 3 tenths. Kalisz’s time was a new SEC Meet Record. Szaranek’s time was a new personal best by almost 3 full seconds and a new Florida school record. Georgia’s defending champ Jay Litherland wound up 3rd in 3:40.84.

Auburn’s Joe Patching, the 2016 bronze medalist, was just off the podium tonight with a 4th place finish in 3:42.60, followed by South Carolina’s Tom Peribonio (3:43.45).


  1. Sarah Gibson, Texas A&M, 50.71
  2. Chelsea Britt, Georgia, 50.93
  3. Maddy Banic, Tennessee, 51.50

Texas A&M’s Sarah Gibson and Georgia’s Chelsea Britt were neck-and-neck into the finish, but Gibson got her hands on the wall first to win back-to-back titles in 50.71 ahead of Britt’s 50.93. That time for Gibson was a new SEC Meet Record. Tennessee’s Maddy Banic earned the final podium spot in 51.50.

Auburn’s Haley Black (51.80) and Texas A&M’s Beryl Gastaldello (50.82) were also sub-52 to place 4th and 5th respectively.


  1. Caeleb Dressel, Florida, 44.21
  2. Jan Switkowski, Florida, 45.59
  3. Andrew Sansoucie, Missouri, 45.82

Florida’s Caeleb Dressel unleashed the 4th fastest performance of all time to lower his own meet record and win the gold with a lightning fast 44.21. Teammate Jan Switkowski secured the Gator 1-2, taking silver in 45.59 ahead of Missouri’s bronze medalist Andrew Sansoucie (45.82).


  1. Tyler Henschel, Texas A&M, 478.40
  2. Juan Celaya-Hernandez, LSU, 469.95
  3. Liam Stone, Tennessee, 442.90

Texas A&M’s Tyler Henschel set a new SEC Record en route to his 3-meter diving gold, winning with a score of 478.40. LSU’s Juan Celaya-Hernandez was also under the former SEC Record with a score of 469.95 for 2nd place. Tennessee’s Liam Stone (442.90) edged out Florida’s Samuel Smith (440.20) to take bronze.


  1. Geena Freriks, Kentucky, 1:44.26
  2. Claire Rasmus, Texas A&M, 1:44.51
  3. Meaghan Raab, Georgia, 1:44.57

Geena Freriks earned the first gold medal of the meet for the Kentucky women, throwing down a 1:44.21 to outpace Texas A&M’s Claire Rasmus (1:44.51) and Georgia’s Meaghan Raab (1:44.57). Auburn’s Erin Falconer reached in at 4th in 1:45.96, while Kentucky’s Kendal Casey rounded out the top 5 with a 1:46.50.


  1. Maxime Rooney, Florida, 1:32.18
  2. Khader Baqlah, Florida, 1:33.65
  3. Fynn Minuth, South Carolina, 1:33.67

Florida freshman Maxime Rooney shattered his own 17-18 NAG Record of 1:33.05 from prelims, lowering his best time by almost a full second to win gold in 1:32.18. He finished a second and a half ahead of the field, as teammate Khader Baqlah (1:33.65) out-touched South Carolina’s Fynn Minuth (1:33.67) for the silver.


  1. Florida, University of          759.5   2. Georgia, University of            537
  3. Auburn University               495.5   4. Alabama, University of          415.5
  5. Texas A&M University              414   6. Tennessee, University of, Knox  409.5
  7. South Carolina, University of,    380   8. Louisiana State University        340
  9. Missouri, University of         326.5  10. Kentucky, University of         248.5


  1. Texas A&M University              729   2. Georgia, University of            601
  3. Auburn University                 493   4. Tennessee, University of, Knox    454
  5. Missouri, University of           430   6. Kentucky, University of           406
  7. Florida, University of            331   8. Louisiana State University        291
  9. South Carolina, University of,    248  10. Alabama, University of            221
 11. Arkansas, University of, Fayet    146  12. Vanderbilt University              30

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bobo gigi
7 years ago

A huge PB for Szaranek in the 400 IM in 3.36.54. His best time was 3.39.28.
Amazing to see him so close to Kalisz. In long course his PB is “only” 4.17 while Kalisz’ PB is 4.06.
We can draw the conclusion that the British swimmer prefers swimming the 400 IM in the bathtub rather than in the big pool. And that’s the opposite for Kalisz.
Same comment about Schooling and Dressel in the 100 fly. It’s much closer in yards than in long course.
Or Simone Manuel vs Katie Ledecky in the 200 free. Simone can bother KL in yards while KL is at least 3 seconds faster in long course.
Such a different… Read more »

bobo gigi
7 years ago

The women’s 200 free is pretty weak in that conference this year.

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

I was just thinking that. Hard to believe Georgia has no one under 1:44.

IMs for days
7 years ago

I’m honestly super excited to see what Kalisz can do. He is coming off a great year with a huge PB and silver medal at the olympics, and at SECs he swims relativly close to what he was swimming earliwr in the college season, which tells me he is saving his taper for NCAAs. Licon may want to skip the 400IM this time. ?

andrew majeske
Reply to  IMs for days
7 years ago

Yeah–Licon swims the 100 Breast I’ll bet—and wins it. It would be the smart move.

7 years ago

Spectacular! Rooney-sama is quickly moving up on my Top Ten Kawaii Swimmers of All Time list! Also, Schooling-senpai is going to have to watch out for Dressel-sama in the 100 fly. (^▽^)

Reply to  Onii-chan
7 years ago

These crack me up for some reason hahaha

Reply to  Klorn8d
7 years ago

Best comments on Swimswam my dude

Reply to  Onii-chan
7 years ago

Senpai Dressel is super moe desu

7 years ago

Things I see on the men’s side that stand out to me:
Chase Kalisz looking amazing, 1:41/3:46 are extremely fast times (Also Szaranek with a huge PB)
Rooney showing improvement again after a bit of an off year, 1:31 relay split and 1:32 flat start
Switkowski has quietly been putting up solid times
And of course, Dressel has been outstanding, no explanations needed.

7 years ago

1:33’s in the 200 free just become more and more common crazy how fast swimming is evolving 50 free has also gotten way faster.

Reply to  Uberfan
7 years ago

It’s crazy how 19s as relay splits are so common, and it’s just considered a decent split at this level. Swimming is getting faster

Reply to  Person
7 years ago

I think 19 has always been considered decent even back in 08 most elite sprinters were hitting 18s for their splits

7 years ago

Anyone have race videos

Parka 59
7 years ago

Word around deck is that Rooney was the culprit of Mitch’s missing parka. He used the remaining heat from Mitch’s body that was still resinating within the parka to put together a masterful performance.

Reply to  Parka 59
7 years ago

is this fake news

Reply to  IRO
7 years ago

Alternative facts

Reply to  Parka 59
7 years ago

Can someone explain this to me?

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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