2018 SEC Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap

2018 SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Wednesday, February 14 – Sunday, February 18
  • Rec Center Natatorium, College Station, TX (Central Time Zone)
  • Prelims 10AM / Finals 6PM
  • Defending Champion: Florida (5x) (results)
  • Championship Central
  • Psych Sheet
  • Live results
  • Live Video (finals)

It’s day 3 in College Station, with prelims of six more events lined up at the SEC Championships. Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem looks to keep her Aggies atop the standings as the top seed in the 400 IM, one day after winning the 200 IM in record time.

We’ll also get to see last night’s breakout 50 free champ Erika Brown tackle the 100 fly as the top seed, plus Auburn freshman Hugo Gonzalez lead the men’s 400 IM field into battle. Tennessee’s Ryan Coetzee heads the men’s 100 fly with Caeleb Dressel taking the morning off after his record-setting 1:38 IM last night.

Meaghan Raab is the top 200 free seed for Georgia, joined by Missouri’s Mikel Schreuders on the men’s side.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event updates of all the action from College Station.

WOMEN’S 400 IM – PRELIMS

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Sydney Pickrem, A&M – 4:03.11
  2. Emma Barksdale, SC – 4:05.43
  3. Bethany Galat, A&M – 4:05.99
  4. Tess Cieplucha, TN – 4:06.27
  5. Megan Kingsley, GA – 4:06.51
  6. Sharli Brady, MIZZ – 4:06.57
  7. Meghan Small, TN – 4:06.91
  8. Hannah Burns, FL – 4:08.10

Last night’s 200 IM champ Sydney Pickrem leads the 400 IM after prelims, putting up a strong 4:03.11 for the top seed by a wide margin. Perhaps her stiffest challenge tonight will come from teammate Bethany Galat, who was 4:02 midseason but 4:05 this morning for the third spot.

In between is South Carolina junior Emma Barksdale, who dropped almost three seconds from her season-best and about a half-second from her lifetime-best to go 4:05.43 for the second spot.

Tennessee got a pair into the A final with sophomores Tess Cieplucha and Meghan Small. The Vols are just 23.5 points behind Georgia for second after last night, and should gain points on this IM with 2 A finalists and 1 B. Georgia has only one scorer, Megan Kingsley, who sits 5th.

MEN’S 400 IM – PRELIMS

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Hugo Gonzalez, AUB – 3:40.31
  2. Brandonn Almeida, SC – 3:41.80
  3. Mark Szaranek, FL – 3:42.02
  4. Tom Peribonio, SC – 3:42.49
  5. Jay Litherland, GA – 3:42.57
  6. Austin van Overdam, A&M – 3:43.76
  7. Benjamin Walker, A&M – 3:44.44
  8. Gunnar Bentz, GA – 3:44.60

Auburn’s Hugo Gonzalez blasted a tough 3:40 in prelims to lead a 400 IM field which was surprisingly fast for morning swims. The 400 IM often becomes about gamesmanship, with the top swimmers doing only what they have to to make top 8 in the morning and saving energy for a night swim. But there were a number of key time drops within the top 8 qualifers.

South Carolina’s Brandonn Almeida, a former world junior champ for Brazil, went 3:41.80 for second. It’s hard to say how that compares to his true top speed, given he hasn’t swum much at all in yards. In fact, this is the first 400 yard IM he’s ever registered in USA Swimming’s database.

He’s joined by teammate Tom Peribonio in a strong event for the Gamecocks. Florida’s Mark Szaranek is in the mix at 3:42, and a pair of Texas A&M Aggies made the cut with Austin van Overdam and Benjamin Walker in 6th and 7th.

Georgia’s Olympians Jay Litherland and Gunnar Bentz round out the A heat. Litherland seemed relaxed this morning, several seconds off his season-best. Bentz, coming back from a collarbone injury, barely made the cut in 8th place.

WOMEN’S 100 Fly – PRELIMS

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Erika Brown, TN – 50.49
  2. Haley Black, AUB – 50.99
  3. Aly Tetzloff, AUB – 51.41
  4. Jing Quah, A&M – 52.00
  5. Chelsea Britt, GA – 52.07
  6. Maddy Banic, TN – 52.08
  7. Ann Ochitwa, MIZZ – 52.23
  8. Bailey Nero, AUB – 52.27

Tennessee sophomore Erika Brown has had one of the best seasons of any NCAA swimmer so far, and she continues with a top qualifying spot in the 100 fly. She’s hit lifetime-bests in all her major events this year, and her 50.49 this morning is the second-best 100 fly of her life, behind only the 50.33 she put up back in December.

Also getting under 51 was Haley Black of Auburn. She went 50.99, and will be followed by teammate Aly Tetzloff. Auburn got three into the A final, with Bailey Nero 8th.

Tennessee also got Maddy Banic into the A final, and should continue to gain ground on Georgia for second in team points. Georgia’s Veronica Buchill added about a half-second to her seed time and wound up 9th, just missing the championship final. Her teammate Chelsea Britt is the only Bulldog in the A heat.

MEN’S 100 Fly – PRELIMS

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Liam McCloskey, AUB – 45.75
  2. Jose Martinez, A&M – 45.82
  3. Camden Murphy, GA – 45.94
  4. Jan Switkowski, FL – 45.95
  5. Luis Martinez, AUB – 46.05
  6. Ryan Coetzee, TN – 46.20
  7. Santiago Grassi, AUB – 46.23
  8. Mauro Castillo, A&M – 46.26

The 100 flys were a banner event for the Auburn Tigers, with three men joining the three women in the A finals. Liam McCloskey is the top qualifier at 45.75, cracking 46 seconds for the first time in his career. Luis Martinez and Santiago Grassi are also in the top 8.

Texas A&M’s Jose Martinez took second this morning, continuing a strong Aggie meet. He was 45.82 and is just a tenth behind McCloskey. Georgia freshman Camden Murphy, one of our top 20 recruits in his class, came through with a 45.94, his first time ever under 46.

Florida hasn’t been as overwhelmingly impressive as they were on day 1, but Jan Switkowski still made the A final in 45.95.

WOMEN’S 200 Free – PRELIMS

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Claire Rasmus, A&M – 1:44.98
  2. Stanzi Moseley, TN – 1:45.19
  3. Katie Portz, A&M / Amelia Maughan, FL – 1:45.51
  4. Erin Falconer, AUB – 1:45.53
  5. Meaghan Raab, GA – 1:45.73
  6. Erin Metzger-Seymour, MIZZ – 1:45.87
  7. McKenna Debever, A&M – 1:45.98

The 200 free prelims were a bit more gamey among the women, with the top swimmers swimming tactically to make the final without putting up too many season-best times. Texas A&M’s Claire Rasmus leads the way in 1:44.98 and was the only swimmer under 1:45, though at least 5 swimmers have been under that mark during the regular season.

Top seed Meaghan Raab sits 6th in 1:45.73, two seconds off her seed time. Tennessee’s Stanzi Moseley is second, but was still a half-second off her best in her firs SEC meet. The sophomore transferred in from USC in the offseason. Meanwhile 1:44.4-seeded Courtney Harnish missed the A final for Georgia, going 1:46.38.

Texas A&M continues to roll on depth, getting Rasmus, Katie Portz and McKenna Debever into the A final.

MEN’S 200 Free – PRELIMS

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Khader Baqlah, FL – 1:32.96
  2. Zach Apple, AUB – 1:33.21
  3. Maxime Rooney, FL – 1:33.67
  4. Mikel Schreuders, MIZZ – 1:33.67
  5. Fynn Minuth, SC – 1:33.98
  6. Giovanny Lima, MIZZ – 1:34.42
  7. Joey Reilman, TN – 1:34.47
  8. Chris Reid, AL – 1:34.50

The men’s 200 free saw some big swims at the top, including a fast 1:32.96 from Florida’s Khader BaqlahThe sophomore will join classmate Maxime Rooney (3rd, 1:33.67) in the final heat tonight in side-by-side lanes.

Auburn’s Zach Apple took second, cutting two full seconds from seed, though he was still about three tenths off the time he put up leading off Auburn’s 800 free relay on day 1. Apple has been a steady riser the past couple seasons and could be in line for a massive 200 tonight after winning the 50 free a day ago.

Missouri has a pair of freestylers in the hunt tonight, led by Mikel Schreuders at 1:33.67. Meanwhile 500 free champ Fynn Minuth of South Carolina sits 5th in 1:33.98, a drop of 2.6 seconds from his seed. The other big drop into the top 8 came from Chris Reid of Alabama, who went 1:34.50 after coming in seeded 1:38.04, though he went 1:34.3 at NCAAs back in 2016.

He edged out his teammate Robert Howard, who fell to 9th in 1:34.59, about a second off his season-best.

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Bupwa

Is Peter “I define One Trick Pony” Stevens swimming the 400 IM today?

NC Swim Fan

Is Dressel swimming the 100 fly as this article indicates? I thought an article posted yesterday said he was not entered in an individual event, leading everybody to speculate that he was finishing out with 100 breast and 100 free.

*Confused*

E+Gamble

Meet Mobil still does not have him listed in 100 fly.

He is not. I just let Jared know. He was at a marathon coach’s meeting and missed all of the fun last night :-).

NC Swim Fan

Thanks Braden

CanSwim13

Where has Beryl Gastaldello been?

CanSwim13 – All A&&M will say is “health concerns” and that they’re not sure if she’ll be available for NCAAs. We’re working through other channels to see if we can learn more.

LiveLaughSwim

Maybe if that’s all they are willing to say then we should be respectful of the swimmers privacy

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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