2018 SEC Championships: Day 5 Prelims Live Recap


  • 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)

The fifth and final day of the 2018 SEC Championships is here, with preliminary heats set to go off in the men’s and women’s 200 back, 100 free and 200 breast this morning. There will also be timed final heats of the 1650 this afternoon, with the fastest heat for men and women swimming with finals. The 400 free relay will cap off the meet tonight.

Caeleb Dressel, fresh off an American Record performance last night in the 100 breast, will swim the 100 free today. Though his NCAA and American Record of 40.00 would be a tall task to crack here, nothing is out of the question.

Along with Dressel, the men’s 100 free is stacked, featuring Auburn’s Zach Apple and Tennessee’s Kyle Decoursey who went 1-2 in the 50, the fastest man in the NCAA this year Robert Howard of Alabama, and another Auburn Tiger Peter Holoda who anchored last night’s 400 medley relay in 40.80.

Erika Brown of Tennessee will look to keep the momentum going in the women’s 100 free, where she is the top seed at 47.54. Brown is already five golds deep in College Station, and has a great shot to add two more in this and the 400 free relay later tonight.

100 winners Asia Seidt (Kentucky) and Javier Acevedo (Georgia) will be the ones to watch in the 200 back, along with Auburn freshman Hugo Gonzalez who had amazing performances on Thursday and Friday in the IM events.

Double IM champ on the women’s side Sydney Pickrem holds the top seed in the 200 breast, with her and her Aggie teammates holding down five of the top seven seeds.

Texas A&M will be well represented in the men’s event as well, with Mauro Castillo Luna and Jonathan Tybur in the mix, along with top seed James Guest of Georgia. Tybur went 1:53.31 in a time trial on Wednesday, a time that ranks him 4th in the country this season (just ahead of Guest’s 1:53.46).

Women’s 200 Back Prelims

  • SEC Meet Record: 1:48.34, Gemma Spofforth (FLOR), 2009
  1. Asia Seidt, UKY, 1:50.81
  2. Ali Galyer, UKY, 1:51.81
  3. Lisa Bratton, TAMU, 1:51.86
  4. Kylie Stewart, UGA, 1:51.94
  5. Bridgette Alexander, UKY, 1:52.07
  6. Erin Falconer, AUB, 1:52.43
  7. Micah Bohon, TENN, 1:52.79
  8. Sonnele Oeztuerk, AUB, 1:52.83

The Kentucky women showed up in the prelims of the 200 back, putting three swimmers into the top-5. Asia Seidt followed up her win in the 100 yard distance last night with this morning’s top seed in 1:50.81, qualifying a full second ahead of teammate and fellow sophomore Ali Galyer (1:51.81).

Bridgette Alexander was the third Wildcat to advance through, qualifying 5th overall in 1:52.07. The 3rd and 4th spots went to Aggie Lisa Bratton (1:51.86) and Bulldog Kylie Stewart (1:51.94). Missouri’s Hannah Stevens, last night’s runner-up in the 100, just missed the A-final in 9th (1:53.32).

Men’s 200 Back Prelims

  • SEC Meet Record: 1:38.29, Ryan Lochte (FLOR), 2005
  1. Javier Acevedo, UGA, 1:40.51
  2. Christopher Reid, BAMA, 1:41.09
  3. Hugo Gonzalez, AUB, 1:41.43
  4. Anthony Kim, TAM, 1:41.49
  5. Joey Reilman, TENN, 1:41.57
  6. Brennan Balogh, FLOR, 1:41.99
  7. Nick Alexander, UMIZ, 1:42.04
  8. Jay Litherland, UGA, 1:42.14

100 back winner Javier Acevedo topped the 200 field this morning in a time of 1:40.51, as four of the top five qualifiers came from the last heat. Along with Acevedo, Christopher Reid (1:41.09), Hugo Gonzalez (1:41.43) and Joey Reilman (1:41.57) advanced from heat 5, taking seeds #2, #3 and #5.

Texas A&M’s Anthony Kim had the most front end speed of anyone in the prelims, flipping at the 100 in 48.78, before ultimately qualifying 4th overall in a personal best of 1:41.49. Florida’s Brennan Balogh knocked over four seconds from his seed time in heat 2 to take 6th overall (1:41.99).

Women’s 100 Free Prelims

  • SEC Meet Record: 46.61, Ariana Vanderpool-Wallace (AUB), 2012
  1. Erika Brown, TENN, 47.36
  2. Veronica Burchill, UGA, 48.00
  3. Alyssa Tetzloff, AUB, 48.09
  4. Kristin Malone, TAM, 48.13
  5. Annie Ochitwa, UMIZ, 48.22
  6. Claire Rasmus, TAM, 48.49
  7. Julie Meynen, AUB, 48.55
  8. Bailey Scott, BAMA, 48.79

Erika Brown nailed down a best time, a Tennessee school record and an NCAA ‘A’ cut of 47.36 in the last heat of the women’s 100 free, qualifying 1st by nearly seven tenths. Georgia’s Veronica Burchill was the runner-up to Brown in heat 8, qualifying 2nd overall in 48.00.

Alyssa Tetzloff (48.09) of Auburn, Kristin Malone (48.13) of Texas A&M, and Annie Ochitwa (48.22) of Missouri qualified 3rd, 4th and 5th, as the battle for 2nd tonight should be very tight. Aggie Claire Rasmus (48.49) and Tiger Julie Meynen (48.55) give their schools two swimmers in the A-final with 6th and 7th place finishes.

Men’s 100 Free Prelims

  1. Caeleb Dressel, FLOR, 41.50
  2. Peter Holoda, AUB, 42.17
  3. Zach Apple, AUB, 42.40
  4. Robert Howard, BAMA, 42.64
  5. Kyle Decoursey, TENN, 42.72
  6. Mikel Schreuders, UMIZ, 42.83
  7. Khader Baqlah, FLOR, 42.86
  8. Maxime Rooney, FLOR, 42.94

Caeleb Dressel posted the top time in the country to qualify 1st in the men’s 100 free prelims, clocking 41.50 to easily surpass the ‘A’ cut of 42.11. Flipping relatively even with the top-5 qualifiers at the 50 mark, Dressel’s second 50 (21.18) wasn’t far off his American Record back half (20.99). We’ll see what he has in store for tonight.

Behind him there was a close battle for A-final spots, as all qualifiers were sub-43. Peter Holoda and Zach Apple of Auburn took the 2nd and 3rd spots in 42.17 and 42.40, with Alabama’s Robert Howard (42.64) and Tennessee’s Kyle Decoursey (42.72) 4th and 5th.

Mizzou junior Mikel Schreuders qualified 6th in 42.83, and Dressel’s Gator teammates Khader Baqlah (42.86) and Maxime Rooney (42.94) rounded out the A-finalists. Baqlah and Rooney went 1-2 in the 200 freestyle earlier in the meet.

Women’s 200 Breast Prelims

  • SEC Meet Record: 2:04.92, Breeja Larson (TAM), 2014
  1. Sydney Pickrem, TAM, 2:06.10
  2. Esther Gonzalez Medina, TAM, 2:07.43
  3. Anna Belousova, TAM, 2:07.48
  4. Bailey Bonnett, UKY, 2:07.69
  5. Bethany Galat, TAM, 2:08.87
  6. Kersten Dirrane, SCAR, 2:08.98
  7. Jorie Caneta, TAM, 2:09.24
  8. Albury Higgs, SCAR, 2:09.46

Sydney Pickrem led a group of five A&M swimmers into the A-final of the women’s 200 breast, getting under the ‘A’ cut by over a second in 2:06.10. Senior Esther Gonzalez Medina (2:07.43) and 100 breast winner Anna Belousova (2:07.48) gave the Aggies the top three spots overall.

Kentucky’s Bailey Bonnett was the other swimmer under 2:08 in 2:07.69, setting a new school record, and Bethany Galat (2:08.87) and Jorie Caneta (2:09.24) were the other two Aggies advancing through. South Carolina’s Kersten Dirrane (2:08.98) and Albury Higgs (2:09.46) took the other two finals spots.

Men’s 200 Breast Prelims

  • SEC Meet Record: 1:51.58, Nic Fink (UGA), 2015
  1. Mauro Castillo Luna, TAM, 1:52.84
  2. Mark Szaranek, FLOR, 1:53.40
  3. Jonathan Tybur, TAM, 1:53.56
  4. James Guest, UGA, 1:54.21
  5. Austin Van Overdam, TAM, 1:54.45
  6. Nils Wich-Glasen, SCAR, 1:54.60
  7. Ross Palazzo, FLOR, 1:54.95
  8. Tanner Olson, TAM, 1:54.98

After putting five women in the A-final of the 200 breast, the Aggie men followed suit with four swimmers advancing through. They were led by Mauro Castillo Luna, who got under the ‘A’ cut in 1:52.84 for the top seed. Joining Castillo Luna in the final will be teammates Jonathan Tybur (1:53.56), Austin van Overdam (1:54.45) and Tanner Olson (1:54.98).

IM specialist Mark Szaranek won the last heat and takes the #2 seed into tonight with his personal best of 1:53.40, and #1 seed coming in James Guest of Georgia qualified 4th in 1:54.21. Nils Wich-Glasen of South Carolina and Ross Palazzo of Florida took the other two spots in tonight’s A-final.

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4 years ago

Will caeleb break 40.00 tonight?

Reply to  Alex
4 years ago

Obviously he’ll make a run at it, but I think he’s saving his best (and last) collegiate 100 free for NCAAs. Not saying that this won’t be fast, I’m going on a 40.4-40.2 range. That still would be incredibly fast.

wild Bill
Reply to  Lucas
4 years ago

He’ll give his best shot – he is far from fully tapered – 40.2 to 40.4 feels right.

Look at his 50 free splits at this meet – if he had record 17’s – but again timing is not for a sub 40 here. ( perhaps he is reading this and fired up – smashing the ” I don’t expect a new record ” predictions ).

Quick note: CD gets stronger & faster as Big Meets progress – he had done it several times – last years NCAAs and the World Championships last summer

4 years ago

Just a casual 41.5 lol

4 years ago

Texas A&M’s 200 breaststroke is insane. They had 5 swimmers in the A final.

4 years ago

Caeleb was out in *only* 20.3 this morning, back in 21.1. If that last 50 is any indicator, he might be close to 40.0 tonight (back in 20.99 at NCs). I’ve never seen one person bring everyone so much excitement haha

Caeleb Dressel Will Get 9 golds in Tokyo
Reply to  Pinodee
4 years ago

Because the last time people were excited like this was 2003-2008 when the GOAT was making history. And it’s happening again!

NC Swim Fan
4 years ago

Dressel went 20.32 – 21.18 on his splits. <1 sec differential shows how much he's got in the tank. Tonight is going to be special.

ole 99
4 years ago

Michael Taylor is going to need a big night swim if he’s going to swim individually at NCAA.

Reply to  ole 99
4 years ago

He looks like he needs more rest. Florida hosts a last chance meet starting Friday, and they qualified a bunch of people to NCs from that last year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a much faster Michael Taylor there.

Reply to  ole 99
4 years ago

He’s a big body and comes from a great coach in Rich Murphy. it’s always hard to read some elite level kids who come from such a detailed program. I’m sure he’ll put it together either tonight or next week.

Reply to  ole 99
4 years ago

I think he needs to get a little stronger and work some more on his turns and underwaters. He’s having to play catch up after each wall. It will take time.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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