2018 SEC Wrap-Up: After Big Showing, What Will Dressel Swim at NCAAs?


The 2018 SEC Championships are in the books, with the Florida men and Texas A&M women successfully defending their SEC titles. There were a few swimmers who really stood out at this year’s championships, including Florida’s Caeleb Dressel, Auburn’s Hugo Gonzalez, Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem, and Tennessee’s Erika Brown.

The following is the list of awards handed out after the conclusion of last night’s session:

Here are a few interesting tidbits from this year’s meet:

  • Georgia’s Gunnar Bentz, their top returning scorer from last season’s NCAAs, may be on the bubble for NCAAs. Bentz, who was out of competition for most of the season after a collarbone injury, is a few tenths under the 2017 invite time in the IMs and 200 fly. He’s currently ranked 25th in the 400 IM and 15th in the 200 IM and 200 fly with ACCs, Big 12s, Big Ten, and Pac-12s to go. His best shot right now looks like the 200 fly, where he’s got a season best of 1:42.51 from Georgia’s dual meet with Emory.
  • Though they finished only 7th last season, the Texas A&M men propelled themselves all the way to a runner-up finish. The Aggies didn’t win any events, but the depth of their team and a strong diving squad helped them make big moves.
  • Not a single women’s individual event was won by a senior. That means every SEC champion on the women’s side should return next season to defend their titles.
  • Florida’s Caeleb Dressel now owns 5 current American Record. He’s the only man to have held the records in both the 50 free and 100 breast.
  • Tennessee’s Erika Brown has come a very long way. In 2017, she placed 18th in the 100 free, 17th in the 200 free, and 10th in the 50 free. This time around, she swept the sprints and narrowly missed breaking the American Record in the 100 fly.
  • The Texas A&M women have incredible depth in breaststroke. The A final of the 200 breast featured 5 Aggie women: Sydney Pickrem (1st), Anna Belousova (2nd), Bethany Galat (3rd), Esther Gonzalez Medina (4th), and Jorie Caneta (7th).

One of the big questions after Caeleb Dressel‘s outstanding showing at the SEC meet surrounds his NCAA schedule. Typically, his NCAA schedule has included the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly, but Dressel has some other potential options this time around. At SECs, he blew David Nolan’s former American Record out of the water with a 1:38.13 in the 200 IM. Swimming the 200 IM, however, would likely mean giving up the 50 free, and his only chance to complete an NCAA 4-peat.

There’s also the question of whether he’ll choose to swim the 100 fly or the 100 breast. In the 100 fly, he’d have another head-to-head matchup with Texas’ Joseph Schooling. In the 100 breast, however, he’d have a chance to become the first man to break 50 seconds after putting up an American Record of 50.03 at SECs. He could always double up on one of the earlier days and skip out on the 100 free, going for the record on the relay leadoff instead, but that doesn’t seem as likely given he’ll have his hands full even with one individual race per day since he plays such an important role on the relays.


  1. Texas A&M University             1319   2. University of Georgia            1030
  3. University of Tennessee         950.5   4. University of Kentucky          877.5
  5. Auburn University                 770   6. University of Missouri            739
  7. University of Florida             619   8. University of South Carolina      591
  9. University of Alabama             539  10. University of Arkansas            461
 11. Louisiana State University        374  12. Vanderbilt University             182


  1. University of Florida            1237   2. Texas A&M University              994
  3. University of Georgia           975.5   4. University of Tennessee           899
  5. University of Missouri          794.5   6. Auburn University               791.5
  7. University of South Carolina      765   8. University of Alabama           661.5
  9. University of Kentucky          575.5  10. Louisiana State University      430.5

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

The answer is obvious
200 fly
200 breast
500 free

Reply to  pvdh
3 years ago

Ice Dancing
Men’s Big Air

Right Dude Here
Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
3 years ago

Don’t you mean the skiing long jump?

3 years ago

17.9 50 free, 39.8 100 free, 49.5 100 breast. he’ll forever beat schooling in the LCM 100 fly, so let’s get schooling a chance at clear water. florida without dressel in the 100 fly still has a podium shot in the event with Switkowski, they need dressel in breast more. just my two cents.

Reply to  Ragner
3 years ago

he wont go a 49.5 in the breast if he does it he would be closer to a 49.7-8

Reply to  Tomek
3 years ago

he wasn’t supposed to beat schooling either. now he’s done something Hansen didn’t do, and Hansen is the most complete breastroker I’ve ever seen(hook ’em). I only hope he maybe prelims the 800 relay so we can witness a 1:29 lead off(which would be the coolest swim ever)

Reply to  Ragner
3 years ago

We ALL want him to leadoff the 800 FR — but FYI, there are no prelims. It’s timed finals on Wednesday eve.

Silent Observer
Reply to  Ragner
3 years ago

I (and the rest of the world) REALLY wants Dressel to break 40 in the 100 FR….but I imagine Troy has him focusing more in an all-around skill set. Hence the 200 IM and 100 BR times at SECs.

So focus on 100 free might be less prevalent this season and therefore, I predict a 40.02 in the 100 FR.

Just my pessimistic outlook, until gets proven wrong and can graciously accept it

Reply to  Silent Observer
3 years ago

if that’s the plan and we get more medals over the next decade then I’m okay with that. 39 and 1:29 200 free just seems crazy if this was 2008

Reply to  Ragner
3 years ago

No way he goes 17.9. Break 40 in the 100? Sure. I wouldn’t even be super surprised by a 42.high in the fly, but .2 is a whole lot of improvement at his level and I don’t think he’s got it in him just yet.

Reply to  Ragner
3 years ago

Forever beat Schooling? Are u sure…

Reply to  Buona
3 years ago

Watching the 100 fly from Budapest, caeleb just looked like he was in a different plane of speed from schooling.

Sir Swimsalot
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

After Schooling basically took the year off.

Reply to  Sir Swimsalot
3 years ago

Soon it’ll be “schooling was on an extended taper all the way from rio”

Also I’m talking about how he looked in rio, not Budapest.

Sir Swimsalot
Reply to  Buona
3 years ago

I’d have to agree. So many people are sleeping on him, but seem to forget that he didn’t get back into the water until December, and even then was probably not giving his all. He’s probably been working really hard since Worlds. I want him back on top, or at least giving Dressel a run for his money.

Steve Nolan
3 years ago

If he had any eligibility left I assume he’d start diving next year.

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 …

Read More »