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

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washed up
6 years ago

my guess is probably fast

6 years ago

I think Dressel just did 200 IM & 100 Breast @ SECs because he knew what he was capable of. He still knows his primary events and the events he’s known for internationally are 50/100 free, and 100 Fly. 100 breast would be cool to see him go sub 50, but he is a competitor, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wanted to stick with the 100 fly and race Schooling and defend his NCAA record.

6 years ago

I know this is an article about Dressel and what he’s going to swim, but after looking at the standings from LSU, what the heck happened to them?! Didnt they used to be a top 25 program? (or has that not been for a while and I’m just showing my age…)

6 years ago

Does nobody remember world champs? He did 3 races in a span of about 2 hours, and his 47.22 to the 49.86 fly was around a 30 minute break. Who says he can’t do both? Don’t expect a 41 100 fly but he can go all out breast and see what he has left in fly. Here’s what I think SHOULD happen in my opinion

Lead off 8 free relay (1:29.99)
50 free: 18.04
100 free: 39.79
100 breast: 49.86
100 fly: 42.88

Lead off 400 free relay: 39.77

200 medley/free relay split: 17.67 (fastest split was 17.71 from last years medley)

Tea rex
6 years ago

The question is: can he beat Manaudou at European handball?

Reply to  Tea rex
6 years ago

Wouldn’t even be surprised

Gary P
6 years ago

I predict that, just to toy with the world, he skips the 100 free, then splits a 39.40 with a perfect .00 R/T to anchor the 400 free relay, leaving everyone to ponder and debate for the rest of time whether or not it would have been a sub-40 flat start swim.

He then will go to Indianapolis and qualify on pole for the Indy 500.

6 years ago

OK, this is not realistic for the UF Team, but here’s the dream scenario from a swim fan (or swim geek):
CD would individually swim 2IM, 100 fly and 100 breast. Then leadoff all three free relays. We could realistically see SIX American Records in one meet! As good as his IM/breast swims were, I have to believe there’s more in the tank based on how he’s handled a double-taper with Trials/Worlds — and he was surely more rested for trials last summer b/c you can’t afford to miss the team. I think 1:37 and :49 are almost a certainty. We haven’t seen his fast yards fly since last March (didn’t even swim it in Fall Invite). We KNOW… Read more »

Reply to  SwimGeek
6 years ago

That’s my wish list. But I will settle for just letting him lead off the 800 FR. ** I KNOW it’s not best for UF** They have 4 guys already that can probably split 1:31s. They might be able to win the 800 without him. And he’s so valuable on the sprint relays. But . . . if they are not a true title contender and are likely to slot in 3rd behind TX/CAL . . . then why not just go all in on the 800FR to get a win and make history? CD’s fitness is obviously off the charts based on his 200IM. We know his free speed is there. I think he goes 1:29+ and the relay… Read more »

6 years ago

If Florida wants to maximize their points at NCAAs, he should swim the 50 free, 100 breast, and 100 free. Would love to swim him swim the 200 im again, but Florida as a team already has amazing imers to score big points in szaranek and switkowski as well as switkowski in the 100 fly. What they lack is a true 50 guy other than dressel and a 100 breastroker to score points. To be honest though, winning points is winning points so what do I know. Best of luck to Troy and dressel to figure that one out!

Reply to  Swammin
6 years ago

Agreed. Caeleb and Jan in the 100 fly just pushes Jan down a place in the 100 fly which means less points for Florida. When their women won NCAAs, it was by 2.5 points. Caeleb can win the 100 breast outright and not affect team points. It’s the smart move. Of course, this all assumes Jan swims the 100 fly at all. He’s consistently top 5 in the 200 free at NCs and already went a 1:33 at a dual meet this year.

Drama King
Reply to  Aquajosh
6 years ago

The thing is that UF got two potential scorers for 2 free with Baqlah and Rooney . And recent trend of 2 free at NCAA’S suggests that it will take atleast 1.31 to A finaled and 1.32 to score.
But for 100 fly, besides Schooling , Held there are no other competitors who have broken 45 barrier. So Jan has fair chance to get into top 5 there.

Ole 99
Reply to  Swammin
6 years ago

Don’t disagree, but from my perspective as a fan, there’s no race i’m looking forward to more than the 100 fly and a repeat of Dressel vs Schooling. Not to mention, If Dressel goes for the 100 BR, the Texas bluster will be unbearable… that Dressel was ducking Schooling.

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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