2020 SEC Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The first title swims of the 2020 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships will take place tonight, as swimmers gear up for the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay. Divers will compete in the women’s 1-meter and men’s 3-meter finals. The kicked off with swimming time trials on Tuesday morning. You can see a recap of those events here.

After breaking the SEC Meet Record in 2019, Tennessee returns 3/4 of their NCAA Champion 200 medley relay. That includes champion Erika Brown, one of the fastest sprinters in history. Alabama is the reigning men’s champion in that event, also coming off a record-setting 2019 where they went on to win NCAAs, but only Zane Waddell returns from that relay.

The Gators have had a streak of wins in the men’s 800 free relay, setting the SEC Meet Record last season. They’re now without half of that relay, but still have a good shot to win it. SEC Champions Khader Baqlah and Kieran Smith should play a role here. Texas A&M leads the SEC this season, and tonight will be their first showdown with the Gators this season as Florida looks to extend their team title streak to 8, while A&M is chasing their first ever men’s team title. Mark Theall will be a maor player for the Aggies as the current SEC leader in the 200 free.

Katie Portz returns as the Texas A&M women look to defend their 800 free relay title, but Tennessee will be hard to beat. They took a close 2nd to A&M last season and return every member of that relay, including SEC Champions Brown and Meghan Small.


  • SEC Meet Record: Lauren Reedy (Missouri), 364.30, 2017
  • 2019 Champion: Brooke Schultz (Arkansas), 359.35
  1. Alison Maillard (Auburn)- 364.15
  2. Aimee Wilson (LSU)- 320.75
  3. Grace Cable (Tennessee)- 319.70

Senior Alison Maillard came up with a big performance in the 1-meter final, giving host team Auburn the first victory of the meet. Maillard nearly took down the SEC Meet Record as she was just 0.15 away from the mark. LSU’s Aimee Wilson medaled for the 2nd-straight year, this time moving up to the runner-up spot. She narrowly beat Tennessee’s Grace Cable, who won bronze, and Florida’s Ashley McCool, who was 2 points shy of the podium.

Texas A&M and Kentucky each had 2 scorers in the championship heat. A&M’s Alyssa Clermont was the highest freshman finisher as she took 5th for the Aggies.


  • SEC Meet Record: Tennessee (2019) – 1:34.26
  • NCAA Record: Stanford (2018) – 1:33.11
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:36.40
  • 2019 Champion: Tennessee, 1:34.26
  1. Tennessee- 1:35.38
  2. Missouri- 1:35.61
  3. Florida- 1:36.10

The Tennessee women successfully defended their title here. Meghan Small got the ball rollin with a 24.35 back split, handing off to Nikol Popov, who rolled to a 27.26 breast leg. Stanzi Moseley came through with a 23.20 fly split. The Volunteers trailed Missouri and Florida going into the final leg, but Erika Brown raced to a blistering 20.57 as Tennessee won in 1:35.38.

Brown’s split is tied as the 4th fastest in history. The only women to have been faster are Simone Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil. She’s now 12 hundredths away from the fastest all-time, which Weitzeil and Manuel share in 20.45.

Missouri got the fastest back split of the field from Haley Hynes in 23.74 as they took a close 2nd. Florida’s Sherridon Dressel had the fastest fly split in 22.86 as the Gators took bronze. Texas A&M was 4th in 1:36.52, with Anna Belousova clocking a 26.87 for the fastest breast split.

The Tigers continued their momentum from Maillard’s win in the first heat of the 200 medley relay. Jewels Harris gave them the lead with a 24.52 back split, but LSU’s Olivia Paskulin pulled ahead on the breast leg. Robyn Clevenger closed the gap for Auburn, and teammate AJ Kutsch ran LSU down on the anchor leg as Auburn won the heat in 1:37.00 to LSU’s 1:37.40. Auburn wound up 7th overall.


  • SEC Meet Record: Alabama (2019) – 1:22.19
  • NCAA Record: Texas (2017) – 1:21.54
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:24.30
  • 2019 Champion: Alabama, 1:22.19
  1. Texas A&M- 1:23.49
  2. Tennessee- 1:24.04
  3. Florida- 1:24.51

The Aggies kicked off the men’s events with a victory. Shaine Casas put up a 20.84 to lead them off, while Ben Walker put up a 23.36 on the breast leg. Adam Koster posted a 20.40 on the fly, while Mike Thibert anchored them to victory in 18.89. Texas A&M won the event in 1:23.49. That clipped their former school record from 2019 SECs by about 2 tenths.

Defending champion Alabama held the lead through the first 3 legs of the race. Zane Waddell nearly matched the fastest 50 back split of all time. He was just over a tenth shy of the mark, a 20.20 set by Ryan Murphy, as he blazed to a 20.33. The Crimson Tide led at the final exchange, but it appeared anchor Jonathan Berneburg missed the wall on his turn, and Alabama slid to 4th. Bernburg anchored in 20.28. He’s been significantly faster, as his season best from a flat start in the 50 free is a 19.82 and his lifetime best from last season is a 19.67.

Tennessee got the fastest breast split of the field from Michael Houlie (23.32) as they took silver in 1:24.04. Florida’s Will Davis was the fastest anchor, clocking an 18.61 as the Gators (1:24.51) took bronze

The fastest fly split came from Auburn (1:25.12). The Tigers placed 7th, with Santiago Grassi splitting a 20.01 on the fly. They were run down by South Carolina (1:24.93), who placed 6th with an 18.75 anchor from Lewis Burras. LSU had sub-21 leadoff from Karl Luht in 20.92 as they placed 10th in 1:25.82.


  • SEC Meet Record: Zhipeng Zeng (Tennessee), 483.15, 2019
  • 2019 Champion: Zhipeng Zeng (Tennessee), 483.15
  1. Kurtis Matthews (Texas A&M)- 438.55
  2. Mingli Zhang (Kentucky)- 422.10
  3. Matt Wade (Tennessee)- 420.20

The Aggies topped the podium again as Kurtis Matthews won the title. Freshman teammate Victor Povzner was 4th as they brought in a big points haul. Kentucky’s Mingli Zhang moved up from 3rd in 2019 to the runner-up in 2020. The Wildcats also got big points with 2 in the final as Chase Lane finished 6th. Tennessee’s Matt Wade, who finished 5th last season, landed on the podium in 3rd.


  • SEC Meet Record: Georgia (2013) – 6:52.64
  • NCAA Record: Stanford (2017) – 6:45.91
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 7:00.86
  • 200 Free 2019 NCAA Invite: 1:45.12
  • 200 Free ‘A’ Cut: 1:42.98
  • 2019 Champion: Texas A&M, 6:54.47
  1. Tennessee- 6:53.27
  2. Kentucky- 6:56.66
  3. Georgia- 6:59.14

Tennessee’s Meghan Small clipped her lifetime best to lead off for the Volunteers in 1:43.21. Erika Brown extended their lead on the 2nd leg in a field-best 1:41.08. Tjasa Pintar (1:44.03) and Tess Cieplucha (1:44.95) kept the Vols in front on the back half as they won in 6:53.27. Kentucky’s Ali Galyer dropped half a second with a lifetime best 1:43.99. Fellow senior Asia Seidt swam a 1:43.38 on the 2nd leg, while Beth McNeese (1:45,82) and Riley Gaines (1:43.47) closed to take the silver in 6:56.66.

Georgia (6:59.14) came from behind with freshman Zoie Hartman‘s 1:42.25 anchor to out-touch Auburn (6:59.38) for bronze. The Tigers got a 1:44.87 leadoff from Claire Fisch, her first time under 1:45, and a 1:43.85 from Julie Meynen on the 3rd leg.


  • SEC Meet Record: Florida (2019) – 6:10.50
  • NCAA Record: Texas (2019) – 6:05.08
  • 200 Free 2019 NCAA Invite: 1:34.21
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 6:17.18
  • 200 Free ‘A’ Cut: 1:32.05
  • 2019 Champion: Florida, 6:10.50
  1. Florida- 6:09.91
  2. Texas A&M- 6:11.87
  3. Georgia- 6:16.64

The Florida men smashed the SEC Meet Record, defending their title in 6:09.91. Even without Maxime Rooney, who transferred to Texas, and redshirt Trey Freeman, they were faster than last year’s squad. Kieran Smith dropped an emphatic 4 seconds from his lifetime best as he led off in 1:30.11. He’s now the 4th fastest man in history.

Smith’s time took over 1.5 seconds off the Florida school record, which was formerly set at a 1:31.70 by NCAA Champion Shaune Fraser in 2009. Gerry Quinn (1:32.63) and Khader Baqlah (1:32.97) put up a pair of 1:32s on the middle legs of tonight’s winning relay. Clark Beach brought them home in a 1:34.27.

Texas A&M took down their school record as they took silver. Shaine Casas (leadoff- 1:32.29), Mark Theall (1:31.40), Clayton Bobo (1:33.70), and Kaloyan Bratanov (1:34.48) combined for a 6:11.87. Casas’ leadoff was a best by over a second. Georgia took the final podium spot in 6:16.64, led off by Walker Higgins‘ lifetime best 1:33.45.


  1. Texas A&M- 178
  2. Tennessee- 160
  3. Kentucky- 149
  4. Auburn- 147
  5. Florida- 138
  6. Missouri- 131
  7. LSU- 119
  8. South Carolina- 109
  9. Alabama- 106
  10. Georgia- 101


  1. Florida- 166
  2. Texas A&M- 163
  3. Tennessee- 159
  4. Kentucky- 150
  5. Auburn- 144
  6. LSU- 117
  7. Georgia- 111
  8. (T-8) South Carolina- 104
  9. (T-8) Alabama- 104
  10. Missouri- 95
  11. Arkansas- 89
  12. Vanderbilt- 60

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1 year ago

Any chance there’s a link for outside the US?

Reply to  Swimcap
1 year ago

sling TV works

Reply to  swammer
1 year ago

Sling TV is only for the US

1 year ago

Live video link?

1 year ago

Relay line-ups?

1 year ago

Hopefully Tennessee goes SMALL-POPOV-BROWN-GRINTER and not SMALL-POPOV-MOSELEY-BROWN for the 200 medley relay

Reply to  Wow
1 year ago

I think they made the right choice

Reply to  Wow
1 year ago

You know the girls on these relays see these comments, right?

Reply to  Lame
1 year ago

Well, maybe they should, I don’t know, not?

If they don’t want to see anything but positive, glowing things about themselves, they should text their parents or read the schools’ press releases. Why come on a news site and expect to only see people gushing about how amazing they are?

Reply to  Wow
1 year ago

Why? If you are going to comment that then you should explain rationale!

1 year ago

Didn’t know diving was first I have work soon😩 so frustrating

1 year ago

Is there a way to watch in canada?

Reply to  Slopes
1 year ago

Not an above-board way. You could try with a proxy at your own risk.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Any suggestions to watch in us without a cable provider? I have sec channel on Hulu live but not sec+

1 year ago

Not gonna lie — the kickoff of major conference championship season is a little bit like Christmas morning!

Reply to  swimgeek
1 year ago

Until you realize it is starting with…. diving

The Michael Phelps Caterpillar
1 year ago

Conference champ season means it’s time for the caterpillar to emerge from his cocoon!

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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