2020 SEC Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


The 2020 SEC Championships continues with day 4 prelims in Auburn, Alabama. Swimmers are set to compete in the 200 fly, 100 back, and 100 breast. The Florida Gators lead the men’s team race, with Texas A&M battling to close the gap. Tennessee is in the lead on the women’s side as they race for their first SEC team title.

Georgia’s Dakota Luther and Texas A&M’s Jing Quah are returning medalists in the 200 fly. The men’s 200 fly features returning champion Camden Murphy of Georgia. Alabama’s Zane Waddell and Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas have the 100 back Meet Record on watch as Waddell defends his title and Casas leads the SEC this season.

Bama could sweep the 100 back as Rhyan White has been swimming very well at this meet and is a big threat in the women’s race. However, she’ll be racing returning medalists Sherridon Dressel of Florida and Asia Seidt of Kentucky. The 100 breast features the defending champions with South Carolina’s Itay Goldfaden and Texas A&M’s Anna Belousova.


  • SEC Meet Record: Cammile Adams (Texas A&M), 2014, 1:52.19
  • NCAA Record: Ella Eastin (Stanford), 2018, 1:49.51
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:53.20
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 1:56.18
  • 2019 Champion: Olivia Carter (Georgia), 1:53.23

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Dakota Luther, Georgia, 1:53.52
  2. Izzy Gati, Kentucky, 1:53.98
  3. Tess Cieplucha, Tennessee, 1:54.69
  4. Hallie Kinsey, South Carolina, 1:54.80
  5. Jing Quah, Texas A&M, 1:54.84
  6. Courtney Harnish, Georgia, 1:54.92
  7. Taylor Pike, Texas A&M, 1:55.81
  8. Alexis Preski, Alabama, 1:56.22

Georgia’s Dakota Luther was just half a second off her best as she led prelims in 1:53.42. Luther and Texas A&M’s Jing Quah (1:54.84) return after earning podium finishes last season. Georgia will have 2 in the final as 500 free champion Courtney Harnish qualified 6th in 1:54.92. The Aggies also got 2 in with Taylor Pike nabbing 7th in 1:55.81.

Kentucky’s Izzy Gati continued her strong performance at this meet with a lifetime best by over a second. Gati broke 1:55 for the first time, qualifying 2nd in 1:53.98. Tennessee’s Tess Cieplucha (1:54.69), the 400 IM champion, and South Carolina’s Hallie Kinsey (1:54.80) also broke 1:55 for the first time to qualify for the final. Alabama’s Alexis Preski made a 2 second drop to take 8th in 1:56.22.


  • SEC Meet Record: Hugo Morris (Auburn), 2016, 1:40.59
  • NCAA Record: Jack Conger (Texas), 2017, 1:37.35
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:40.76
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 1:42.35
  • 2019 Champion: Camden Murphy (Georgia), 1:40.62

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Harry Homans, Georgia, 1:42.15
  2. Camden Murphy, Georgia, 1:42.89
  3. Micah Slaton, Missouri, 1:43.09
  4. Marc Hinawi, Tennessee, 1:43.16
  5. Kayky Mota, Tennessee, 1:43.21
  6. Mason Wilby, Kentucky, 1:43.35
  7. Santiago Grassi, Auburn, 1:43.86
  8. Miguel Cancel, Florida, 1:44.26

Georgia’s Camden Murphy (1:42.89) is the 2nd seed for tonight’s final as he defends his title, but a different Bulldog led the way through prelims. Freshman Harry Homans took a second off his best with a 1:42.15.

Tennessee’s Marc Hinawi clipped his best in 1:43.16 to qualify 4th. Missouri’s Micah Slaton (1:43.09) and Auburn’s Santiago Grassi (1:43.86) join Hinawi as returning finalists. Grassi was the 100 fly silver medalist last night, while Murphy took bronze.


  • SEC Meet Record: Gemma Spofforth (Florida), 2009, 50.53
  • NCAA Record: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 2019, 49.67
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 50.93
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 52.46
  • 2019 Champion: Aly Tetzloff (Auburn), 50.92

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Rhyan White, Alabama, 50.53
  2. Asia Seidt, Kentucky, 50.86
  3. Sherridon Dressel, Florida, 51.07
  4. Emma Ball, Florida, 51.38
  5. Sarah Thompson, Missouri, 51.75
  6. Caitlin Brooks, Kentucky, 51.78
  7. Morgan Scott, Alabama, 52.47
  8. Raena Eldridge, Texas A&M, 52.50

Alabama’s Rhyan White tied the SEC Meet Record with a 50.53, matching the mark set by Florida’s Gemma Spofforth in 2009. Kentucky’s Asia Seidt tied her 2nd fastest performance ever in 50.86, while Florida’s Sherridon Dressel was a tenth shy of her best in 51.07. Dressel is the reigning bronze medalist. Seidt was last season’s runner-up. Both White (silver) and Dressel (bronze) were medalists in the 100 fly last night.

Teammate Emma Ball had a breakthrough swim for the Gators. Ball hadn’t swum her best time or broken 52 in this event since 2017. This morning, she dropped nearly half a second as she qualified 4th in 51.38. Kentucky has 2 in the final as freshman Caitlin Brooks qualified in 51.78. Alabama will also have 2 swimmers. Morgan Scott was 7th in 52.47.

Notably, top seed Haley Hynes of Missouri declared a false start. She was also a DFS in the 100 fly yesterday, and has no remaining individual entries. Sarah Thompson (51.75) will represent Missouri in the final as the 5th seed.


  • SEC Meet Record: Connor Oslin (Alabama), 2017, 44.73
  • NCAA Record: Ryan Murphy (Cal), 2016, 43.49
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 44.95
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 46.06
  • 2019 Champion: Zane Waddell (Alabama), 44.77

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Shaine Casas, Texas A&M, 44.73
  2. Zane Waddell, Alabama, 44.74
  3. Karl Luht, LSU, 45.63
  4. Daniel Hein, Missouri, 45.75
  5. Matthew Garcia, Tennessee, 45.98
  6. Matt Menke, Alabama, 46.21
  7. Clark Beach, Florida, 46.67
  8. Christian Ginieczki, Auburn, 46.73

The men’s 100 back also saw a tie of the SEC Meet Record. Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas matched the mark of 44.73 set by Alabama’s Connor Oslin in 2017. Just a hundredth shy of it was Alabama’s Zane Waddell, who shaved a few hundredths off his lifetime best in 44.74. Waddell is the defending champion in this event. Teammate Matt Menke made a huge drop, knocking 2 seconds off his best as the freshman qualified 6th in 46.21.

LSU’s Karl Luht was hundredths shy of his best to take 3rd seed in 45.63. Luht won the B final last season. Returning champion finalist Daniel Hein of Missouri was 4th in 45.75. Teammate Nick Alexander narrowly missed the final with a 46.82 for 9th place. Tennessee’s Matthew Garcia rounded out the top 5 seeds in 45.98. That ties his 3rd fastest swim ever and the fastest he’s been since 2018.

Florida’s Clark Beach was a few tenths off his best to take 7th in 46.67. Auburn’s Christian Ginieczki dropped nearly a second to take the 8th spot in 46.73.


  • SEC Meet Record: Breeja Larson (Texas A&M), 2014, 57.28
  • NCAA Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 2019, 55.88
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 58.60
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 59.93
  • 2019 Champion: Anna Belousova (Texas A&M), 57.99

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Zoie Hartman, Georgia, 58.43
  2. Danielle DellaTorre, Georgia, 59.10
  3. Anna Belousova, Texas A&M, 59.53
  4. Taylor Steele, South Carolina, 59.72
  5. Albury Higgs, South Carolina, 59.75
  6. Nikol Popov, Tennessee, 1:00.02
  7. Tjasa Pintar, Tennessee, 1:00.07
  8. Niamh Robinson, LSU, 1:00.21

Georgia freshman Zoie Hartman, the fastest woman in the SEC this season, was the only swimmer under 59 this morning to qualify in 58.43. Teammate Danielle DellaTorre gave them a 1-2 finish in prelims as she clipped her best in 59.10. Defending champion Anna Belousova of Texas A&M was 3rd in 59.53.

South Carolina freshman Taylor Steele broke 1:00 for the first time in 59.72. Teammate Albury Higgs gave the Gamecocks 2 in the final in 59.75. Tennessee also got 2 in, led by reigning silver medalist Nikol Popov (1:00.02). Teammate Tjasa Pintar was within hundredths of a best in 1:00.07.

LSU’s Niamh Robinson rounded out the top 8 in a lifetime best 1:00.21. Kentucky’s Jaclyn Hill just missed the top 8 in 1:00.25. That was a breakthrough swim for Hill, who dropped half a second to set her best time for the first time since 2016.

Georgia’s Sofia Carnevale, the 2019 bronze medalist, will swim in the B final after putting up a 1:00.48 for 12th.


  • SEC Meet Record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 2018, 50.03
  • NCAA Record: Ian Finnerty (Indiana), 2018, 49.69
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 51.67
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 52.52
  • 2019 Champion: Itay Goldfaden (South Carolina), 51.72

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Dillon Hillis, Florida, 51.20
  2. Derek Maas, Alabama, 51.81
  3. Marco Guarente, Florida, 51.82
  4. Itay Goldfaden, South Carolina, 51.97
  5. Michael Houlie, Tennessee, 52.17
  6. Liam Bell, Alabama, 52.23
  7. Andres Puente, Texas A&M, 52.36
  8. Ben Walker, Texas A&M, 52.62

Florida’s Dillon Hillis has stepped it up big time at this meet. Hillis dropped a full second in his 100 breast this morning to take top seed in 51.20. Teammate Marco Guarente, the 2019 bronze medalist, broke 52 for the first time as well to qualify 3rd in 51.82.

Alabama freshman Derek Maas made an even bigger drop, breaking 54 seconds for the first time as he qualified 2nd in 51.81. Fellow Tide freshman Liam Bell (52.23) joins him in the top 8. Texas A&M also has 2 men in the final. Freshman Andres Puente clipped his best in 52.36. Ben Walker, who placed 5th last season, put up a 52.62.

South Carolina’s Itay Goldfaden, the defending champion, qualified 4th in 51.97. Just behind him in 52.17 was Tennessee’s Michael Houlie, the top seed ahead of prelims.

Missouri’s Danny Kovac, who won the 100 fly last night, just missed the final in 52.74 for 9th. Teammate Caleb Hicks, the 2019 silver medalist, finished 10th in 52.79.

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3 years ago

Florida is swimming really well.

GA swimming fan
3 years ago

I NEVER want to read another article on swimswam saying Georgia has no breaststrokers when EVERY girl that swam 100 breast this morning made finals. even better….. top 2 places going into finals are Georgia girls.

Reply to  GA swimming fan
3 years ago

Is that something you’ve read recently in SwimSwam articles? I looked and couldn’t find it anywhere. I did check the Fan Guide, where we specifically pointed out Hartman’s breaststroke as one of the team highlights: https://swimswam.com/2020-womens-sec-championships-fan-guide-tennessee-a-favorite-to-win-1st-title/

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

GA SWIMMING FAN: “Nevermind.”

Reply to  GA swimming fan
3 years ago

1. I read a lot of Swimswam articles and I don’t remember seeing that.
2. Even if Swimswam bashed the UGA breast group, why let that bother you. You can’t control what’s written so spend your energy worrying about something that you can control.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  GA swimming fan
3 years ago

It was probably an article ragging on Kalisz’s flop at Worlds, and someone called him a Georgia girl. They didn’t mean an actual Georgia girl.

Reply to  GA swimming fan
3 years ago

Maybe they meant the georgia men breastrokers??? 😜

3 years ago

Kayky Mota gets no mention for finishing 5th in the 200 fly?

Reply to  Justanarp
3 years ago

If he does something worthy and gets on the podium – he will get mentioned. TN fans need to tell their swimmers to train harder and swim faster.

Reply to  Dabestestman
3 years ago

Thanks but my point was that swimmers finishing 6-8th in prelims warranted mention and he did not.

3 years ago

Liam Bell is in the A, I repeat Liam Bell is in the A

Reply to  Swimnerd
3 years ago

Also freshman Derek Maas with a sub 52. Bama breaststroke is going to be very strong for the next few years

3 years ago

almost forgot…
SEC Meet: S 50.03 2/18/2018 Caeleb Dressel, Florida

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  spectatorn
3 years ago

And shortly thereafter began speculation that he could challenge Peaty. smh

Reply to  Ol’ Longhorn
3 years ago

Imagine training breaststroke your whole career and still losing to flyer/freestyler who randomly drops a 50.03 100 breast.

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  Dbswims
3 years ago

First off, can’t imagine training breastroke my whole career. I’d rather hammer a meat thermometer in my ear.

Reply to  Ol’ Longhorn
3 years ago

Oh man, ive been close

3 years ago

Wow. Auburn barely has any swimmers tonight. Hope they have a better day tomorrow with 100 free and the mile considering those swimmers seem to be doing well.

Will 37
3 years ago

I was at the gator swim camp last year and saw Dillion Hillis. This guy is huuuuuge

Reply to  Will 37
3 years ago

He likes to go by Big Daddy Dill

3 years ago

When are relay lineups announced? Really curious what Tennessee does tonight with Small and Brown. They had to use Small on the 200 free relay, so they each only have one relay remaining. Does Tenn stack one or split the difference?

400 Medley:
Back-Small? I don’t think anyone else could go here after prelims today.

400 Free:

Pardon my brainstorming. Would love to hear others’ thoughts.

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
3 years ago

Brown swims the 100 free to get individual win and swimmer of meet (which is based on individual points scored).

Reply to  VFL
3 years ago

I think they’ll go with Small/Popov/Trude/Grinter for the relay tonight and save Brown for the 400 Free

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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