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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1 year ago

Waddell vs Casas in 100 back will be fun!

1 year ago

The link for heat sheets goes to yesterday’s!

1 year ago

Cade with a brilliant swim in the 2fly this morning. Any chance we can get a post-race interview with him? Always been a fan, but the restraining order is making it difficult for us to be together. I would appreciate any Cade content I can get!

1 year ago

top seed Hynes no-showed 100 back. sick?

1 year ago

Waddell – 44.74
Casas – 44.73
Finals are gonna be hot

It’s rigged
1 year ago

Shane Casas went over 15 yards on the start

Reply to  It’s rigged
1 year ago

No he didn’t. The race footage is pretty clear.

Braden Keith(@braden)
Reply to  It’s rigged
1 year ago

Good news is that the rule prohibits swimmers from being submerged past 15 meters, not 15 yards. 😉

tiny bird
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

is the marker at 15.0 meters? or 15 yards? can you go 15.9 meters? or is 15.0 the limit?

Jared Anderson(@jaredanderson)
Reply to  tiny bird
1 year ago

Your head has to break the surface before the 15-meter mark.

Reply to  Jared Anderson
1 year ago

Head or any part of the swim meets body?

Braden Keith(@braden)
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
1 year ago

The head.

Stroke — The swimmer shall push off on his back and continue swimming on the back throughout the race. Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race, except it is permissible for the swimmer to be completely submerged during the turn and for a distance of not more than 15 meters (16.4 yards) after the start and after each turn. By that point, the head must have broken the surface of the water.

Braden Keith(@braden)
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Here’s the race video. Up by about 13 or 14 meters off the last 3 walls. Off the start? I guess it’s not totally definitive because of the camera angle, but when you slow it down frame-by-frame, he’s clearly up before the marker.

Race Video:

Frame by frame: http://www.watchframebyframe.com/watch/yt/IXoTXMRf7SU

Reply to  Jared Anderson
1 year ago

Slaton past 15 on 200 fly start

Braden Keith(@braden)
Reply to  Rev
1 year ago

Like Casas, on the frame-by-frame, he clearly breaks the surface by 15 meters.


Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

We’re ‘Muricans. What’s with this yards BS.

Reply to  It’s rigged
1 year ago


Reply to  It’s rigged
1 year ago

Good thing there will be video review at NCAAs this year…

1 year ago

Dillon. Hillis.

Get this man a time trial in the 200 breast.

1 year ago

Zero AM swims for Kieran…any chance he’ll time trial something between sessions?

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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