2020 SEC Championships: Day 5 Finals Live Recap


Tonight marks the final session of the 2020 SEC Championships in Auburn, Alabama. Swimmers will compete in the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, and 400 free relay. We’ll also see divers compete in the women’s platform.

Florida’s Bobby Finke, the 500 free and 400 IM bronze medalist, set the SEC Record in the mile last season and narrowly missed the NCAA Record. He’s back to defend his title. Teammate Leah Braswell is the defending women’s champion.

Alabama’s Rhyan White became the 7th fastest woman in history this morning as she set the SEC Record in the 200 back. She’ll look to break 1:48 and sweep the backstrokes tonight. Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas, the 8th fastest man ever, is chasing Ryan Lochte’s SEC Meet Record in the men’s race after he already swam faster than that mark at midseason.

Tennessee’s Erika Brown is chasing her own SEC Record from midseason and her 3rd-straight title in the 100 free. LSU freshman Brooks Curry will battle with South Carolina’s Lewis Burras, Bama’s Zane Waddell, and Florida’s Kieran Smith in the men’s 100 free. Georgia freshman Zoie Hartman is seeking a sweep of the breaststrokes, while Texas A&M’s Ben Walker will defend his title in the 200 breast against the Bama freshman breaststroke duo of Liam Bell and Derek Maas.


  • SEC Meet Record: Brittany MacLean (Georgia), 2016, 15:36.52
  • NCAA Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), 2017, 15:03.31
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 15:52.41
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 16:14.21
  • 2019 Champion: Leah Braswell (Florida), 15:53.54


  1. GOLD: Kensey McMahon, Alabama, 15:43.74
  2. SILVER: Amanda Nunan, Tennessee, 15:53.39
  3. BRONZE: Leah Braswell, Florida, 15:54.54

Alabama’s Kensey McMahon ran away with this one. She dropped nearly 10 seconds as she dominated in 15:43.74. The race for 2nd was much closer, however. Tennessee’s Amanda Nunan came up big for the Volunteers. She also dropped nearly 10 seconds in 15:53.39.

Florida has pulled within 7 points of Tennessee. It’s Tennessee 845 – Florida 838.5.

The Gators’ Leah Braswell, who won this race last season, took bronze in 15:54.54. Taylor Ault, the 2019 runner-up, finished 7th in 16:08.10. They’re now within striking range of the SEC title thanks to their 8 scoring swims in the mile. Their afternoon swimmers went a long way in closing this gap.

Auburn’s Emily Hetzer was just off the podium tonight in 15:55.28. Her split at the 1000 free, a 9:37.31, clipped the Auburn school record. That was her first swim under 16:00. Arkansas’ Peyton Palsha, who put up a 16:01.99 in the early heats, wound up 5th overall.


  • SEC Meet Record: Robert Finke (Florida), 2019, 14:23.01
  • NCAA Record: Clark Smith (Texas), 2017, 14:22.41
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 14:37.31
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 14:54.05
  • 2019 Champion: Robert Finke (Florida), 14:23.01


  1. GOLD: Bobby Finke, Florida, 14:12.08
  2. SILVER: Greg Reed, Georgia, 14:45.03
  3. BRONZE: Brennan Gravley, Florida, 14:47.41

Florida’s Bobby Finke is now the fastest man in history, blowing away the SEC, NCAA, and American Records in 14:12.08. That demolished Clark Smith’s former NCAA mark by over 10 seconds. It also took down the former American Record, set by Zane Grothe at a 14:18.25, by over 6 seconds.

Georgia’s Greg Reed was within 2 seconds of his best to take the silver in 14:45.03. Florida’s Brennan Gravley made a huge drop, knocking nearly 20 seconds off his best for bronze in 14:47.41.

Tennessee’s Taylor Abbott dropped 5 seconds from his best to take 4th in 14:50.62. That was a breakthrough for him, as his former best was set back in 2017. Auburn’s Aryan Makhija (14:53.57) was 5th and Alabama’s Nico Hernandez-Tome (14:56.39) was 6th after their big drops in the early heats.


  • SEC Meet Record: Rhyan White (Alabama), 2020, 1:48.06
  • NCAA Record: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 2019, 1:47.24
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:50.50
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 1:54.01
  • 2019 Champion: Asia Seidt (Kentucky), 1:49.31


  1. GOLD: Rhyan White, Alabama, 1:48.15
  2. SILVER: Asia Seidt, Kentucky, 1:48.86
  3. BRONZE: Ali Galyer, Kentucky, 1:49.92

Bama’s Rhyan White was just off her SEC Record from this morning. Her 1:48.15 was the 8th fastest swim in history. Notably, she was out much faster tonight, flipping in 51.79 at the 100 compared to a 52.43 this morning. Kentucky’s Asia Seidt, the 2019 champion and 10th fastest woman in history, was just 2 tenths shy of a best in 1:48.86.

The Wildcats got huge points here. Teammate Ali Galyer broke 1:50 for the first time to take bronze in 1:49.92. Freshman Caitlin Brooks swam a lifetime best 1:51.61 for 5th, out-touching 200 IM champion Meghan Small (1:51.80) of Tennessee. Sophie Sorenson (1:52.90) finished 7th for Kentucky.

As Sherridon Dressel placed 4th in 1:50.93, smashing her best by over a second, the Florida Gators pulled ahead of Tennessee in the scoring. It’s now the Gators on top with 881.5 and Tennessee narrowly behind with 878.


  • SEC Meet Record: Ryan Lochte (Florida), 2005, 1:38.29
  • NCAA Record: Ryan Murphy (Cal), 2016, 1:35.73
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:39.16
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 1:41.31
  • 2019 Champion: Joey Reilman (Tennessee), 1:38.97


  1. GOLD: Shaine Casas, Texas A&M, 1:37.20
  2. SILVER: Clark Beach, Florida, 1:39.56
  3. BRONZE: Matthew Garcia, Tennessee, 1:40.75

Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas broke a 15-year-old record in this event formerly held by Florida’s Olympic Champion Ryan Lochte. Casas took down the mark by a second, racing to a 1:37.20 for the title. That makes him the 3rd fastest performer in history.

Florida’s Clark Beach was within 2 tenths of his best in 1:39.56 for the silver. Tennessee’s Matthew Garcia was just off his best to take bronze in 1:40.75. Georgia freshman Ian Grum was just off the podium, breaking 1:41 for the first time in 1:40.89.

Fellow Bulldog freshman Harry Homans, the 200 fly bronze medalist, battled with Alabama freshman Matt Menke for 5th. Homans started to run Menke down on the back half, but came up just shy as Menke touched in 1:41.75. Homans clipped his best again in 1:41.88.


  • SEC Meet Record: Erika Brown (Tennessee), 2019, 46.41
  • NCAA Record: Simone Manuel (Stanford), 2017, 45.56
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 47.18
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 48.56
  • 2019 Champion: Erika Brown (Tennessee), 46.41


  1. GOLD: Erika Brown, Tennessee, 45.83
  2. SILVER: Anna Hopkin, Arkansas, 46.20
  3. BRONZE: Julie Meynen, Auburn, 46.96

Tennessee’s Erika Brown made history as she took down her own SEC Record and became the 2nd woman ever to break 46 in the 100 free. Brown’s 45.83 is within 3 tenths of the NCAA and American Record set by Olympic Champion Simone Manuel of Stanford in 2017. Brown remains the 2nd fastest performer ever Arkansas’ Anna Hopkin is now tied as the 3rd fastest in history with Louisville’s NCAA Champion Mallory Comerford as she hit the wall in 46.20.

The Volunteers’ Tjasa Pintar broke 48 for the first time to take 6th in 47.90. Tennessee is now back on top with 976 to Florida’s 922.5. Florida’s highest finisher was Gabrielle Hillis, who smashed her lifetime best by nearly a second to win the B final in 48.21. She had never broken 50 before today.

Auburn picked up big points here. Julie Meynen took bronze with her first sub-47 swim in 46.96. Teammate Claire Fisch shaved a couple of tenths off her best with a 47.27 for 4th. Freshman Abbey Webb was 8th for the Tigers in 49.04.

Georgia’s Veronica Burchill, the 200 free champion, was just 2 hundredths shy of a best as she touched 5th in 47.30.


  • SEC Meet Record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 2016, 41.07
  • NCAA Record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 2018, 39.90
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 41.71
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 42.53
  • 2019 Champion: Robert Howard (Alabama), 41.57


  1. GOLD: Brooks Curry, LSU, 41.81
  2. SILVER: Zane Waddell, Alabama, 41.82
  3. BRONZE: Kieran Smith, Florida, 42.14

Alabama’s Zane Waddell, the 50 free and 100 back champion, flipped in a 19.66 for the lead. LSU freshman Brooks Curry, the 200 free champion, made his move on the back half. It came down to the touch, with the Tigers earning their first win of the meet as Curry hit the wall in a lifetime best 41.81. He broke his own school record from prelims. Waddell was just a hundredth behind for silver in 41.82. Both men broke 42 for the first time.

Florida’s Kieran Smith, who smashed the SEC Record in the 200 and 500 free at this meet, was 3rd in a lifetime best 42.14. South Carolina’s Lewis Burras was just off the podium as he clipped his best in 42.28. Alec Connolly clipped his best in 42.50 to round out the top 5 for Tennessee.

Texas A&M’s Adam Koster was 6th in 42.62. He just out-touched teammate Mark Theall, the 500 free runner-up, who put up a lifetime best 42.66 to tie Florida’s Khader Baqlah, the 200 free champion, for 7th.


  • SEC Meet Record: Syndey Pickrem (Texas A&M), 2018, 2:04.62
  • NCAA Record: Lilly King (Indiana), 2018, 2:02.60
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 2:06.84
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 2:09.77
  • 2019 Champion: Anna Belousova (Texas A&M), 2:04.80


  1. GOLD: Zoie Hartman, Georgia, 2:06.20
  2. SILVER: Danielle DellaTorre, Georgia, 2:07.11
  3. BRONZE: Bailey Bonnett, Kentucky, 2:07.92

Georgia’s Zoie Hartman and Danielle DellaTorre went 1-2 again tonight. Hartman dropped over a second to win it in 2:06.20, just 2 tenths away from the UGA school record. DellaTorre also dropped a second in 2:07.11. Kentucky’s Bailey Bonnett repeated as the bronze medalist in 2:07.92. Teammate Gillian Davey, a freshman, was 6th in 2:09.32. Her 2:07.90 from prelims, however, was the 3rd fastest time of the day.

The Tennessee women now lead Florida by about 70 points (1014 to 944.5). Alexis Yager was 4th here for the Vols as she clipped her best in 2:08.10. Vanessa Pearl was 8th for the Gators in 2:09.92. The Kentucky women have pulled closer to Florida with 926.5 points.

LSU freshman Niamh Robinson swam a lifetime best 2:08.32 for 5th. That lowers her own School Record after she broke it this morning.


  • SEC Meet Record: Nic Fink (Georgia, 2015, 1:51.58
  • NCAA Record: Will Licon (Texas), 2017, 1:47.91
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:52.61
  • 2019 NCAA Invited: 1:54.04
  • 2019 Champion: Ben Walker (Texas A&M), 1:52.55


  1. GOLD: Ben Walker, Texas A&M, 1:51.92
  2. SILVER: Andres Puente, Texas A&M, 1:52.39
  3. BRONZE: Grant Sanders, Florida, 1:52.49

Florida’s Grant Sanders led through the 150, but Texas A&M’s Ben Walker and Andres Puente outpaced him on the final 50. The Aggies went 1-2 with a pair of lifetime bests. Walker repeated as champion in 1:51.92, while freshman Puente took silver in 1:52.39. They also won the B final, as Hudson Smith dropped a lifetime best 1:54.85.

Florida’s Sanders held on to repeat as the bronze medalist, dropping nearly a second in 1:52.49. Teammate Marco Guarente broke 1:54 for the first time as he touched 6th in 1:53.34. With only the 400 free relay to go, the Gators have now cemented their 8th-straight SEC Championships team title.

Alabama freshmen Liam Bell and Derek Maas put up a pair of bests to land in the top 5. Bell, the 100 breast runner-up, was slightly faster with a 1:52.93 for 4th place. Maas was 5th in 1:53.15.


  • SEC Meet Record: Victoria Lamp (Tennessee), 2014, 356.10
  • 2019 Champion: Marissa Roth (South Carolina)- 304.80


  1. GOLD: Tanesha Lucoe, Alabama, 338.75
  2. SILVER: Emma Whitner, Florida, 285.45
  3. BRONZE: Gretchen Wensuc, Auburn, 276.90

Alabama had a freshman top the podium as Tanesha Lucoe earned her first SEC title. Florida’s Emma Whitner took the silver. Teammate Elizabeth Perez was 7th. They’re now just 30.5 points behind Tennessee, but with only the 400 free relay to go, the Volunteers will likely take the title. Grace Cable finished 6th for the Vols in this event.


  • SEC Meet Record: Auburn, 2019, 3:10.45
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 3:14.61
  • 2019 Champion: Auburn, 3:10.45


  1. GOLD: Auburn, 3:09.18
  2. SILVER: Georgia, 3:11.50
  3. BRONZE: Alabama, 3:12.29

The Auburn Tigers swept the sprint free relays this season, smashing another SEC Meet Record in 3:09.18. Julie Meynen swam another best time to lead them off in 46.88. Claire Fisch took on the 2nd leg in 46.47. Robyn Clevenger took the 3rd leg with a 48.09, and freshman Abbey Webb anchored them to victory in 47.74.

Georgia (3:11.50) was 2nd as leadoff Veronica Burchill (47.69) and freshman Zoie Hartman (47.45) put up a pair of 47s on the front half. Alabama got a pair of 47s on the middle legs from Morgan Scott (47.58) and Flora Molnar (47.59) as they earned bronze in 3:12.29.

Florida (3:12.79) was just off the podium in 4th, a place ahead of Tennessee (3:12.99). The Gators got a 47.70 split from Sherridon Dressel on the 2nd leg. Tjasa Pintar led off in a 47.99 for the Volunteers. Tennessee held off the Gators to take the team victory by 28.5 points.

Arkansas was 6th in 3:14.51. They got the fastest split of the field as Anna Hopkin swam a 46.13on the 2nd leg.


  1. Tennessee, University of, Knox   1108   2. University of Florida          1079.5
  3. Kentucky, University of         987.5   4. Georgia, University of            986
  5. Auburn University                 866   6. Texas A&M University              851
  7. University of Alabama             748   8. Missouri                          500
  9. South Carolina, University of,    427  10. University of Arkansas            422
 11. Louisiana State University        417  12. Vanderbilt University             150


  • SEC Meet Record: Auburn, 2009, 2:46.03
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 2:51.11
  • 2019 Champion: Alabama, 2:48.52


  1. GOLD: Alabama, 2:49.06
  2. SILVER: Texas A&M, 2:49.27
  3. BRONZE: Kentucky, 2:50.28

The Bama men defended their title in the 400 free relay, out-touching Texas A&M by 2 tenths. Tyler Sesvold led them off in 42.49, handing off to Zane Waddell for a 41.84 on the 2nd leg. Jonathan Berneburg came through with a 42.46 on the 3rd leg. Colton Stogner then anchored then to victory in 42.27. They won in 2:49.06.

Texas A&M was 2nd in 2:49.27, as Adam Koster split a 41.83 on the anchor leg to nearly close the gap with Bama. Kentucky (2:50.28) out-touched Florida (2:50.40) for the bronze. John Mitchell led off for the Wildcats in a lifetime best 42.57. Kieran Smith had the Gators’ fastest split with a 41.71 on the 2nd leg.


  1. University of Florida            1194   2. Texas A&M University            975.5
  3. Georgia, University of          953.5   4. University of Alabama           935.5
  5. Missouri                        846.5   6. Tennessee, University of, Knox    817
  7. Kentucky, University of           724   8. Auburn University                 697
  9. Louisiana State University        517  10. South Carolina, University of,    504

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4 years ago

Lauren, I love reading these recaps, and looking back at the recruiting class rankings.

Do any of the other SEC team’s freshman men have more than Bama’s 4 freshman men who had swims under Swim Swam’s projected NCAA invite times at this meet?

Reply to  RTR
4 years ago

Georgia maybe. Dillon, Homans, Hils, Grum.

4 years ago

comment image

4 years ago

Uga men getting dfl in the 4×100 is a tough look

4 years ago

About as bad as the Tennessee men’s team getting DQ’d in last night’s relay. Inexcusable!

Reply to  Justanarp
4 years ago

How many points did the relay dq cost Tennessee? I understand living on the edge if they are shooting for a Q time.

Reply to  JimSwim22
4 years ago

I believe they finished 3rd or 4th before the DQ (results were on screen before they were official). It likely cost them a 4th or 5th place finish. Seems to be a chronic disease for the Vol Men – think they have been DQ’d in at least one relay every year in recent past!

4 years ago

Don’t tell that to Quackdack

4 years ago

who are you

4 years ago

The miss by Perez was huge for Tennessee, as it moved the Tennessee diver into 6th instead of 7th and blocked a possible 3-4 or better finish from Florida. Instead they finished 2-7.

4 years ago

This diver from Tennessee, I can’t remember her name off the top of my head, deserves great respect for diving with a broken hand. It’s a great feat and sacrifice for the team

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
4 years ago

Yes, Grace Cable and just one illustration of the grit and commitment to the team that all of the Lady Vols have.

4 years ago

Florida’s second-tier of guys just rose to top tier this meet. They’re going to get a lot of guys qualified to NCAAs without having to swim at Last Chance meets (but seriously, get Dillon Hillis a 200 breast swim please). They’ve always done a really good job at developing diamonds in the rough and scrappy kids, but I think in the next few years you are going to see them get more top recruits to start. Chaney is just the beginning. We love to see it. Nesty and Jungbluth have proven they can do it too. GO GATORS!

Reply to  Aquajosh
4 years ago

I was at the Ohio HS state meet tonight and Chaney might be 400 FRR guy for 2020. He has the best free kick I’ve seen in an HS kid. He split 47.9 last summer. He’s the real deal.

4 years ago

quick shoutout to Danielle Dellatorre: 1:02/2:15 breaststroke & 2:01 200 IM out of high school, 58.8/2:07.1 breaststroke & 1:56 IM in her junior year

4 years ago

Erika Brown is setting records and swimming PBs all over the place and even beating Simone Manuel in LCM.

She’s reached the world-class level of swimming.

Reply to  Marklewis
4 years ago

The great Erika Brown.

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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