2021 Women’s SEC Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


  • Wednesday, February 17 – Saturday, February 20, 2021
  • W Swimming: Gabrielsen Natatorium – Athens, GA (Eastern Time Zone)
  • W&M Diving: Mizzou Aquatics Center – Columbia, MO (Central Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Tennessee (1x) (2020 results)
  • Live results
  • Live Video – SEC Network
  • Championship Central
  • Psych Sheets (UPDATED)

Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama and Florida each had strong morning showings as the SEC battle will start to take shape tonight.

Courtney Harnish of Georgia will try to defend her 500 free title against Arkansas’s Peyton Palsha and SEC newcomer Kristen Stege, an East Carolina transfer already making waves at Tennessee. In the 200 IM, Zoie Hartman hopes to nab the 200 IM crown and add to Georgia’s win total as they try to overcome a tough 200 medley relay DQ last night.

The 50 free will see new talent emerge, as Florida sophomore and NC State transfer Katie Mack and Alabama junior Kalia Antoniou enter the final after dipping under 22 seconds for the first time in both their careers, while UGA certainly has a path to another win thanks to senior Gabi Fa’Amausili and freshman Maxine Parker in the A-final. The 200 free relay will also see all of these talents, as Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Mizzou could make this an incredibly tight finish.


  • SEC meet record – 4:33.10, Brittany Maclean (Georgia) 2016
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 4:41.20
  • 2020 champion – Courtney Harnish (Georgia), 4:36.40

Top 3

  1. Courtney Harnish (Georgia) – 4:35.33
  2. Kristen Stege (Tennessee) – 4:38.38
  3. Peyton Palsha (Arkansas) – 4:38.97

Courtney Harnish looked smooth and calculated in this race, going out in 1:48.4 and defending her 2020 (and 2019) titles with a winning time of 4:35.33 and hitting the ‘A’ cut. She now sits #2 in the nation behind UVA’s Paige Madden (4:33.09). That’s a best for Harnish, eclipsing her old PR of 4:35.52 from 2019 SECs.

That makes the 12th UGA win in this event of the last 16 seasons in this event, though Harnish is the only Bulldog to defend a 500 free title, let alone three-peat.

Locked in a battle for second in lanes five and six, respectively, Tennessee’s Kristen Stege and Arkansas’s Peyton Palsha traded leads on the other. Stege, though, was 28.0 on the penultimate 50 and then 27.25 coming home, able to come back on Palsha and ultimately pass her.

Florida sophomore Tylor Mathieu was a couple of hundredths quicker than Stege on the final 50 (27.21), and she turned in a fourth-place effort of 4:39.21, a huge lifetime best to improve on her 4:42.10 from this meet last year. It’s a big jump for Mathieu from last year, though, where she was 18th overall.

Alabama’s Kensey McMahon got right up to the 4:40 barrier, taking fifth in 4:40.06.

Auburn junior Emily Hetzer took the B-final in 4:41.31, ahead of a charging Kaylee Williams (4:42.33). Williams, the Kentucky freshman, lopped about two seconds off of her old best.

After biding her time over the first half of the race, Texas A&M senior Camryn Toney dropped a second off of her lifetime best and won the C-final by over a second in 4:44.12.


  • SEC meet record – 1:51.62, Meghan Small (Tennessee) 2019
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 1:57.31
  • 2020 champion – Meghan Small (Tennessee), 1:52.14

Top 3

  1. Zoie Hartman (Georgia) – 1:53.68
  2. Vanessa Pearl (Florida) – 1:54.72
  3. Alexis Yager (Tennessee) – 1:55.67

Zoie Hartman laid waste to the field (aside from her teammate Danielle Dellatorre) on the breaststroke leg, emerging as the first to the wall at the 150 mark as she took it home with a win (1:53.68). Dellatorre took fourth in 1:55.74.

Florida’s Vanessa Pearl was 1:54.72 to take the silver, as Tennessee’s Alexis Yager edged Dellatorre for bronze (1:55.67).

Kentucky nabbed fifth, sixth and eighth in the final led by Lauren Poole (1:56.25).

At 1:56.80, Gracie Felner hit a new lifetime best to take the C-final in an Alabama school record and take over two seconds off of her old best. Another Alabama freshman, Diana Petkova was 1:56.92 to win the B-final as both were under Cat Wright‘s record of 1:57.65; Wright also was under it with a 1:57.62 in the B-final.


  • SEC meet record – 21.03, Erika Brown (Tennessee) 2020
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 22.21
  • 2020 champion – Erika Brown (Tennessee), 21.03
  1. Kalia Antoniou (Alabama) – 21.69
  2. Cora Dupre (Alabama) – 21.82
  3. Katie Mack (Florida) – 21.85

Alabama was hot here, with Kalia Antoniou and Cora Dupre both clocking lifetime bests to go 1-2 in the final. Antoniou’s 21.69 establishes a new Alabama school record, with Dupre’s 21.82 also getting under the old record of 21.84 held by Bailey Scott.

Last year, Antoniou tied for 13th overall, so it’s an impressive swing for her as the Crimson Tide looks like the team to beat in the 200 free relay. Antoniou is now #3 nationally.

Alabama’s last (and only) 50 free title in the SEC is from 1983, won by Carol Landry. It was the third year of women’s swimming in the conference.

Prelims leader Katie Mack of Florida was third in 21.85, while Georgia freshman Maxine Parker was under 22 for the first time ever for fourth (21.93).

After missing the wall this morning in prelims, delegating her to the B-final, Sarah Thompson unleashed a 21.57 to win the B-final by a landslide. She’s now #2 in the nation, and she beat the entire A-final tonight while coming .04 off of her best.

In the C-final, Amy Feddersen, a Missouri sophomore, won with a new best of 22.35.


  • SEC meet record – 1:25.41, Auburn 2020
  • 2021 NCAA auto qualifying standard – 1:28.43
  • 2020 champion – Auburn, 1:25.41

Top 3

  1. Alabama – 1:27.02
  2. Missouri – 1:27.36
  3. Tennessee – 1:28.00

We didn’t see quite the same speed as Auburn’s 1:25.41 last year, but the Alabama women got the job done here with a 1:27.02 as three women split under 22 seconds.

Kalia Antoniou, the 50 free champion, was out in 21.82, followed by Morgan Scott (21,56), Flora Molnar (22.21) and Cora Dupre (21.43). They swam their relay in the second of three heats, and waited out the third heat to find out that they were champions. Like in the 50 free, this is Alabama’s first SEC victory in this event since 1983.

Sarah Thompson was great leading Mizzou to the heat three win, going 21.65 for another 21-mid tonight. Megan Keil (21.77) and Amy Feddersen (21.85) were the middle legs, with Alex Moderski anchoring (22.09).

Tennessee took third in 1:28.00, getting a 21.68 anchor from Bailey Grinter, while Florida (1:28.50) and Georgia (1:28.61) took fourth and fifth. UF had a 21.68 second leg from Talia Bates, while Bulldogs Maxine Parker (21.65) and Zoie Hartman (21.90) were under 22 with flying starts.

Notably, defending champions Auburn sank all the way to 11th, their time of 1:31.80 over six seconds slower than the team was at this meet last year.


Through day two finals (UPDATED TO INCLUDE DIVING)

  1. Florida 448
  2. Georgia 365
  3. Alabama 357
  4. Tennessee 348
  5. Kentucky 343
  6. Texas A&M 334
  7. Arkansas 325
  8. Mizzou 253
  9. LSU 198
  10. Auburn 188
  11. South Carolina 145
  12. Vanderbilt 94

In This Story

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2 years ago

Look at Auburn go! Gary is really showing who’s boss

No Longer Confused
2 years ago

Where’s “Hswimmer” from the prelims live recap to talk about Thompson and the issues with suiting up in season now? Looked pretty good to me!


No X please
Reply to  No Longer Confused
2 years ago

I told that fool she missed her turn and would bring it tonight; haven’t heard back from the fool

2 years ago

Anywhere we can watch race videos?

Reply to  Loyal
2 years ago

Haven’t checked but you can usually watch most ESPN events archived on the WatchESPN app. You have to have ESPN on your cable package or a subscription to ESPN+.

2 years ago

Florida looks great. The additions they’re getting next year (Cronk, Zettel, Nikonova) are going to be huge for their relays too.

2 years ago

What are the team scores with diving?

2 years ago

Anyone help? Is your score including diving?

Reply to  Ghost
2 years ago

the scores posted on here right now don’t include diving

Reply to  nope
2 years ago

Piss poor reporting from meet management/SEC not including diving scores YET!!!!!

Reply to  SwimFani
2 years ago

Scores are now updated to include diving.

2 years ago

How do you go from 1:25 to 1:31 in one year?

Reply to  Yup
2 years ago

Maybe 3 or 4 of the swimmers missed their turn??

Reply to  SwimFani
2 years ago

This made me LOL

2 years ago

Ooops my bad My day four TEAM order of finish is:
1st UK, 2nd UF, 3rd UGA, 4th BAMA

Jake from State Farm
2 years ago

What is up with the Auburn relays (and overall performance) thus far ? Ouch

Reply to  Jake from State Farm
2 years ago

Those coaches gotta go

War damn
Reply to  Jake from State Farm
2 years ago

All of the sprinters have quit or transferred

Reply to  Jake from State Farm
2 years ago

It’s cause Gary is only good for tearing down and building toxicity

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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