2021 Women’s SEC Championships: Day 2 Prelims 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)

This morning will be the first full prelims session of the 2021 Women’s SEC Championships. Last night, Alabama and Kentucky won a relay each, while Auburn and Georgia stumbled with DQ’s in the 200 medley relay.



  • 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 8

  1. Kristen Stege (Tennessee) – 4:39.35
  2. Peyton Palsha (Arkansas) – 4:39.94
  3. Courtney Harnish (Georgia) – 4:40.57
  4. Elise Bauer (Florida) – 4:41.26
  5. Kensey McMahon (Alabama) – 4:42.10
  6. Tylor Mathieu (Florida) – 4:43.25
  7. Jillian Barczyk (Georgia) – 4:43.43
  8. Olivia Anderson (Georgia) – 4:43.44

Tennessee sophomore Kristin Stege was out fast in 1:49.21 in heat five, the East Carolina transfer already making a name for herself in the conference distance ranks. She would go on to win the heat with a 4:39.35, beating Alabama junior Kensey McMahon (4:42.10) who finished third in this race last year. For Stege, that’s a lifetime best by four seconds, and she’s come a long way since her high school best of 4:58.89 just two years ago.

Peyton Palsha of Arkansas and Courtney Harnish of Georgia went head-to-head in the final heat of the 500 free prelims, both out in 1:49-mids at the 200. Palsha was able to get under 4:40, going 4:39.94 for her third sub-4:40 swim ever, while Harnish will lurk in third (4:40.57), not showing her full potential as the defending champion (4:36.40).

Florida freshman Elise Bauer had another huge swim, clocking a lifetime best of 4:41.26 to snag the fourth spot in the A-final. She was 4:47.34 in high school, and 4:44.76 mid-season before shaving an additional 3.5 seconds this morning.

In the first circle-seeded heat, Florida sophomore Tylor Mathieu battled with Georgia sophomore Jillian Barczyk and Auburn junior Emily Hetzer. Mathieu was 4:43.25 to get the win, ahead of Barczyk (4:43.43) and Hetzer (4:43.63). For Barczyk, that’s a lifetime best, while Hetzer was off of her prelim-leading 4:38.56 from the 2020 SEC Champs. Mathieu and Barczyk both get into the A-final after swimming in the C-final last year, knocking Hetzer down to ninth and out of the A-final.

Florida and Georgia are the big winners in terms of getting swimmers into scoring position– Florida has 2/2/2 in the A/B/C finals and Georgia has 3/1/0. Tennessee and Kentucky also had strong showings, as the Lady Vols have 1/2/0 and the Wildcats 0/2/2.


  • 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 8

  1. Zoie Hartman (Georgia) – 1:54.35
  2. Danielle Dellatorre (Georgia) – 1:55.29
  3. Vanessa Pearl (Florida) – 1:55.40
  4. Lauren Poole (Kentucky) – 1:55.56
  5. Alexis Yager (Tennessee) – 1:55.88
  6. Izzy Gati (Kentucky) – 1:56.25
  7. Bailey Bonnett (Kentucky) – 1:56.40
  8. Hannah Ownbey (Auburn) – 1:56.73

Georgia sophomore Zoie Hartman is the top seed by a good margin going into tonight’s final. She won the final heat this morning at 1:54.35, winning her heat by over a second ahead of Tennessee’s Alexis Yager (1:55.88).

In heat seven, Danielle Dellatorre of Georgia and Lauren Poole of Kentucky battled to the wall, both going bests as Dellatorre won in 1:55.29 ahead of Poole’s 1:55.56. For Poole, it was her first time under 1:57. The heat after, Vanessa Pearl of Florida dropped a 1:55.40 for the win in the penultimate heat.

Kentucky looked very good here, with Poole, Izzy Gati (1:56.25) and Bailey Bonnett (1:56.50) all into the A-final and Sophie Sorenson (1:56.92) in the B-final.

Auburn freshman Hannah Ownbey dropped almost two full seconds to get all the way up into the A-final, a key swim for the Tigers.

Alabama had a couple big initial heat wins, with freshman Diana Petkova taking heat one (1:58.13) and junior Cat Wright picking up heat two (1:57.67). Also dropping a big swim was Kentucky sophomore Jodi Ogle, an East Carolina transfer, who dropped over two seconds from her old best with a 1:59.13 to win heat five and nab the last spot in the C-final.

Kentucky and Georgia are the big movers in this event. UK has 3 up, 1 mid, 1 down, while UGA has 2 up, 3 mid and 1 down.


  • SEC meet record – 21.03, Erika Brown (Tennessee) 2020
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 22.21
  • 2020 champion – Erika Brown (Tennessee), 21.03

Top 8

  1. Katie Mack (Florida) – 21.82
  2. Kalia Antoniou (Alabama) – 21.91
  3. Gabi Fa’amausili (Georgia) – 21.99
  4. Maxine Parker (Georgia) – 22.07
  5. Megan Keil (Mizzou) – 22.09
  6. Cora Dupre (Alabama) – 22.12
  7. Bailey Grinter (Tennessee) – 22.13
  8. Emily Barclay/Kobie Melton (Arkansas) – 22.18 *TIE*

Katie Mack of Florida, an NC State transfer, destroyed her old best of 22.34 en-route to a huge 21.82 in heat eight of ten. She leads the way going into tonight’s final.

Blasting a 21.91 out of lane eight in heat one (with a NT entry), Alabama’s Kalia Antoniou rocked a 21.91 to easily get into the A-final tonight. Her old best was 22.11, and she nearly broke the Alabama school record of 21.84 held by Bailey Scott. Antoniou was an A-finalist in the 100 free last year at this meet, but only made the B-final in this race.

Alabama looked good here, with IU transfer Cora Dupre also getting into the A-final at 22.09, while Georgia again put two swimmers up between Gabi Fa’Amausili (21.99) and freshman Maxine Parker (22.07).

Mizzou, Tennessee and Arkansas each got one swimmer into this A-final, with #2 seed Megan Keil for Mizzou, Tennessee’s Bailey Grinter and Arkansas’s Emily Barclay and Kobie Melton tying.

Sarah Thompson, the top seed at 21.76, fell to the B-final with a 22.22, a big blow to Mizzou.

Alabama goes 2/1/1, Georgia 2/0/1, Tennessee 1/2/1, Florida 1/2/0, Mizzou 1/1/3 and Arkansas 1/1/0. Kentucky had no scorers after big showings in the previous two events.

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3 months ago

Stege!! Was hoping to get all three of our girls in the A final but Claire and Amanda a little off. Big swim for Kristen though. Let’s go lady vols!!

tea rex
3 months ago

Why was Stege not on Tennessee’s 800 free relay? They had 3 1:46s.

Reply to  tea rex
3 months ago

Hindsight says she probably should’ve been. Natalie has been 1:45 though and Trude has been rock solid for us. Would have imagined her in contention with Claire for that last spot.

3 months ago

Is it possible to contact the folks doing the livesteam and request that they record from somewhere other than behind the crowd in the stands? With NO SPECTATORS allowed at this meet, we were hoping to at least get a view of the entire pool for the livestream. There is no visibility to lanes 1 & 2 and lane 3 is spotty. Please help SwimSwam!

3 months ago

Will pass it along.

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

Thank you so much!

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

And maybe have the swimmers not wave to camera every time they go by! They are in college but acting like middle schoolers!

I do think the athletes are doing a great job of masking up!

Reply to  Ghost
3 months ago

I know that this was addressed.

ESPN will be there for Friday finals and Saturday, so that should improve the camera situation.

Tara Bauer
3 months ago

agree!!great request!!

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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