2021 Women’s SEC Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap

SEC – WOMEN SWIMMING & DIVING + MEN’S DIVING

  • 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

Heading into day three of the 2021 Women’s SEC Championships, Florida has nudged into the lead in the team race. The Gators will look to names like Vanessa Pearl in the 400 IM and Cecilia Porter in the 100 breast as they look to hold off Georgia, who has charged back from a night one DQ, and a dangerous Alabama team down in third.

400 IM – PRELIMS

  • SEC meet record – 3:58.35, Elisabeth Beisel (Florida) 2012
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 4:10.39
  • 2020 champion – Tess Cieplucha (Tennessee), 4:01.88

Top 8

  1. Lauren Poole (Kentucky) – 4:06.84
  2. Alexis Yager (Tennessee) – 4:07.69
  3. Peyton Palsha (Arkansas) – 4:08.02
  4. Vanessa Pearl (Florida) – 4:08.41
  5. Kathleen Golding (Florida) – 4:08.43
  6. Bailey Bonnett (Kentucky) – 4:08.92
  7. Gillian Davey (Kentucky) – 4:09.29
  8. Hannah Ownbey (Auburn) – 4:09.64

In heat four, Lauren Poole of Kentucky hacked over three seconds off of her old best, dropping a 4:06.84 for her first sub-4:10 swim ever. She leads the field going into the final tonight, as Kentucky was able to get three into the A-final, one into the B-final and one into the C-final.

In the final heat, Alexis Yager of Tennessee battled with Arkansas’s Peyton Palsha (4:08.02) and Florida’s Kathleen Golding (4:08.43), holding on to go 4:07.69 and take the second spot for tonight. All three of them, along with Kentucky’s Bailey Bonnett (4:08.92), made the A-final.

Kentucky sophomore Gillian Davey dropped a 4:09.29 in heat three and claim a spot in the A-final, holding off a charging Camryn Toney (4:09.88).

Auburn freshman star Hannah Ownbey posted a 4:09.64, dropping almost three seconds and getting into the A-final after making a 200 IM A-final appearance last night.

In heat two, Kentucky freshman Anna Havens Rice dropped a lifetime best 4:11.97, slicing over three seconds off of her old best and snagging a B-final spot. Entered with no time, Texas A&M’s Caroline Theil had a huge swim out of lane 8 in the first heat. She was 4:10.91, nearly a best and a big swing for her after she was DQ’d in this race in prelims last year.

Aside from Kentucky’s big push, Florida had 2/0/1 into tonight’s finals, Tennessee 1/0/2 and Georgia 0/3/0.

100 FLY – PRELIMS

  • SEC meet record – 49.38, Erika Brown (Tennessee) 2020
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 52.34
  • 2020 champion – Erika Brown (Tennessee), 49.38

Top 8

  1. Rhyan White (Alabama) – 51.07
  2. Izzy Gati (Kentucky) – 51.84
  3. Mallory Beil (Tennessee) – 52.11
  4. Trude Rothrock (Tennessee) – 52.12
  5. Taylor Pike (Texas A&M) – 52.32
  6. Gracie Felner (Alabama) – 52.33
  7. Jewels Harris (Auburn) – 52.46
  8. Dakota Luther (Georgia) – 52.55

We haven’t seen her since her 23.35 medley relay lead-off on Wednesday night, but Alabama’s Rhyan White was back to drop the top time this morning in the 100 fly at 51.07. We’ll see her again in the 100 back prelims, and she’ll look to win both tonight. Izzy Gati of Kentucky was the closest finisher to White, touching second in the final heat with a 51.84.

In heat five, Tennessee’s Mallory Beil posted a 52.11 for the win, shaving .07 off of her old best. She was able to edge the next heat’s winner, teammate Trude Rothrock, by a hundredth (52.12).

Texas A&M’s Taylor Pike was fifth this morning in 52.32, just ahead of Alabama freshman Gracie Felner (52.33) and Auburn senior Jewels Harris (52.46). Also squeezing into the A-final was Georgia junior Dakota Luther (52.55).

Alabama put 2/1/2 into the three finals, with Tennessee also getting 2 into the A an 1 into the B. Kentucky was 1/1/1, Georgia 1/1/0 and Florida 0/1/1. A&M is still in the upper tier team battle, and they had 1/2/1 here.

200 FREE – PRELIMS

  • SEC meet record – 1:41.83, Shannon Vreeland (Georgia) 2014
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 1:45.23
  • 2020 champion – Veronica Burchill (Georgia), 1:42.33

Top 8

  1. Talia Bates (Florida) – 1:44.23
  2. Tjasa Pintar (Tennessee) – 1:44.40
  3. Riley Gaines (Kentucky) – 1:44.47
  4. Chloe Stepanek (Texas A&M) – 1:44.57
  5. Courtney Harnish (Georgia) – 1:44.75
  6. Cora Dupre (Alabama) – 1:44.76
  7. Morgan Scott (Alabama) – 1:45.43
  8. Maxine Parker (Georgia) – 1:45.99

Riley Gaines was the only woman in the final heat at sub-27 on the third 50 (26.67), as she turned in a 1:44.47 to take the win ahead of Alabama’s Morgan Scott (1:45.43).

In heat six, Texas A&M freshman Choe Stepanek (1:44.57) was able to withstand Courtney Harnish‘s back-half, as the Georgia senior settled for second (1:44.75).

Talia Bates of Florida got the job done in heat fie, winning in 1:44.23 to edge out Tennessee’s Tjasa Pintar (1:44.40) and Alabama’s Cora Dupre (1:44.76).

With a new best of 1:45.99, Georgia freshman Maxine Parker denied Kentucky sophomore Kaitlynn Wheeler (1:46.12) an A-final spot.

In heat two, Texas A&M’s Danielle Hepler dropped a 1:46.42, erasing an old best of 1:48.27 from back in 2017.

Florida put up 1/4/1 with a huge mid-distance group, while Georgia had 2/1/1, Alabama had 2/0/1, Kentucky 1/1/1, A&M 1/1/0 and Tennessee 1/0/1.

100 BREAST – PRELIMS

  • SEC meet record – 57.28, Breeja Larson (Texas A&M) 2014
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 59.98
  • 2020 champion – Zoie Hartman (Georgia), 58.21

Top 8

  1. Mona McSharry (Tennessee) – 58.35
  2. Zoie Hartman (Georgia) – 58.64
  3. Cecilia Porter (Florida) – 59.41
  4. Kylie Powers (Texas A&M) – 59.60
  5. Diana Petkova (Alabama) – 59.68
  6. Vanessa Herrmann (Arkansas) – 59.76
  7. Adrianna Deboer (Florida) – 1:00.05
  8. Cat Wright (Alabama) – 1:00.10

In the final heat, Tennesse star freshman Mona McSharry posted a 58.35 for the best prelims swim by a few tenths. Another freshman, Florida’s Cecilia Porter, was second in the heat at 59.41.

Zoie Hartman of Georgia easily took the heat five win at 58.64. She’s the defending champion with her 58.21 from last year’s meet.

In heat four, Texas A&M’s Kylie Powers dropped a 59.60 for the win and a new best by .33. Georgia senior Danielle Dellatorre was DQ’d for a false start after touching second under a minute, a blow for them in the team race. Vanessa Herrmann of Arkansas was also under a minute in that heat, getting into the A-final.

In heat one, like she broke out in the 200 IM first heat yesterday, Alabama freshman Diana Petkova unleashed a 59.68 that would hold strong for an A-final spot.

Alabama and Florida looked great here, both getting 2 into the A-final. Alabama also has a swimmer into the C-final. Georgia’s Hartman is the only finalist for them after Dellatorre was fast enough for an A-final showing. Tennessee was 1/1/1, A&M 1/2/1 and Kentucky 0/2/1.

100 BACK – PRELIMS

  • SEC meet record – 50.02, Rhyan White (Alabama) 2020
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 52.73
  • 2020 champion – Rhyan White (Alabama), 50.02

Top 8

  1. Rhyan White (Alabama) – 50.20
  2. Sarah Thompson (Mizzou) – 51.51
  3. Caitlin Brooks (Kentucky) – 51.86
  4. Sophie Sorenson (Kentucky) – 52.18
  5. Meredith Rees (Mizzou) – 52.87
  6. Kobie Melton (Arkansas) – 52.91
  7. Parker Herren (Kentucky) – 53.14
  8. Gabi Fa’Amausili (Georgia) – 53.16

Rhyan White looked otherworldly in the final heat this morning, out in a 24.0 and closing at 50.20 for the #2 time in SEC history. Her 50.02 from the final last year is the fastest. White is also now the quickest 100 backstroker in the country with that swim.

Heat six was a Kentucky 1-2, as Caitlin Brooks led the way at 51.86 followed closely by teammate Sophie Sorenson (52.18). For Sorenson, that’s a half-second drop.

Out flying in a 24.43, Missouri senior Sarah Thompson took heat five with a strong 51.51 swim, about four-tenths from her best. Her teammate Meredith Rees also got into the A-final with a 52.87.

Arkansas junior Kobie Melton will made an A-final appearance tonight with her first sub-53 performance here (52.91).

Meanwhile, Kentucky added a third name to the A-final, with Parker Herren, a junior, going 53.14 to sneak in at seventh. Herren didn’t even make the SEC team as a freshman or sophomore with Kentucky, and she was 54.32 in February 2020, her best time before this season. She dropped a 54.14 at the Mizzou Invite, then put down a 53.91 at their senior night dual with Louisville before her new best this morning.

Kentucky led this event with 3/1/0, followed by Mizzou at 2/0/0, Alabama at 1/2/0, Georgia at 1/1/1, Tennessee at 0/1/1 and Florida at 0/1/1.

TEAM SCORES

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

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Observer
3 months ago

Tennessee’s top diver breaking her foot the first night is having big effect

SwimFani
Reply to  Observer
3 months ago

Yea must have effected the mindset of the swimmers since they are swimming pretty poorly. Certainly hope her recovery is speedy.

don'tknowanything
Reply to  Observer
3 months ago

Not sure about “top diver” but definitely most senior leader and while swimmers did not see it (2 different locations) I think it has effected them some.

CanSwim13
3 months ago

Florida is looking good

PVSFree
Reply to  CanSwim13
3 months ago

Alabama looks good too, they only finished 7th last year

Coach
Reply to  PVSFree
3 months ago

Even scarier, they were 11th in 2019.

loyal
3 months ago

Do seniors get a second year of eligibility?

VFL
Reply to  loyal
3 months ago

I think so if they want it.

Samuli Hirsi
Reply to  loyal
3 months ago

NCAA allows, school does not have to.

Ghost
Reply to  loyal
3 months ago

I think everyone gets an extra year, not just seniors

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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