2022 SEC Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

by Ben Dornan 44

February 16th, 2022 College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC


Following the first night of relay racing at the 2022 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships, night 2 will bring forth the first set of individual finals. Tonight we’ll see swimmers take to the 500 freestyle, 200 IM, and 50 freestyle. The session with start off with the 200 freestyle relays, though, and we’ll finish with a 1-meter diving event.

Women’s 200 Freestyle Relay

  • NCAA Record: 1:24.55 – Cal (2019)
  • SEC Record: 1:25.41 – Auburn (2020)
  • SEC Championships Record: 1:25.41 – Auburn (2020)

Top 3:

  1. Alabama – 1:26.93
  2. Tennessee – 1:27.39
  3. Missouri – 1:27.41

The University of Alabama opened the session up with a victory in the women’s 200 freestyle relay, delivering a 1:26.93 to out-touch Tennessee’s 1:27.39. Alabama swam a similar group of women to their SEC-winning team last year as Kalia Antoniou, Morgan Scott, and Cora Dupre all picked up a repeat title.

The addition this year in freshman Kailyn Winter who anchored Alabama’s relay in a 21.80. The splits on this Alabama relay were fairly consistent with Morgan Scott opening in a 21.91 and Dupre and Antoniou following in 21.48 and 21.74, respectively.

This swim slightly trails the nation-leading swim that Alabama put together back in November 2021 when the same quartet we saw tonight swam a 1:26.38.

The swim is faster than what Alabama used to win last year’s SEC title (1:27.02) and is also an improvement upon what they swam at 2021 NCAAs (1:27.92) where they finished 6th. Their winning time this year would have been fast enough to finish in 4th place at last season’s NCAAs.

AJ Kutsch of Tennessee was a little faster off the start than Alabama’s Scott, hitting a 21.95, and her teammates put up a good fight as Mona McSharry threw down a 21.82, Jasmine Rumley a 21.59, and Tjasa Pintar a 22.03. Their time of 1:27.39 is also faster than what they swam at last year’s SEC (1:28.00) and NCAA (1:28.70) Championships.

All top 4 finishers in the event came from the 3rd and final heat of the event as Missouri came in just 0.02 seconds behind Tennessee with a 1:27.41, followed by Auburn with a 1:28.06 for 4th. Florida and Arkansas went head to head in the heat previous, posting times of 1:28.15 and 1:28.19, respectively for 5th and 6th.

Men’s 200 Freestyle Relay

  • NCAA Record: 1:14.08 – Auburn (2009)
  • SEC Record: 1:14.08 – Auburn (2009)
  • SEC Championships Record: 1:15.21 – Florida (2021)

Top 3:

  1. Florida – 1:15.18
  2. Tennessee – 1:16.48
  3. Auburn – 1:16.49

Adam Chaney and Jordan Crooks battled it out on the first leg of the men’s 200 freestyle relay. Chaney for Florida dipped under 19 seconds, hitting an 18.92, but that wasn’t quite enough to beat Crooks to the wall. The Tennessee freshman hit the wall with an 18.72, making him the 3-fastest freshman 50 freestyle in the NCAA.

All-Time Fastest NCAA Freshman: 50 Yard Freestyle
  1. Caeleb Dressel, Florida, 2015 – 18.67
  2. Bjorn Seeliger, Cal, 2021 – 18.71 (21 years old)
  3. Jordan Crooks, Tennessee, 2022 – 18.72
  4. Adam Chaney, Florida, 2021 – 18.76
  5. David Curtiss, NC State, 2022 – 18.77
  6. Jimmy Feigen, Texas, 2009 – 18.84

Following Chaney, Florida’s Eric Friese and Kieran Smith were nearly equal, splitting an 18.80 and 18.77, respectively, which put Florida in the lead. At the 150 mark, Florida stood at a 56.49, while Tennessee was slightly behind in a 57.25.

Tennessee’s anchor leg Aleksey Tarasenko brought it home in a 19.23 and Florida’s Macguire McDuff sealed the deal for the Gators posting an 18.69 to wrap the event.

Auburn snagged bronze here, hitting a 1:16.49, followed by Georgia’s contingent who finished in 4th place with a 1:16.71 from heat 2. Alabama (1:17.19) Texas A&M (1:17.44), and Missouri (1:17.46) filled in the 5th, 6th, and 7th spots, but the fastest split in the field came from LSU’s Brooks Curry who notched an 18.50 as the third leg on his team’s relay. LSU wound up 8th in a 1:17.71.

Women’s 500 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 4:24.06 – Katie Ledecky, Stanford (2017)
  • SEC Record: 4:32.53 – Brittany MacLean, Georgia (2014)
  • SEC Championships Record: 4:33.10 – Brittany MacLean, Georgia (2016)
  • NCAA A Standard: 4:35.76
  • NCAA B Standard: 4:47.20

Top 3:

  1. Julia Mrozinski (TENN) – 4:35.95
  2. Kensey McMahon (BAMA) – 4:38.34
  3. Kristen Stege (TENN) – 4:38.50

While no one got under the A cut here in the women’s 500 freestyle, Julia Mrozinski powered her way to victory in Tennessee record-time with a 4:35.95. This swim by Mrozinki was faster than Lindsay Gendron‘s 4:36.71 from 2013 for a new school record.

Not only was Mrozinski’s swim nearly 3 seconds faster than runner-up Kensey McMahon‘s 4:38.34, but it was also more than 3 seconds better than last year’s SEC-winning time of 4:39.35 from Kristen Stege. Stege returned to the podium this year with a 4:38.50 for bronze.

Mrozinski’s PB and season-best prior to this meet was a 4:38.82 from earlier this season, marking a big PB for here en route to SEC gold.

Florida has two women in the top 5 here as Tylor Mathieu and Elise Bauer claimed 4th place with a 4:39.51 and 5th in a 4:40.82. Bauer got in right ahead of Georgia’s Abigail McCulloh who was 6th overall in a 4:40.86.

Men’s 500 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 4:06.32 – Kieran Smith, Florida (2020)
  • SEC Record: 4:06.32 – Kieran Smith, Florida (2020)
  • SEC Championships Record: 4:06.32 – Kieran Smith, Florida (2020)
  • NCAA A Standard: 4:11.62
  • NCAA B Standard: 4:23.24

Top 3:

  1. Matt Sates (UGA) – 4:09.06
  2. Kieran Smith (FLOR) – 4:10.15
  3. Jake Mgahey (USA) – 4:06.32

After just a couple of weeks in Georgia, Matt Sates has produced a SEC-winning time of 4:09.06 in the 500 freestyle. This swim from Sates is not only a huge PB for him, but it also makes him the 10th-fastest man in history in the event.

Sates opened the race with a 1:39.83 and then beat that opening split on his last 200, hitting a 1:37.60 to finish the race.

Sates’ 100 Splits: 48.15/51.68/51.63/49.49/48.11

Sates beat out NCAA record holder Kieran Smith, who was second overall in a 4:10.15, and Georgia teammate Jake Magahey who was a 4:10.22 for bronze. Smith swam that 4:06.32 NCAA and SEC record two years ago at the 2020 SEC Championships, and followed that up with the exact same time at the 2021 edition of the meet.

At last year’s NCAA’s it was also Magahey and Smith who went head-to-head for gold and Magahey came out on top in a 4:07.97 to Smith’s 4:08.07.

The Florida men got 3 into the top 5 here as Alfonso Mestre and Trey Freeman joined Smith with 4:13.35 and 4:13.38, respectively for 4th and 5th. Both of them were right around where they were in prelims as Mestre improved by 0.21 from the morning and Freeman by 0.25.

Auburn’s Michael Bonson was in on the action and touched with a 4:15.84 for 6th place overall.

Women’s 200 IM

  • NCAA Record: 1:50.67 – Ella Easton, Stanford (2018)
  • SEC Record: 1:51.62 – Meghan Small, Tennessee (2019)
  • SEC Championships Record: 1:51.62 – Meghan Small, Tennessee (2019)
  • NCAA A Standard: 1:53.66
  • NCAA B Standard: 1:59.94
  1. Ellen Walshe (TENN) – 1:52.97
  2. Zoie Hartman (USA) – 1:53.90
  3. Diana Petkova (BAMA) – 1:56.01

Tennessee freshman Ellen Walshe made it two events in a row to feature a first-time SEC champion as she sailed to the wall in a 1:52.97. That swim for Walshe is almost two seconds quicker than her PB heading into this meet of 1:54.77 from the November 2021 Tennessee Invite and is 2.05 seconds better than her prelims swim.

Walshe also got under the NCAA A cut of 1:53.66, making her the only one in the field to do so as Georgia’s Zoie Hartman took silver with a 1:53.79. Hartman’s PB is actually a bit faster than what she put up here, sitting at a 1:53.05 from the 2020 SEC Championships where she won a silver medal.

Alabama’s Diana Petkova swam to bronze from lane 3 in the 200 IM final, throwing down a 1:56.01 to out-swim Kentucky’s 1:56.34 by just 0.33. This is a huge improvement for the Bama sophomore who finished 15th overall at last year’s SEC Championships in a 1:58.13.

Kentucky and Alabama each had another woman in the top 8 in the form of Gillian Davey (UKY) who was 5th in a 1:56.58 and Cat Wright (BAMA) who swam a 1:56.67 for 7th. Tennessee’s Alexis Yager and Sara Stoler rounded out the top 8 in a 1:56.67 and 1:57.32.

Men’s 200 IM

  • NCAA Record: 1:38.13 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • SEC Record: 1:38.13 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • SEC Championships Record: 1:38.13 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • NCAA A Standard: 1:41.34
  • NCAA B Standard: 1:46.77

Top 3:

  1. Luca Urlando (UGA) – 1:41.19
  2. Derek Maas (BAMA) – 1:42.90
  3. Kaloyan Bratanov (TAMU) – 1:42.98

Following a 5th place performance in the event at last year’s 2021 SEC Championships, Luca Urlando claimed victory for Georgia here. Urlando’s swim at that meet of 1:41.81 was his fastest-ever swim, making this gold medal-garnering performance a new PB for the sophomore.

Urlando dipped under the NCAA A standard in the event of 1:41.34 and was the only man to get under that barrier in the field. Alabama’s Derek Maas, who didn’t swim the event at last year’s SEC Champs posted a new best time as well, hitting a 1:42.90 to undercut his 1:43.12 from earlier this season.

Kaloyan Bratanov made it 3-for-3 new podium finishers from last year with a 1:42.98. 2021 silver medalist Danny Kovac finished 4th in a 1:43.27, trailing his swim from the meet last year of 1:41.75.

There were two notable disqualifications in the final heat of the race including Mason Wilby of Kentucky who had swum a 1:43.05 in the prelims to qualify in second place overall and Georgia’s Zach Hills who was a 1:43.50 in the morning for 6th place.

Women’s 50 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 20.90 – Abbey Weitzeil, Cal (2019)
  • SEC Record: 21.03 – Erika Brown, Tennessee (2020)
  • SEC Championships Record: 21.15 – Erika Brown, Tennessee (2019)
  • NCAA A Standard: 21.66
  • NCAA B Standard: 22.76

Top 3:

  1. Morgan Scott (BAMA) – 21.54
  2. AJ Kutsch (TENN) – 21.60
  3. Jasmine Rumley (TENN) – 21.81

The women’s 50 freestyle final came down the wire as 7 women in the final swam between a 21.54 and a 21.95. That 21.54 came from Alabama senior Morgan Scott, getting down from the 21.78 she swam in the morning, which was already an improvement upon her 21.80 PB from the Tennessee Invite in November.

Scott swam her way to a 10th place finish at last year’s SEC Championships with a 22.07 in the B-final (which would have been fast enough to place 5th overall in the A). This swim from Scott is just under the NCAA A cut of 21.66, meaning she’ll likely have a shot at beating her 18th place finish in the event at last year’s NCAA Championships.

At last year’s SEC Championships Scott’s teammates Kalia Antoniou and Cora Dupre went 1-2 in the final, but this year they were a little further back as Dupre wound up 5th overall in a 21.94 and Antoniou was 10th with a 22.16.

Tennessee junior AJ Kutsch made it onto the podium here in a 21.60, along with teammate Jasmine Rumley who posted a 21.81 for bronze. Arkansas nearly picked up its first medal of the night when Emily Barclay swam a 21.84, just 0.03 slower than Rumely.

Sarah Thompson tied that 21.94 from Dupre, giving them the shared distinction of 5th place and Maxine Parker followed just 0.01 seconds later in a 21.95.

Men’s 50 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 17.63 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • SEC Record: 17.63 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • SEC Championships Record: 18.23 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2016)
  • NCAA A Standard: 18.96
  • NCAA B Standard: 19.96

Top 3:

  1. Jordan Crooks (TENN) – 18.53
  2. Brooks Curry (LSU) – 18.67
  3. Adam Chaney (FLOR) – 18.81

Jordan Crooks had come onto the scene in a big way at this year’s SEC Championships. Earlier in the session Crooks opened the Tennessee relay in an 18.72 to become the 3rd-fastest freshman of all time and he’s now gotten down to an 18.53 to win the individual event.

That means that he has surpassed Caeleb Dressel as the fastest freshman in NCAA history, beating the 18.67 that Dressel threw down back in 2015. At this meet alone, Crooks has taken nearly a full second off his 50 freestyle PB, which stood at an 19.39 from the Tennessee Invite in November.

All-Time Fastest NCAA Freshman: 50 Yard Freestyle
  1. Jordan Crooks, Tennessee, 2022 – 18.53
  2. Caeleb Dressel, Florida, 2015 – 18.67
  3. Bjorn Seeliger, Cal, 2021 – 18.71 (21 years old)
  4. Adam Chaney, Florida, 2021 – 18.76
  5. David Curtiss, NC State, 2022 – 18.77
  6. Jimmy Feigen, Texas, 2009 – 18.84

This swim puts Crooks only 0.30 seconds off Caeleb Dressel’s meet record from back in 2016 of 18.23.

LSU junior Brooks Curry was right behind Crooks here and nearly surpassed his split on the 200 freestyle relay of 18.50 from earlier in the session. Curry held a PB of 18.67 prior to this swim and beat his bronze medal-winning swim of 19.16 from last year’s SEC Champs.

Florida sophomore Adam Chaney on the other hand was a little slower than last year, hitting an 18.81 for bronze, compared to the 18.77 he used to win SEC gold at last year’s meet.

Men’s 1-Meter

  • SEC Record: 479.10 – Juan Celaya-Hernandez, LSU (2018)
  • SEC Championships Record: 479.10 – Juan Celaya-Hernandez, LSU (2018)

Top 3:

  1. Kurtis Matthews (TAMU) – 420.30
  2. Victor Povzner (TAMU) – 412.15
  3. Juan Celaya Hernandez (LSU) – 404.25

Texas A&M got some big points in the men’s 1-meter final to close out the session. Following his silver medal performance in the 1-meter on the first night, A&M senior Kurtis Matthews got gold tonight, scoring 420.30 points.

His teammate Victor Povzner saw improvement from night 1 as well, hitting 412.15 points for silver in the 3-meter after finishing 7th in the 1-meter. This marks medal #2 and #3 for A&M on night 2, following Kaloyan Bratanov’s 1:42.98 for bronze in the 200 IM.

1-meter champion Juan Celaya Hernandez got bronze with 404.25 points, establishing a clear margin between the podium finishers and the rest. 4th place went to Kentucky’s Mingli Zhang who got 355.20 points.

Team Scores After Day 1 – Women

  1. Tennessee – 467.50 points
  2. Georgia – 373 points
  3. Alabama – 367 points
  4. Kentucky – 299 points
  5. Florida – 287 points
  6. Texas A&M – 236 points
  7. Auburn – 208 points
  8. Missouri – 206.50 points
  9. LSU – 202 points
  10. South Carolina – 188 points
  11. Arkansas – 163 points
  12. Vanderbilt – 90 points

Team Scores After Day 1 – Men

  1. University of Florida – 497 points
  2. Texas A&M – 360 points
  3. University of Alabama – 358 points
  4. University of Tennessee – 338.50 points
  5. University of Georgia – 308 points
  6. Auburn University – 307 points
  7. University of Kentucky / Louisiana State University – 277 points
  8. Missouri – 269 points
  9. University of South Carolina – 202.50 points

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2 years ago

Jay Lerew’s divers carry Texas A&M almost every year, barring the last couple where Shaine Casas and a few other now-graduated studs threw down some beautiful races.

No disrespect to Jay Holmes, but I’m routinely impressed with his ability to keep his job at a school with such incredibly high athletic demands.

Bob Loblaw
Reply to  CollegeSwammer
2 years ago

You contradict you statement almost immediately by saying oh wait there is good swimmers as well. Do you knock Texas as well as this is the only reason they win NCAAs?

Reply to  Bob Loblaw
2 years ago

No, I said “almost” for the exact reason of exceptions existing. I don’t knock Texas for winning NCAAs in part due to diving because they also qualify so many swimmers that they can’t even send them all. They also put a ton of swimmers into A finals at NCAAs, and A&M could barely put people in the B final at conference, yet they currently sit at 2nd due to their phenomenal diving. Apples and oranges.

Last edited 2 years ago by CollegeSwammer
2 years ago

Lady Vols set up for an even bigger day tomorrow 😳

Seeded 10 up/1 mid

Walshe going for 100 fly and 400 IM double.

2 years ago

Every time I read Ellen Walshe’s name I think she’s a Walsh sister, and then I remember I’m in the wrong recap

Reply to  swimswim4
2 years ago

Gretchen is like twice her size lol

2 years ago

Where was Crooks coming out of hs? Was he ranked/highly acknowledged?

Reply to  Noah
2 years ago

he didn’t even have yard times i don’t think

Reply to  Random123
2 years ago

Fastest time that I could find before Tennessee was a 22.97 LC back in may of 2021.

Reply to  Noah
2 years ago

He is from island, not American so no yards

Reply to  Ghost
2 years ago

Island meaning Ireland?ohhhhh … Cayman Islands . Just googled.

Last edited 2 years ago by Joel
PK Doesn’t like his long name
2 years ago

Me last night: “Wow! What a split from Crooks!”
Me tonight: “He must have the WORST relay start!”

2 years ago

Fastest freshman in history now by .14 wow

2 years ago

Jordan Crooks 18.53 😮😮😮😮

2 years ago

Jordan Crooks! Change that man’s undies, they’re DIRTY!