2022 SEC Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

by Ben Dornan 35

February 17th, 2022 College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC


It’s night 3 of the 2022 SEC Championships, which means it’s time to watch the men’s and women’s 400 IM, 100 butterfly, and 200 freestyle, along with the women’s 3-meter diving.

Tennessee freshman and last night’s 200 IM champion Ellen Walshe has a busy night ahead of her as the top seed in the 400 IM and the second seed in the 100 fly. Those events are back to back tonight, giving her just a few minutes to recover between her 2 attempts at reaching the podium.

Following his 500 freestyle silver on night 2, Kieran Smith is back in action as top seed in the 400 IM, having swum a 3:43.26 in the heats, closely followed by teammate Mason Laur with a 3:43.40 and Georgia’s Andrew Abruzzo who swam a 3:43.85.

We’ll also see the Georgia duo of Luca Urlando and Matt Sates both attempt to win their second gold medals of the meet as they enter the 100 fly and 200 freestyle finals, respectively, with the top times from the morning.

Women’s 400 IM

  • NCAA Record: 3:54.60 – Ella Eastin, Stanford (2018)
  • SEC Record: 3:58.23 – Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M (2019)
  • SEC Championships Record: 3:58.35, Florida (2012)
  • NCAA A Standard: 4:03.62
  • NCAA B Standard: 4:17.30

Top 3:

  1. Ellen Walshe (TENN) – 4:01.53
  2. Lauren Poole (UKY) – 4:03.36
  3. Gillian Davey (UKY) – 4:05.28

Ellen Walshe started off her night with a SEC title-winning 400 IM, hitting a 4:01.53 to snag gold. The swim by Walshe is her second gold medal in as many nights, following her 200 IM victory on night 1.

The Tennessee freshman now has 3 400 IM yards races in the books ever, having started with a 4:06.07 back in November, followed by a 4:04.26 during SEC prelims, and she’s now shaved another 2.73 seconds off her time to hit a 4:01.53.

Walshe is now the 7th-fastest NCAA freshman in the 400 IM and broke Tessa Cieplucha’s Tennessee record of 4:01.88 from 2020.

Walshe defeated reigning SEC champion Lauren Poole of Kentucky en route to this event win. Poole, who swam a 4:03.90 last year to win the event, posted a 4:03.36 to nab silver this year. Both of the top 2 performers got under the NCAA A cut of 4:03.62.

Poole’s Kentucky teammate Gillian Davis, who was last year’s SEC silver medalist, got back onto the podium with a 4:05.28. Davey was also right around her swim from last year, having hit a 4:05.96 for the silver medal at 2021 SECs.

Bailey Bonnett made it a 2-3-4 finish for Kentucky by placing 4th with a 4:06.36, while Mabel Zavaros of Florida added 1.61 seconds to her prelims swim of 4:07.55 to take 5th in the final with a 4:09.16.

Men’s 400 IM

  • NCAA Record: 3:33.42 – Chase Kalisz, Georgia (2017)
  • SEC Record: 3:33.42 – Chase Kalisz, Georgia (2017)
  • SEC Championships Record: 3:35.76 – Hugo Gonzalez, Auburn (2018)
  • NCAA A Standard: 3:39.16
  • NCAA B Standard: 3:51.46

Top 3:

  1. Kieran Smith (FLOR) – 3:39.33
  2. Ian Grum (UGA) – 3:43.23
  3. Andrew Abruzzo (USA) – 3:43.65

Kieran Smith repeated as SEC champion in the men’s 400 IM, throwing down a 3:39.33 to improve by nearly 4 seconds his prelims swim of 3:43.26. he also brought the SEC under 3:40, compared to last year when he won in a 3:41.81.

Smith’s best time, however, comes from the 2020 SEC Championships when he delivered a 3:37.31 to win gold.

Following Smith, a pair of Georgia Bulldogs landed on the podium in the form of junior Ian Grum and senior Andrew Abruzzo. Grum repeats as a medalist here, having placed third overall at last year’s SEC Champs in a 3:40.51. Notably, 2021 silver medalist Bobby Finke of Flordia is not present at this year’s meet.

Andrew Abruzzo was just 0.20 seconds better than his morning swim with a 3:43.65, which got him to the wall just ahead of Florida’s Mason Laur. Laur was second seed heading into the final with a 3:43.40 but was 4th overall in the final with a 3:43.84.

Texas A&M’s Anze Erzen put up a 3:45.42 for 5th place, while Jacques Rathle of Auburn rounded out the top 6 in 3:45.92.

Women’s 100 Butterfly

  • NCAA Record: 48.89 – Maggie MacNeil, Michigan (2021)
  • SEC Record: 49.38 – Erika Brown, Tennessee (2020)
  • SEC Championships Record: 49.85 – Erika Brown, Tennessee (2018)
  • NCAA A Standard: 50.92
  • NCAA B Standard: 53.76

Top 3:

  1. Ellen Walshe (TENN) – 50.34
  2. Rhyan White (BAMA) – 51.19
  3. Trude Rothrock (TENN) – 51.26

Ellen Walshe has officially 3 out of 3 her events at this year’s SEC Championships, including both the 400 IM and the 100 butterfly within less than an hour. Walshe broke the 400 IM to start things off and has now put up a near-PB in the 100 fly.

Walshe hit a 50.34 for the win, which slightly trails her own 50.24 from earlier this season. That 50.24 is the second-fastest swim by a Tennessee woman in history behind Erika Brown’s 2020 swim of 49.38.

Walshe was joined on the podium by fellow Olympian Rhyan White who swam a 51.19 for silver. White repeated as silver medalist here, having swum a bit faster last year when she swam a 50.80 at the 2021 SEC Championships.

Trude Rothrock made a bit of a comeback here after getting disqualified in the 200 IM on night 2 of the meet. Rothrock, the Tennessee senior, delivered a 51.26 to improve upon her 51.53 from 2020 SECs and her 51.66 prelims swim.

Sarah Thompson was just off the podium in a 51.49, which is slower than her morning swim of 51.49 and Dakota Luther was 5th in a 51.88 for Georgia.

Men’s 100 Butterfly

  • NCAA Record: 42.80 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • SEC Record: 42.80 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • SEC Championships Record: 42.21 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2017)
  • NCAA A Standard: 44.96
  • NCAA B Standard: 47.43

Top 3:

  1. Luca Urlando (UGA) – 44.41
  2. Eric Friese (FLOR) – 44.86
  3. Jordan Crooks (TENN) – 45.33

Luca Urlando worked his way to a second SEC title this year, adding to his 200 IM victory on day 1. This swim for Urlando marks his third time under 45 seconds ever, improving upon the 44.97 that he swam a last year’s SEC Championships and the 44.99 he swam at last year’s NCAA Championships.

Urlando’s 44.41 makes him the 9th-fastest man in NCAA history, replacing fellow Georgia Bulldog Camden Murphy who previously held that spot with his 44.42 from NCAAs in 2021.

Florida junior Eric Friese wasn’t too far back but ultimately came second to Urlando with a 44.86 to slightly trail his own PB 44.79 from last year’s NCAAs. Last year Friese put up that swim to finish 7th overall for Florida, just ahead of Urlando’s 44.99.

Friese and Urlando were joined in the top three by Tennessee’s breakout freshman Jordan Crooks who already has a SEC title under his belt from when he won the 50 free on night 2. Crooks swam a 45.33 here to take bronze to shave another 0.27 seconds off his PB. Coming into the meet Crooks had a lifetime best of 47.06 and put up a 45.60 in the prelims before this bronze medal-winning effort.

Missouri’s Danny Kovac picked up a second 4th place finish here after finishing in the same spot in the 200 IM on night 1. Kovac was just behind Crooks here in the final, hitting 45.48, while Tennessee’s Bjorn Kammann rounded out the top 5 in a 45.57.

Women’s 200 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 1:39.10 – Missy Franklin, Cal (2015)
  • SEC Record: 1:41.21 – Megan Romano, Georgia (2012)
  • SEC Championships Record: 1:41.83, Georgia (2014)
  • NCAA A Standard: 1:42.98
  • NCAA B Standard: 1:47.12

Top 3:

  1. Riley Gaines (UKY) – 1:42.62
  2. Brooklyn Douthwright (TENN) – 1:43.45
  3. Chlor Stepanek (TAMU) – 1:44.14

Riley Gaines won gold in the women’s 200 freestyle by nearly a full second, hitting a 1:42.62 to Brooklyn Douthwright’s 1:43.45. Gaines, a Kentucky senior, undercut her own school record of 1:42.70 here, which she set at last year’s SEC Champs to win gold.

Gaines went on last year to swim a 1:44.67 in the final at NCAA Championships, giving her a 7th place finish for Kentucky. Both her 1:42.70 from 2021 SECs and her 1:42.62 from this year would have been fast enough to earn NCAA silver in 2021 behind Paige Madden’s winning 1:52.35.

Gaines was followed by Tennessee freshman Brooklyn Douthwright who dropped by half a second here from the 1:43.97 she swam in the prelims. Both of her swims today are well under Douthwright’s former PB of 1:46.24 from November’s Tennessee Invitational.

Chloe Stepanek was a touch slower than her morning swim of 1:43.87, posting a 1:44.14 to get bronze for Texas A&M. Stepanek earned silver at last year’s SEC Championships in a 1:43.58 and went on to place 4th overall at NCAAs in a 1:43.82.

Alabama’s Morgan Scott, who won the 50 freestyle on night 2 of the meet, was left off the podium with a 1:44.20. Julia Mrozinski made it 2 Tennessee freshmen in the top 5 of this event by swimming a 1:44.53, nearly clinching a second medal after her 500 freestyle victory last night.

Men’s 200 Freestyle

  • NCAA Record: 1:29.15 – Dean Farris, Harvard (2019)
  • SEC Record: 1:29.48 – Kieran Smith, Florida (2021)
  • SEC Championships Record: 1:29.48 – Kieran Smith, Florida (2021)
  • NCAA A Standard: 1:32.05
  • NCAA B Standard: 1:36.32

Top 3:

  1. Matt Sates (UGA) – 1:31.16
  2. Brooks Curry (LSU) – 1:31.39
  3. Trey Freeman (FLOR) – 1:32.20

Matt Sates collected another SEC record and another Georgia school record, this time in the 200 freestyle. Sates posted a 1:31.16 for the win, undercutting Matias Koski’s 2016 school record of 1:31.54, which he set at 2016 NCAA Championships.

Sates, who has only been training at Georgia since mid-January of this year, started off his yards career with a 1:33.89 at the Georgia v Emory dual meet, got down to a 1:32.59 during SEC prelims, and has now swum his first 1:31.

While Sates pulled off the 200/500 freestyle sweep, LSU junior was in hot pursuit and nearly touched first but ultimately wound up in second place with a 1:31.39. It wasn’t quite enough to win, but the time was better than’s Curry’s SEC performance last year of 1:32.64, which garnered bronze.

Trey Freeman managed to just out-swim last year’s SEC champion in this event Jake Magahey to claim the bronze medal. Freeman of Florida put up a 1:32.20 for third place, while Magahey followed 0.04 seconds later with a 1:32.24. Magahey took bronze in the 500 on night 2 of the meet and still has 1 race together, which will either be the 1650 freestyle or the 100 freestyle.

Jack Dahlgreen was 5th in the 200 freestyle for the second straight year but swam a 1:32.34 this year to beat his 1:34.00 finals time from this meet last year.

Women’s 3-Meter

  • SEC Record: 423.15 – Laura Ryan, Georgia (2014)
  • SEC Championships Record: 413.75 – Laura Ryan, Georgia (2014)

Top 3:

  1. Brooke Schultz (SCAR) – 407.30
  2. Chiara Pellacani (LSU) – 356.35
  3. Helle Tuxen (LSU) – 352.35

SCAR’s Brooke Schultz picked up her second title of the meet here, clearing the 400-point mark with a winning score of 407.30. Schultz was an accomplished diver and multi-SEC title winner at Arkansas and has returned to the scene this year as a grad student.

Schultz is the only medalist thus far from South Carolina and still has one event to go, the platform diving event, which will take place on Saturday.

Chiara Pellacani of LSU also picked up her second medal of the meet here, adding to her silver medal performance in the 1-meter. Pellacani socred 356.35 in the 3-meter to beat her teammate Helle Tuxen by just 4 points.

Following Tuxen, Florida’s Maha Amer was 4th with 349 points, while Montserrat Lavenant made it 3 from LSU in the top 5.

Men’s Team Scores After Day 1

  1. University of Florida – 744 points
  2. University of Georgia – 496 points
  3. University of Tennessee – 483.50 points
  4. University of Alabama – 481 points
  5. Texas A&M University – 457.50 points
  6. Auburn University – 414.50 points
  7. Missouri – 344 points
  8. University of Kentucky – 322 points
  9. Louisiana State University – 305 points
  10. University of South Carolina – 221.50 points

Women’s Team Scores After Day 3

  1. Texas A&M – 758.50 points
  2. University of Georgia – 537 points
  3. University of Florida – 520 points
  4. University of Kentucky – 496 points
  5. University of Alabama – 485 points
  6. Texas A&M University – 363 points
  7. Louisiana State University – 314 points
  8. University of South Carolina – 272 points
  9. Missouri – 271.50 points
  10. Auburn University – 258 points
  11. University of Arkansas – 170 points
  12. Vanderbilt University – 90 points

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Swim chick
11 months ago

Where is Tennessee on the women’s team standings?

11 months ago

Look for UGA women to make up some ground tomorrow and for KY to move into 3rd.

Seeds for tomorrow AM:
Tenn: 4 up 2 mid 2 down (8)
UGA: 5 up 5 mid (10)
FL: 1 up 1 mid 1 down (3)
KY: 5 up 1 mid 3 down (9)
Bama: 2 up 4 mid 2 down (8)

Reply to  VFL
11 months ago

Although I do expect Smith and McCarville to move up and score in the 200 fly based on meet so far. Caldow however slipped from top 8 to out of top 24 in 200 free. Need points from her in these backstrokes. Wish we could’ve seen Harper in there as well. #GBO

11 months ago

What a gutsy performance by Walshe. Her fly is so smooth and her underwaters are insane. Sad we don’t get to see a 2 fly tomorrow but I guess an SEC gold and a school record in the 400 IM is a nice trade off.

super classy swim
11 months ago

tennessee freshmen on fire 🔥

11 months ago

Sates and Curry both 1:31’s

Neal Douglas Hobson Jr.
Reply to  ISL
11 months ago

Curry and Crooks are heading for a great showdown in the 100 free!

11 months ago

Girlie that picture is Mona McSharry…

Not mona
Reply to  John
11 months ago

Its literally not

Reply to  Not mona
11 months ago

It was

Reply to  Not mona
11 months ago

it literally was when they first made the post

11 months ago

The camera work by ESPN in these streams is such a joke

Reply to  Joe
11 months ago

ESPN is not doing cameras; Tennessee is providing camera work. ESPN takes over at Fri finals

Reply to  Joe
11 months ago

I think the camera work has been fine. I mean, it’s not an Olympics production with 8 cameras. I don’t know how many there are, maybe 2? I don’t think ESPN taking over is going to be much different, with respect to camera work.

11 months ago

Sub 1:30 2free coming