2022 SEC Championships: Day Five Finals Live Recap

by Michael Hamann 50

February 19th, 2022 College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC

2022 SEC SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The final night of the SEC Championships kicks off in Knoxville, with the Tennessee women and the Florida men firmly in control of the team race, but there is a dead heat for 2nd behind the leaders. In the men’s meet, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia are all within 31 points heading into the final session. On the women’s side, Georgia sits in 2nd with 754 points, while Kentucky sits 42 points back and Alabama, who projects to score big points this evening, sits 69 points back in 4th.

The session will start tonight with the final heat of the 1650 free, then continue through the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, women’s platform diving and the 400 free relay.

Alabama’s Kensey McMahon leads the women’s 1650 psych sheets after finishing second in the 500 free earlier this weekend. With the absence of Florida’s Bobby Finke, Georgia sophomore Jake Magahey takes over the top seed in the men’s 1650, though Florida will still be well represented in the final heat, with four of the top 6 seeds.

Alabama’s Rhyan White will attempt to sweep the women’s backstroke races this weekend after winning the 100 back earlier in the meet, while Georgia junior Bradley Dunham will try to hold off Florida senior Kieran Smith in the men’s 200 back.

Alabama senior Morgan Scott will try to sweep the women’s sprints, after winning the 50 free on Wednesday and heading into tonight’s final as the top seed in the 100 free. LSU Olympian Brooks Curry holds the top spot in the 100 free, but Tennessee freshman Jordan Crooks, who won the 50 free earlier, qualified just a tenth back out of the prelims.

A showdown seems likely in both 200 breasts tonight. In the women’s event, Tennessee’s Mona McSharry, Georgia’s Zoie Hartman and Kentucky’s Gillian Davey all posted 2:07s in this morning’s prelim session. Similarly, Auburn’s Reid Mikuta, Bama’s Derek Maas and Texas A&M’s Andres Puente Bustamante all qualified within .07 of each other this morning.

Finals kick off at 5:30 PM EST.

Women’s 1650 free

  • NCAA Record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford): 15:03.31
  • SEC Record: Brittany MacLean (Georgia): 15:27.84
  • SEC Meet Record: Brittany MacLean (Georgia): 15:36.52
  • NCAA A Standard: 15:52.41
  • NCAA B Standard: 16:30.59

Top 8 finishers: 

  1. Kristen Stege (TENN): 15:42.37
  2. Kensey McMahon (BAMA): 15:51.71
  3. Abby McCulloh (UGA): 15:51.96
  4. Aly Breslin (TENN): 16:03.12
  5. Megan Drumm (UKY): 16:11.14
  6. Averee Preble (AUB): 16:12.83
  7. Tylor Mathieu (FLOR): 16:13.39
  8. Peyton Palsha (GA): 16:13.64

Tennessee junior Kristen Stege put on a clinic in the mile, winning by over nine seconds in 15:42.37, a new Tennessee program record. This marks her second straight win in the 1650, an impressive feat considering she didn’t even swim the 1650 until her freshman year of college, when she competed at East Carolina. The Lady Vols just keep rolling, with Tennessee’s Aly Breslin throwing down a massive swim in the early heats, dropping nearly 22 seconds to finish in 16:03.12, to finish fourth.

Top seed Kensey McMahon finished runner-up with a 15:51.71, dropping tenths from her seed time. Rounding out the podium was Georgia freshman Abby McColloh, who finished just behind McMahon in 15:51.96.

Also impressing from the early heats was Kentucky’s Megan Drumm who finished 5th overall in 16:11.14 and Auburn junior Averee Preble, who finished 6th in 16:12.83.

Men’s 1650 free

  • NCAA Record: Bobby Finke (Florida): 14:12.08
  • SEC Record: Bobby Finke (Florida): 14:12.08
  • SEC Meet Record: Bobby Finke (Florida): 14:12.08
  • NCAA A Standard: 14:37.31
  • NCAA B Standard: 15:26.19

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Trey Freeman (Florida): 14:39.74
  2. Jake Magahey (Georgia): 14:40.20
  3. Tyler Watson (Florida): 14:40.45
  4. Michael Bonson (Auburn): 14:44.63
  5. Oskar Lindholm (Florida): 14:50.78
  6. Alfonso Mestre (Florida): 14:53.32
  7. Nicholas Hernandez-Tome (Florida): 14:54.46
  8. Jack VanDeusen (Florida): 14:55.57

In a thrilling race that came down to the touch, Florida junior Trey Freeman ran down the field with a blistering 23.9 split on the final 50 to win the mile by less than four tenths over Georgia’s Jake Magahey. At the 1600 mark, Freeman flipped in third behind both Magahey and teammate Tyler Watson, though powered home to win in 14:39.74.

Despite missing Olympic mile champion Bobby Finke, the Florida men seemed to manage just fine. The Gators finished with 7 of the top 9 finishers in the event. Breaking up the Gator hegemony was Magahey, who finished runner-up in 14:40.20, and Auburn’s Michael Bonson, who finished fourth in 14:44.63. This meet has served as a bit of breakout for the sophomore Bonson, who qualified for the A final in the 500 and 200 free earlier in the meet.

Oskar Lindholm had the fastest time out of the early heats, posting a 14:50.78 that ended up being good enough for 5th.

Women’s 200 back

  • NCAA Record: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin): 1:47.24
  • SEC Record: Rhyan White (Alabama): 1:48.06
  • SEC Meet Record: Gemma Spofforth (Florida): 1:48.34
  • NCAA A Standard: 1:50.50
  • NCAA B Standard: 1:57.11

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Rhyan White (BAMA): 1:50.22
  2. Caitlin Brooks (UKY): 1:50.73
  3. Sophie Sorenson (UKY): 1:52.22
  4. Mari Kraus (SCAR): 1:53.11
  5. Morgan Liberto (BAMA): 1:53.31
  6. Aviv Barzelay (TAMU): 1:53.77
  7. Parker Herren (UKY): 1:54.58
  8. Meredith Rees (MIZZ): 1:55.21

Alabama’s Rhyan White completed the women’s backstroke sweep with a win in the 200 back, but was pushed hard by Kentucky junior Caitlin Brooks. The two swam nearly even for the first 150 yards, with Brooks flipping first at the 150 turn. Brooks faded down the stretch, however, opening the door for White to emerge victorious in 1:50.22 to Brooks’ 1:50.73. The swim was a great swim for Brooks, however, with her previous lifetime best heading into the meet sitting at 1:51.55.

Kentucky, which has had one of the nation’s best women’s 200 backstroke group the last several year, showed their depth in this race. Senior Sophie Sorenson finished third in 1:52.22, while her senior classmate Parker Herren finished 7th in 1:54.58. The result help the Wildcats in the close race for second, where they are up 18 points on Georgia and 72 on Alabama.

Men’s 200 back

  • NCAA Record: Ryan Murphy (California): 1:35.73
  • SEC Record: Shaine Casas (Texas A&M): 1:35.75
  • SEC Meet Record: Shaine Casas (Texas A&M): 1:36.85
  • NCAA A Standard: 1:39.13
  • NCAA B Standard: 1:45.04

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Kieran Smith (FLOR): 1:39.51
  2. Ethan Gogulski (TAMU): 1:39.58
  3. Anze Erzen (TAMU): 1:40.31
  4. Bradley Dunham (UGA): 1:40.69
  5. Jack Dahlgren (MIZZ): 1:41.08
  6. Jake Marcum (BAMA): 1:41.26
  7. Lleyton Smith (AUB): 1:42.04
  8. Eric Stelmar (BAMA): 1:42.18

Florida senior Kieran Smith has opted to swim some “off” events by his standards over the last couple of days of these championships, but it hasn’t stopped him from winning NCAA titles. In the 200 back, he just narrowly outtouched Texas A&M junior Ethan Gogulski 1:39.51 to 1:39.58. Interestingly, the only individual event that Smith didn’t win was the 500 free, the event in which he is the American Record holder.

For Gogulski, that is a massive drop, as his lifetime best of 1:40.87 came in the prelims earlier this morning, and he now dips under the 1:40 barrier for the first time in his career.

Texas A&M placed two swimmers on the podium, with junior Anze Erzen touching in third in 1:40.31, dropping .05 from his prelim swim. Top qualifier Bradley Dunham of Georgia faded to fourth and off the podium with a 1:40.69, over a tenth slower than his prelim swim.

Women’s 100 free

  • NCAA Record: Simone Manuel (Stanford): 45.56
  • SEC Record: Erika Brown (Tennessee): 45.83
  • SEC Meet Record: Erika Brown (Tennessee): 45.83
  • NCAA A Standard: 47.18
  • NCAA B Standard: 49.51

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Morgan Scott (BAMA): 47.32
  2. Kalia Antoniou (BAMA): 47.67
  3. Diana Petkova (BAMA): 47.82
  4. Riley Gaines (UKY): 47.88
  5. Cora Dupre (BAMA): 47.91
  6. Tjasa Pintar (TENN): 48.41
  7. Jasmine Rumley (TENN): 48.49
  8. Trude Rothrock (TENN): 48.85

The Alabama Crimson tide swept the three podium spots in the women’s 100 free, with senior Morgan Scott reigning as the sprint queen after winning the 50 free on Wednesday and now winning the 100 in 47.32. Teammate Kalia Antoniou had some redemption after missing the A final in the 50, finishing runner-up here in 47.67. Rounding out the podium was Diana Petkova, who touched third in 47.82.

Alabama also had the fifth place finisher, Cora Dupre, who touched in 47.91. The results here should solidify their place as the prohibitive favorite on the 400 free relay later tonight. The result now vaults the Crimson Tide into second place with just the 200 breast, platform diving and 400 free relay to go.

Breaking up the Bama quartet was Kentucky’s Riley Gaines, who won both the 200 free and 200 fly at these championships. Gaines finished fourth in 47.88, over a half second off of her seed coming into the meet.

The Tennessee Lady Vols finished 6-7-8 in the event, with Tjasa Pintar, Jasmine Rumley and Trude Rothrock.

Men’s 100 free

  • NCAA Record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida): 39.90
  • SEC Record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida): 39.90
  • SEC Meet Record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida): 41.07
  • NCAA A Standard: 41.71
  • NCAA B Standard: 43.80

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Brooks Curry (LSU): 40.99
  2. Jordan Crooks (TENN): 41.64
  3. Adam Chaney (FLOR): 41.83
  4. Macguire McDuff (FLOR): 42.24
  5. Kayolan Bratanov (TAMU): 42.39
  6. Eric Friese (FLOR): 42.65
  7. Aleksey Tarasenko (TENN): 42.86
  8. Kaique Alves (BAMA): 42.93

LSU’s Brooks Curry and Tennessee’s Jordan Crooks blasted out early, with Crooks leading slightly at the 50 19.3 to Curry’s 19.4. Curry had the much better back half, however, powering to the wall in 21.52 to break Caeleb Dressel’s SEC Meet Record in 40.99.

Crooks settled for the silver, in a new lifetime best in 41.64. The meet has been a massive coming out party for the freshman from the Cayman Islands, winning the 50 free on Wednesday and also putting up a podium finish in the 100 fly. There is now no doubt that Crooks will is one of the top sprint names to watch for next month at the NCAA Championships. Crooks’ teammate Aleksey Tarasenko finished 7th for the Vols.

Florida sophomore Adam Chaney, who won the 100 back yesterday, took third in 41.83. Another Florida Gator, junior Eric Friese, also competed in the A final, finishing 6th in 42.65.

Women’s 200 breast

  • NCAA Record: Lily King (Indiana): 2:02.60
  • SEC Record: Bethany Galat (Texas A&M): 2:03.26
  • SEC Meet Record: Sydney Pickrem (Texas A&M): 2:04.62
  • NCAA A Standard: 2:06.58
  • NCAA B Standard: 2:13.97

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Gillian Davey (UKY): 2:06.21
  2. Zoie Hartman (UGA): 2:06.27
  3. Mona McSharry (TENN): 2:07.29
  4. Bailey Bonnett (UKY): 2:07.96
  5. Alexis Yager (TENN): 2:08.42
  6. Danielle Dellatorre (UGA): 2:08.45
  7. Avery Wiseman (BAMA): 2:08.94
  8. Cat Wright (BAMA): 2:10.88

In a thrilling women’s 200 breast final, Davey, Hartman and McSharry all turned even at 150 turn. It was the Kentucky junior Gillian Davey who came out on top, however, touching in 2:06.21, .06 ahead of Georgia junior Zoie Hartman‘s 2:06.27. Tennessee’s Mona McSharry, who won the 100 breast at these championships, faded significantly over the final 50 to finish in third in 2:07.29.

Kentucky also earned a fourth place finish from Bailey Bonnett, who touched in 2:07.96. The Alabama Crimson Tide picked up a pair of A final scorers as well, with Avery Wiseman and Cat Wright finishing 7th and 8th overall.

With just the platform diving and 400 free relay to go, the Tennessee Lady Vols have easily clinched the team title. Kentucky now has a 29 point cushion over Alabama and a 55 point lead over Georgia. All three schools have a competitor in the platform diving final, and Alabama should have the edge in the 400 free relay.

Men’s 200 breast

  • NCAA Record: Will Licon (Texas): 1:47.91
  • SEC Record: Nic Fink (Georgia): 1:50.80
  • SEC Meet Record: Nic Fink (Georgia): 1:51.58
  • NCAA A Standard: 1:52.28
  • NCAA B Standard: 1:58.43

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Derek Maas (BAMA): 1:51.56
  2. Reid Mikuta (AUB): 1:52.09
  3. Andres Puente Bustamante (TAMU): 1:52.77
  4. Amro Al-Wir (FLOR): 1:53.90
  5. Kevin Vargas (FLOR): 1:54.45
  6. Will Goodwin (MIZZ): 1:54.67
  7. Vincent Ribeiro (TAMU): 1:54.76
  8. Jarel Dillard (TENN): 1:55.48

Alabama junior Derek Maas completed the breaststroke sweep, winning the 200 breast in 1:51.56, breaking the SEC meet record of 1:51.58 held by Georgia’s Nic Fink. Maas had remarkably even splits, swimming 28.7/28.8/28.8 over the final three 50s to take the win by a half second.

Coming in second was his Auburn rival Reid Mikuta, who touched in 1:52.09. Both men were under the NCAA A cut in the event and officially punch their ticket to Atlanta in the 200 breast.

With just one event to go the men’s team race for second is as close as it could be. Alabama currently sits in second with 884 points, just two ahead of Tennessee. Only the men’s 400 free relay remains, where Tennessee seems to have the likely advantage after having 2 100 free A finalists to Alabama’s 1. To secure a second place finish the Vols need to either win the relay OR beat Alabama by two places (ex: 3rd to 5th). If the Vols don’t win the relay and finish one place ahead of the Crimson Tide, the two will tie for second.

Women’s platform diving

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Tanesha Lucoe (BAMA): 304.10
  2. Helle Tuxen (LSU): 303.15
  3. Kyndal Knight (UKY): 289.95
  4. Montserrat Lavenant (LSU): 275.70
  5. Gretchen Wensuc (AUB): 271.95
  6. Maha Amer (FLOR): 260.15
  7. Elettra Neroni (FLOR): 232.00
  8. Meghan Wenzel (UGA): 197.90

Junior Tanesha Lucoe took home the title in platform diving for the Alabama Crimson Tide, just edging out LSU’s Helle Tuxen by less than a point. Given that Alabama’s diving coach is a graduate assistant, makes the feat even more impressive. The win puts the Crimson Tide now 36 points up on Georgia after Meghan Wenzel’s 8th place finish, locking the Crimson Tide in 3rd and Georgia in 4th in the team race, barring DQ’s in the 400 free relay. Which, given Alabama’s extremely aggressive relay starts this week, can’t be totally ruled out.

Despite the victory, the third place finish for Kentucky’s Kyndal Knight essentially solidifies the Wildcats in second, barring a DQ in the 400 free relay.

Women’s 400 free relay

  • NCAA Record: California: 3:06.96
  • SEC Record: Georgia: 2:08.97
  • SEC Meet Record: Georgia: 3:09.18
  • NCAA A Standard: 3:14.50
  • NCAA B Standard: 3:16.35

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Alabama: 3:10.86
  2. Tennessee: 3:11.38
  3. Florida: 3:12.37
  4. Texas A&M: 3:14.24
  5. Arkansas: 3:14.69
  6. Georgia: 3:15.20
  7. LSU: 3:15.71
  8. Missouri: 3:16.29

The Alabama Crimson Tide won the final women’s event of the meet, swimming a 3:10.36 to win the 400 free relay by over a second. It was a true team effort by the Tide with no one standout split. Diana Petkova led off in 47.69, and followed by 100 free champion Morgan Scott’s 47.17. Scott was then handed off to Kalia Antoniou, who split 47.99 and Cora Dupre anchored in 47.51. All four women finished in the top 5 of the 100 free earlier in the night.

The Tennessee Lady Vols capped off their SEC team championship with a silver medal in the 400 free relay. Julia Mrozinski led off in 47.92, and was followed by Ellen Walshe (48.21), Jasmine Rumley (47.56) and Tjasa Pintar (47.69).

Both Florida and Texas A&M picked up new NCAA A cuts in the event, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively. The Kentucky Wildcats finished 9th overall and secured a runner-up team finish to the Lady Vols after winning the title last year.

Men’s 400 free relay

  • NCAA Record: NC State: 2:44.31
  • SEC Record: Florida: 2:45.73
  • SEC Meet Record: Florida: 2:46.03
  • NCAA A Standard: 2:50.99
  • NCAA B Standard: 2:52.46

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Florida: 2:46.91
  2. Tennessee: 2:48.46
  3. Alabama: 2:49.11
  4. Georgia: 2:50.65
  5. Texas A&M 2:52.05
  6. LSU: 2:52.07
  7. Auburn: 2:52.16
  8. Kentucky: 2:53.13

The Florida men capped off a dominant SEC Championships with a commanding win in the 400 free relay with a 2:46.91. The Gators were led off by Macguire McDuff in 42.65, who was then followed by Adam Chaney’s 41.32, Eric Friese’s 41.63 and Kieran Smith‘s 41.31 anchor. The win was less than a second off of Florida’s own meet record and closed out their 10th straight SEC title.

The Tennessee Volunteers wrapped up an impressive meet with a silver in the 400 free relay, touching in 2:48.46. Jordan Crooks was the star again, leading off in 41.44, a new lifetime best for the freshman. He was followed by Micah Chambers (42.75), Bjoern Kamman (42.17) and Aleksey Tarasenko (42.10). They were followed closely by the Alabama Crimson Tide, who finished third in 2:49.11.

With Tennessee finishing 2nd and Alabama finishing 3rd, the two programs tie for second in the final team rankings with 938 points. The tie for second is the highest SEC finish for Tennessee since they were runner-ups in 2001, and that team went on to finish third at NCAAs that season.

Georgia finished just off the podium but put up an NCAA A time with a 2:50.65. Senior Zach Hils let the Bulldogs with a 42.09 split in the second leg.

Final Women’s Team Standings:

  1. Tennessee: 1313.5
  2. Kentucky: 1043
  3. Alabama: 1038
  4. Georgia: 986
  5. Florida: 905
  6. Texas A&M: 625
  7. Auburn: 584
  8. LSU: 541
  9. Missouri: 485.5
  10. South Carolina: 460
  11. Arkansas: 397
  12. Vanderbilt: 123

Final Men’s Team Standings:

  1. Florida: 1414
  2. (TIE) Tennessee/Alabama: 938
  3. Georgia: 919
  4. Texas A&M 856.5
  5. Auburn: 827,5
  6. Missouri: 716.5
  7. Kentucky: 600
  8. LSU: 505
  9. South Carolina: 417.5

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Ghost
9 months ago

Does anyone have a link to the final heat of the men’s mile?

Ghost
Reply to  Ghost
9 months ago

I found it. Thanks

Swammer2013
9 months ago

Incredible fight for second between Bama and Kentucky women. Congrats to both!

Aquajosh
9 months ago

Florida’s men were projected to win by about 300 points, and despite losing multiple SEC champions in the eleventh hour due to COVID protocols, despite the divers who were so dominant all season being way off, despite losing crucial pieces to their relays, they ended up winning by the largest margin in their ten-year run, nearly 500 points. Everyone leveled up. Amro Al-Wir was originally an ALTERNATE, and he won the B-final in the 100 breast, placed 4th in the 200, and was called up to fill the huge shoes of Dillon Hillis (defending SEC 100 breast champion, and 2nd at NCs in the 100 breast last year) on the 400 medley relay. Tyler Watson dropped 20 seconds in the… Read more »

ClubCoach
Reply to  Aquajosh
9 months ago

SwimSwam did a story on NC State possibly having to leave some qualifiers behind for NCAAs. Are we going to see three maybe four teams have to leave swimmers behind (Texas, NC State. Florida, possibly Cal)?

Alice Watts
9 months ago

#RTR

Swammom
9 months ago

Success creates success! The 2020 Lady Vols SEC championship and subsequent grad group success has been a major plus for recruiting -evident in the freshman contribution this year! Don’t overlook the 2nd place finish by the Vols either – a major step forward for the program. The entire program is led by a team of superb coaches who deserve much credit!

Ghost
9 months ago

Georgia 4th both men and women

kazoo
9 months ago

Very funny!

Bignowhere
9 months ago

“ it hasn’t stopped him from winning NCAA titles” (about Kieran Smith’s 200 back).

Getting ahead of ourselves a bit here.