2023 SEC Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The quest for the 2023 SEC Championship titles begins tonight in College Station, Texas. This first night of finals features men’s 1-meter diving, the 200 medley relay, women’s 3-meter diving, and the 800 freestyle relay.

Last year, the Florida men won every relay en route to their tenth straight conference title. They’ll look to continue their streak, but with Alabama’s depth in the 800 free relay, their relay win streak might be snapped on night one. Alabama holds down the top seed in the 200 medley relay on the psych sheets, but with the departures of Morgan Scott and Cora Dupre it seems like a long shot for them to keep a grip on first. The question then is who takes their place–will it be Auburn? Georgia?

Tonight we’ll also get our first look at Canadian Olympians Maggie MacNeil and Josh LiendoThe two are at opposite ends of their NCAA careers, but with MacNeil aiming to go out swinging and Liendo looking to announce himself as an NCAA title threat, they’re sure to have some exciting swims here–even if the fastest ones won’t come until March.

Men’s 1-Meter Diving — Finals

  • SEC Record: 479.10, Juan Hernandez (LSU) — 2018 SEC Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 479.10, Juan Hernandez (LSU) — 2018 SEC Championships

Top 8:

  1. Victor Povzner (TAMU) – 375.50
  2. Bryden Hattie (TENN) – 364.40
  3. Rhett Hensley (TAMU) – 343.60
  4. Takuto Endo (TAMU) – 342.45
  5. Carlo Lopez (UMIZ) – 339.95
  6. Allen Bottego (TAMU) – 334.5
  7. Conner Pruitt (AUB) – 319.45
  8. Manny Vazquez Bas (SCAR) – 317.60

The home team showed up for the men’s 1-meter diving. Texas A&M’s Victor Povzner, Rhett Hensley, Takuto Endo, and Allen Bottego went 1-3-4-6 in this final, raking in massive points for the Aggies. Combined with the semifinals that happened at the conclusion of prelims, Texas A&M has shot out to a massive lead in the men’s meet. They have 129 points, more than double second place Auburn at 56.

Women’s 200 Medley Relay — Finals

  • NCAA Record: 1:31.81, Virginia – 2022 ACC Championships
  • SEC Record:  1:33.94, Alabama — 2022 SEC Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 1:33.94, Alabama — 2022
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:36.24

Top 12:

  1. Alabama (White, Wiseman, Jones, Antoniou) – 1:34.20
  2. Florida (Runnels, Kucheran, Peoples, Mack) – 1:34.76
  3. Tennessee (Fuller, McSharry, Carlton, Rumley) – 1:35.53
  4. Auburn – 1:36.02
  5. Arkansas – 1:36.32
  6. Kentucky – 1:36.43
  7. Georgia – 1:36.49
  8. LSU – 1:36.59
  9. Missouri – 1:36.80
  10. South Carolina – 1:37.54
  11. Texas A&M – 1:38.18
  12. Vanderbilt – 1:40.57

Maggie MacNeil got her first (and only) SEC Championship started with a bang. Instead of swimming fly, which she usually does on the medley relay, the fifth-year took on backstroke duties. The choice paid off big, as she fired off a 22.52, the fastest 50 backstroke of all-time. That’s just ahead of the 22.65 that Gretchen Walsh threw down less than 45 minutes ago at the ACC Championships.

After concern about how their relays would fare given big losses from the roster, Alabama answered by holding onto the top spot in the conference. Rhyan White (23.76), Avery Wiseman (26.51), Emily Jones (22.88), and Kalia Antoniou (21.05) combined for 1:34.20, touching over a second ahead of Florida.

The Gators dropped a massive 3.10 seconds from their seed time, posting 1:34.76 for second. Aris Runnels lead off in 23.75 before handing things off to fifth-year Nina Kucheranwho split 26.29. At this point in the face, they were ahead of the Crimson Tide, but Alabama caught them on the back half, where Olivia Peoples split 23.36 on fly and Katie Mack split 21.36 on free.

Men’s 200 Medley Relay — Finals

  • NCAA Record: 1:21.13, Florida – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Record: 1:21.13, Florida – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 1:22.06, Florida — 2022
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:23.76

Top 10: (Unofficial)

  1. Tennessee (Kammann, Houlie, Crooks, Caribe) – 1:21.43
  2. Florida (Chaney, Savickas, Friese, Liendo) – 1:21.73
  3. Auburn (A. Stoffle, Mikuta, N. Stoffle, Makinen) – 1:22.98
  4. Georgia – 1:23.01
  5. Texas A&M – 1:23.34
  6. Missouri – 1:23.28
  7. Alabama – 1:24.23
  8. South Carolina – 1:24.40
  9. Kentucky – 1:28.66


Tennessee brought the heat in the 200 medley relay, scorching a new meet record of 1:21.43. Highlighting the swim was Jordan Crooks, who blazed 18.90 on the fly leg for the fastest 50 fly of all-time. He now owns that record by a considerable margin, beating out Eric Friese and Joe Schooling, who were tied for #1 at 19.36 before Crooks dove in. Around him, Bjoern Kammann led off in 21.07 on back, Michael Houlie split 23.03 on breast, and Gui Caribe brought them home in 18.43. Additionally, their swim seems to be the third fastest all-time, behind Florida and Texas from last year’s NCAAs.

Florida earned another second place in the 200 medley relay, with Adam Chaney leading things off in 20.26, Aleksas Savickas splitting 23.36, Eric Friese swimming 19.91, and Josh Liendo anchoring in 18.20, the fastest free split in the field.

Auburn rounded out the podium in third, finishing just three-hundredths ahead of Georgia. Aidan Stoffle led off for the Tigers in 21.11, Reid Mikuta clocked 22.87 on breast, Nate Stoffle swam 20.21 on fly, and Finnish freshman Kalle Makinen anchored in 18.79. Makinen held off a surging Dillon Downing, who anchored the Dawgs with an 18.33 split. Mik

LSU was disqualified for an early take-off on the second swimmer with a reaction time of -0.12.

Note: It seems that LSU will be time-trialing the 200 medley relay, as a time trial has been added at the end of the 800 free relays.

Women’s 3-Meter Diving — Finals

  • SEC Record: 413.75, Laura Ryan (UGA) — 2014 SEC Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 413.75, Laura Ryan (UGA) — 2014 SEC Championships

Top 8:

  1. Brooke Schultz (SCAR) – 356.35
  2. Sophie Verzyl (SCAR) – 349.65
  3. Chiara Pellacani (LSU) – 341.85
  4. Kyndal Knight (UKY) – 301.65
  5. Grace Cable (TENN) – 299.85
  6. Helle Tuxen (LSU) – 294.05
  7. Ashlynn Sullivan (AUB) – 289.15
  8. Montserrat Lavenant (LSU) – 276.10

Brooke Schultz, the 2022 Championships Diver of the Meet, repeated as the women’s 3-meter board champion. She won with 356.35 points. It was a 1-2 for the Gamecocks, as Schultz’s teammate, sophomore Sophie Verzyl took second place with 349.65. That’s a huge 1-2 for South Carolina, who pick up 60 points from this event alone.

LSU was also well represented, with three divers making the ‘A’ flight. Chiara Pellacani was first among the Tigers, as she rounded out the podium with a third place finish. Helle Tuxen and Montserrat Lavenant earned sixth and eighth for LSU.

Women’s 800 Free Relay — Finals

  • NCAA Record: 6:45.91, Stanford – 2017 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Record: 6:51.80, Georgia — 2016 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 6:52.54, Georgia — 2013
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 7:00.86

Top 12:

  1. Florida (Nikonova, Bates, Weyant, Cronk) – 6:57.11
  2. Tennessee (Douthwright, Mrozinski, Burroughs, Stotler) – 6:58.26
  3. Georgia (Reinstein, Coetzee, Barczyk, Hartman) – 6:58.90
  4. LSU – 7:02.12
  5. Kentucky – 7:03.24
  6. South Carolina – 7:03.57
  7. Alabama – 7:05.36
  8. Auburn – 7:06.49
  9. Arkansas – 7:06.59
  10. Missouri – 7:12.25
  11. Vanderbilt – 7:26.71

DQ: Texas A&M

In what could foreshadow the women’s team title battle, it was Tennessee versus Florida all the way through the women’s 800 free relay. Brooklyn Douthwright had Tennessee in the lead at the first exchange, posting a 1:42.45 to take over from Kelly Pash as the fastest NCAA swimmer in the event so far this season. She handed off to Julia Mrozinski, who split 1:44.85, then Julia Burroughs split 1:45.78, and Sara Stotler anchored in 1:45.18.

Florida ran second to Tennessee for the majority of the race: Ekaterina Nikonova led off in 1:43.96, Talia Bates split 1:43.59, and in her championship debut for the Gators, Emma Weyant split 1:46.27. It was anchor Micayla Cronk who powered Florida to the win as she caught Stotler at the 700-yard mark of the race and never looked back. The Gators touched in 6:57.11 for the win, with Tennessee over a second behind at 6:58.26.

Georgia’s squad of Sloane Reinstein, Dune Coetzee, Jillian Barczyk, and Zoie Hartman also broke 7 minutes. They dropped almost five seconds from their seed time as Reinstein led off in 1:46.25, followed by Coetzee (1:44.76), Barczyk (1:44.51) and Hartman (1:43.38).

LSU grabbed fourth, with Kentucky edging out South Carolina for fifth, 7:03.24 to 7:03.57.

Texas A&M’s relay was disqualified for an early take-off on the first exchange with a -.05 reaction time.

Men’s 800 Free Relay — Finals

  • NCAA Record: 6:03.89, Texas – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Record: 6:05.59, Georgia — 2022 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 6:08.00, Florida — 2022
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 6:16.02

Top 10:

  1. Florida (McDuff, Smith, Mestre, Mitchell) – 6:08.64
  2. Auburn (Bonson, Mathias, Husband, Gadgaard) – 6:12.39
  3. Alabama (Hawke, Alves, Auerbach, Piotrowski) – 6:12.46
  4. Georgia – 6:14.05
  5. Texas A&M – 6:15.38
  6. Missouri – 6:15.71
  7. Kentucky – 6:16.26
  8. LSU – 6:22.46
  9. Tennessee – 6:23.56
  10. South Carolina – 6:26.18

The race for the win came in from the middle of the pool, but it was Missouri’s Jack Dahlgren who was first at the 200-yard mark all the way out in lane 1. Dahlgren clocked 1:31.17, the new top time in the NCAA. That’s also a huge personal best for Dahlgren–it’s his first time under 1:32 as his previous best was 1:32.01 from 2022 NCAAs. As such, it’s a new Missouri program record, and also a new pool record.

The top contenders like Florida and Alabama quickly shot out ahead of Missouri from there though. Florida led off with Macguire McDuff (1:32.48), who turned things over to Julian Smith (1:32.73), Alfonso Mestre (1:31.98), and Jake Mitchell (1:31.45)They combined for a time of 6:08.64, which is about sixth-tenths off the meet record that they set last year.

The Gators were involved in a tight race with Alabama through the middle 400 of the race. Charlie Hawke got things started for the Crimson Tide in 1:31.51, a lifetime best for him by about three-tenths. Kaique Alves split 1:32.51, Cam Auerbach clocked 1:34.14, and Kacper Piotrowski anchored in 1:34.30.

It looked like Alabama had second place locked up, but Auburn’s Mikkel Gadgaard was charging. Gaggaard split 1:33.29 and was able to get his hand on the wall seven-hundredths ahead of Piotrowski to earn second place for Auburn in school record fashion.

Georgia earned fourth in 6:14.05, with the squad of Jake Magahey (1:33.55), Zach Hils (1:32.82), Bradley Dunham (1:33.45), and Mitchell Norton (1:34.23).

The home team took fifth, with Koko Bratanov (1:32.85), Baylor Nelson (1:32.53), Ethan Gogulski (1:34.82), and Collin Fuchs (1:35.18), combining for a 6:15.38.

The top six teams earned ‘A’ cuts, with Missouri rounding out the group in 6:15.71.

Men’s 200 Medley Relay — Time Trial

  • NCAA Record: 1:21.13, Florida – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Record: 1:21.13, Florida – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 1:22.06, Florida — 2022
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:23.76
  1. Alabama (Menke, Maas, Micelli, Korstanje) – 1:23.72

It was Alabama, not LSU, that chose to time trial the medley relay. Presumably, that’s because they missed the NCAA ‘A’ cut during finals, where they swam a 1:24.23. They got the cut this time, getting under it by four-hundredths in 1:23.72.

Matthew Menke led them off in 21.34, followed by Derek Maas (22.92), Mateo Micelli (20.31), and Tim Korstanje (19.15).

That’s a different order than they went with during the original final. The first three legs stayed the same, but they brought Korstanje on instead of Kacper Piotrowski for the freestyle leg. That decision paid off, as Korstanje outsplit Piotrowski 19.15 to 19.57.

Menke was about two-tenths slower in the time trial than he was in the final, but Korstanje made up for that as did Maas and Micelli, who both split faster as well.

Team Scores Thru Day 1


  1. LSU – 178
  2. Florida – 150
  3. Kentucky – 149
  4. South Carolina – 142
  5. Tennessee – 136
  6. Alabama – 131
  7. Auburn – 119
  8. Georgia – 107
  9. Missouri – 105
  10. Arkansas – 97
  11. Vanderbilt – 62
  12. Texas A&M – 56


  1. Texas A&M – 229
  2. Auburn – 166
  3. Tennessee – 159
  4. Florida – 138
  5. Missouri – 126
  6. South Carolina – 115
  7. Ge0rgia – 113
  8. Alabama – 107
  9. Kentucky – 86
  10. LSU – 65

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 months ago

J Mitchell’s anchor was a really good sign for him imo. Really excited for his 500

Former Big10
3 months ago

Kentucky men 200 medley wouldn’t even win most dual meets

Former Big10
3 months ago

LSU swimming… lolz

Last edited 3 months ago by Former Big10
3 months ago

Can swimswam post the race videos. I was unable to find them online

Reply to  SWIM
3 months ago

Texas a&m youtube has them. (tamuswim)

Bailey Ludden
3 months ago

Anyone know Stepanek’s split? I’m assuming she led off before that DQ

Reply to  Bailey Ludden
3 months ago

1:43.48 lead off

3 months ago

Was hoping for a lot better from Weyant

3 months ago

Oof Weyant 1:46.2, slowest split on the relay by 2.3 seconds

Reply to  PVSFree
3 months ago

Thats not her event

Reply to  GatorGuy
3 months ago

Would have been nice to have Ivey in this cycle already.

Reply to  GatorGuy
3 months ago

But you’d think a 4:34 500 swimmer could manage better than 1:46.2.

Reply to  GatorGuy
3 months ago

She’ll probably open her 500 at NCs with that time

Reply to  PVSFree
3 months ago

She went in the water with the UT swimmer and came up about 1.5 body lengths behind. I wondered if she slipped on her relay start. She made up a ton of ground right away but used too much energy and died the last 100.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
3 months ago

I thought she hit the bottom of the pool on her start

Reply to  PVSFree
3 months ago

She’s overrated. This proves it.

3 months ago

Chaney’s 20.2 was lost in the 18.9 craze.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

Read More »