2023 SEC Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


Day 4 prelims from the 2023 SEC Championships will feature heats in the men’s and women’s 200 fly, 100 back and breast, along with the opening round of the women’s platform diving event a few hours later.

Alabama’s Rhyan White and Tennessee’s Mona McSharry will begin their quest for successful title defenses in the women’s 100 back and 100 breast, respectively, while a new champion will be crowned in the 200 fly with the graduation of Kentucky’s Riley Gaines.

White will actually be aiming for a four-peat in the 100 back, having won every title dating back to the 2020 championships.

It will be a similar situation on the men’s side, as Florida’s Adam Chaney aims to repeat in the 100 back and Alabama’s Derek Maas looks to go back-to-back in the 100 breast, while the 200 fly will see a new winner as reigning two-time champ Luca Urlando is out for the remainder of the season with an injury.

Arkansas’ Betsy Wizard (1:54.33) and Missouri’s Clement Secchi (1:41.81) are currently the fastest swimmers in the SEC this season in the women’s and men’s 200 fly, respectively.



  1. Florida – 760
  2. Tennessee – 483
  3. Kentucky – 452
  4. LSU – 439
  5. Georgia – 391
  6. South Carolina – 385
  7. Alabama – 364
  8. Auburn – 326
  9. Texas A&M – 319
  10. Arkansas – 245
  11. Missouri – 217
  12. Vanderbilt – 94


  1. Florida – 810.5
  2. Texas A&M – 628
  3. Auburn – 560
  4. Tennessee – 537
  5. Georgia – 424.5
  6. Alabama – 354
  7. Missouri – 297.5
  8. South Carolina – 270.5
  9. Kentucky – 266
  10. LSU – 177

Women’s 200 Butterfly

  • NCAA Record: 1:49.51, Ella Eastin (STAN) – 2018 Pac-12 Championships
  • SEC Record: 1:51.51, Riley Gaines (UK) – 2022 SEC Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 1:51.51, Riley Gaines (UK) – 2022
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:52.86
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:56.14
  1. Sara Stotler (TENN), 1:54.61
  2. Jenna Bridges (LSU), 1:55.14
  3. Callie Dickinson (UGA), 1:55.50
  4. Olivia Theall (TAMU), 1:55.56
  5. Betsy Wizard (UARK), 1:55.98
  6. Greta Pelzek (SCAR), 1:55.99
  7. Amanda Ray (FLOR), 1:56.11
  8. Izzy Gati (UKY), 1:56.19

Tennessee sophomore Sara Stotler posted the fastest time of the morning in the women’s 200 fly to kick off Friday morning action in College Station, clocking 1:54.61 to fall just .01 shy of her personal best set at last season’s SECs.

Stotler was in a similar position last year, having qualified second out of the prelims with a PB of 1:54.60 before ultimately falling to fifth in the final in 1:55.80.

Betsy Wizard, the top seed coming in, placed second to Stotler in the sixth and final heat in 1:55.98, moving through to the final in fifth. Wizard, a freshman at Arkansas, has been as fast as 1:54.33 this season which leads the conference.

LSU sophomore Jenna Bridges dropped nearly two seconds to claim the first circle-seeded heat and qualify second for the final, clocking 1:55.14. Last year as a freshman, Bridges placed 18th in this event.

Last year’s third-place finisher Callie Dickinson of UGA advanced in third in 1:55.50, just shy of her season-best (1:55.21) set at midseason.

South Carolina’s Greta Pelzek skipped the 1:56s, bringing her best time down from 1:57.14 to 1:55.99 to advance sixth into the final after placing 15th in 2022.

Men’s 200 Butterfly

  • NCAA Record: 1:37.35, Jack Conger (TEX) – 2017 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Record: 1:38.69, Shaine Casas (TAMU) – 2021 American Short Course Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 1:39.00, Luca Urlando (UGA) – 2022
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:40.20
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:42.42
  1. Joaquín González Piñero (FLOR), 1:41.60
  2. Mason Wilby (UKY), 1:42.24
  3. Martin Espernberger (TENN), 1:42.56
  4. Jan Zubik (UMIZ) / Andrew Abruzzo (UGA), 1:42.57
  5. Clement Secchi (UMIZ), 1:42.66
  6. Mason Laur (FLOR), 1:42.77
  7. Mateo Miceli (BAMA), 1:43.12

Florida sophomore Joaquín González Piñero took the top seed of the men’s 200 fly with a bullet, crushing the first circle-seeded heat in a new best time of 1:41.60.

González Piñero had previously been 1:42.30 at the Georgia Fall Invitational, and last season, won the ‘B’ final at this meet in a then PB of 1:43.14.

Qualifiers second through seventh were tightly bunched, separated by just over half a second.

Leading that group is Kentucky graduate senior Mason Wilby, who had the fastest opening 100 in the field at 48.12 and then managed to hang on to win the fourth heat in 1:42.24 and qualify second into the final. Wilby was third last year in 1:40.15.

The fifth and final heat went to Tennessee freshman Martin Espernberger, who out-touched Mizzou’s Jan Zubik, 1:42.50 to 1:42.57, as they move through to the final in third and fourth, respectively.

Georgia’s Andrew Abruzzo hit a personal best time of 1:42.57 to match Zubik’s time and qualify for the final tied for fourth.

Women’s 100 Backstroke

  • NCAA Record: 48.74, Katharine Berkoff (NCSU) – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Record: 50.02, Rhyan White (BAMA) – 2020 SEC Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 50.02, Rhyan White (BAMA) – 2020
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 50.89
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 52.46
  1. Josephine Fuller (TENN), 51.48
  2. Eboni McCarty (UGA), 51.50
  3. Rhyan White (BAMA), 51.56
  4. Meredith Rees (UMIZ), 51.87
  5. Ellie Waldrep (AUB), 51.88
  6. Aris Runnels (FLOR), 52.06
  7. Andrea Sansores (UARK), 52.10
  8. Meghan Lee (AUB), 52.34

Tennessee sophomore Josephine Fuller set a personal best time to lead the women’s 100 backstroke field into tonight’s final, with the top 13 swimmers all within a second of each other in the prelims.

Fuller used a quick final 25 to out-touch three-time defending champion Rhyan White in the final heat in 51.48, lowering her previous best of 51.81 set at the Tennessee Invitational in November.

Fuller placed sixth last season as a freshman in 52.00.

White clocked 51.56 to qualify third, while Georgia’s Eboni McCarty dipped under her PB by .03 in 51.50 to advance second overall.

Last year’s fourth-place finisher, Mizzou senior Meredith Rees, finished in that same position this morning in 51.87, while Auburn sophomore Ellie Waldrep joined the sub-52 crew in 51.88 for fifth.

Notably missing the ‘A’ final was Kentucky senior Caitlin Brooks, who placed third last year but found herself back in 11th in 52.39.

The time required to make the ‘A’ final last year, 52.71, would’ve been 16th this morning.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

  • NCAA Record: 43.35, Luca Urlando (UGA) – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Record: 43.35, Luca Urlando (UGA) – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 44.10, Zane Waddell (BAMA) – 2020
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 44.79
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 45.87
  1. Adam Chaney (FLOR), 44.64
  2. Nate Stoffle (AUB), 45.05
  3. Bradley Dunham (UGA), 45.23
  4. Michael Laitarovsky (SCAR), 45.49
  5. Wesley Ng (UGA), 45.54
  6. Jack Dahlgren (UMIZ), 45.55
  7. Matthew Menke (BAMA), 45.59
  8. Nick Simons (TENN), 45.63

Adam Chaney put himself in position to defend his SEC title in the 100 back after a blistering prelim swim, as the Florida sophomore touched in 44.64 to lead the field by more than four-tenths.

He notably split 22.32 on the way out and 22.32 on the way home, with his first 50 being the slowest among ‘A’ finalists. That indicates he’ll have more in the tank tonight.

Chaney now overtakes Leon Marchand (44.77) for the top time in the NCAA this season, and he was within three-tenths of his personal best of 44.35 set at the 2022 NCAAs.

Auburn sophomore Nate Stoffle knocked two-tenths off his PB to qualify second overall in 45.05 as he aims to improve on his fourth-place finish from last season.

Also setting a new best was Georgia senior Bradley Dunham, who took second to Stoffle in the last heat in 45.23 to qualify third into the final, while South Carolina’s Michael Laitarovsky (45.49) set a PB and new program record of his won to advance in fourth.

After only three swimmers did so in the 2022 prelims, a whopping 10 men went sub-46 this morning, as Texas A&M’s Ethan Gogulski, who was the runner-up last season, and Auburn’s Aidan Stoffle, who came in ranked seventh in the nation at 45.27, a, were locked out of the final after clocking 45.86 and 45.96 to finish ninth and 10th, respectively.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

  • NCAA Record: 55.73, Lilly King (IU) – 2019 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Record: 57.18, Mona McSharry (TENN) – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 57.28, Breeja Larson (TAMU) – 2014
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 58.10
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 59.87
  1. Mona McSharry (TENN), 57.37
  2. Zoie Hartman (UGA), 58.66
  3. Avery Wiseman (BAMA), 58.69
  4. Stasya Makarova (AUB), 59.00
  5. Vanessa Herrmann (UARK), 59.40
  6. Nina Kucheran (FLOR), 59.44
  7. Diana Petkova (BAMA), 59.49
  8. Bobbi Kennett (TAMU), 59.55

Mona McSharry came within two-tenths of her SEC Record to stamp her authority on the women’s 100 breast field this morning, blasting her way to a time of 57.37 to take over second in the nation this season.

McSharry, who split 26.99/30.38 en route to her impressive swim, moves up from eighth (58.45) to second in the NCAA behind USC’s Kaitlyn Dobler (56.94) this season, narrowly leapfrogging the Texas duo of Lydia Jacoby (57.45) and Anna Elendt (57.48).

McSharry, a junior at Tennessee, won the title last season in 57.50, set the conference last season at NCAAs in 57.18, finishing fourth.

Fresh off an impressive win in the 200 IM on Wednesday, Georgia senior Zoie Hartman claimed the second seed from the penultimate heat in 58.66, while Alabama sophomore Avery Wiseman was also under 59 seconds in 58.69 for third. Both swimmers hold best times in the 57-high range, set in 2021, and placed second and third to McSharry last season.

Six of the ‘A’ finalists made it back into the top eight again this year, with McSharry, Hartman and Wiseman joined by Arkansas’ Vanessa Herrmann (59.40), Alabama’s Diana Petkova (59.49) and Texas A&M’s Bobbi Kennett, who were fourth, fifth and eighth last year.

The newcomers to the final will be Florida’s Nina Kucheran, a graduate transfer out of FSU, and Auburn sophomore Stasya Makarova, who won the consolation final last year.

Kucheran’s time of 59.44 marked her first time sub-1:00 since last season’s NCAAs, while Makarova’s 59.00 fell just shy of her 58.91 PB set at the Georgia Fall Invitational.

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

  • NCAA Record: 49.69, Ian Finnerty (IU) – 2018 NCAA Championships
  • SEC Record: 50.03, Caeleb Dressel (FLOR) – 2018 SEC Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 50.03, Caeleb Dressel (FLOR) – 2018
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 51.40
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 52.20
  1. Aleksas Savickas (FLOR), 50.73
  2. Dillon Hillis (FLOR), 50.90
  3. Reid Mikuta (AUB), 51.48
  4. Julian Smith (FLOR), 51.52
  5. Ben Patton (UMIZ), 51.53
  6. Michael Houlie (TENN), 51.90
  7. Derek Maas (BAMA), 52.01
  8. Andres Puente Bustamante (TAMU), 52.04

It was a Gator invasion in the heats of the men’s 100 breaststroke, as Florida claimed three of the top four seeds including Aleksas Savickas and Dillon Hillis becoming the first two swimmers sub-51 this season.

Savickas, a Lithuanian freshman, dropped more than a second off his previous best time of 51.88 in 50.73, earning him the #1 ranking in the NCAA this season. The mark had previously belonged to ASU’s Leon Marchand (51.01).

Also going under the 51-second barrier was Hillis, the 2021 SEC champion, as he put up a time of 50.90 to undercut his previous best of 50.96 set at the 2021 NCAAs.

Auburn’s Reid Mikuta, who came into the meet as the fastest swimmer in the conference this season at 51.14, posted the third-fastest time of the session in 51.48, while another Florida Gator, sophomore Julian Smith, qualified fourth with a new best time of 51.52.

Mizzou’s Ben Patton (51.53) and Tennessee’s Michael Houlie (51.9o) also cracked the 52-second barrier, giving this year’s prelims double the amount of swimmers sub-52 compared to last season.

Defending champion Derek Maas of Alabama made the final but will find himself out in Lane 1 tonight after clocking 52.01 for seventh.

One notable miss was 2022 runner-up Jarel Dillard, as the Tennessee fifth-year touched in 52.21 to place 11th.

Women’s Platform Diving

  • SEC Record: 356.10, Victoria Lamp (TENN) – 2014 SEC Championships
  • SEC Championship Record: 356.10, Victoria Lamp (TENN) – 2014 SEC Championships

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Hey Man
9 months ago

All 24 finalists from 2022 in the men’s 100 back returned this year. Tough to crack into top 8–Props to freshman Nick Simons for making the A final.

Gummy Shark
9 months ago

Awesome job to all these swimmers!

former D3 swimming prospect
9 months ago

Adam Cheney taking a bath on the first 50 smells like sub 44 tonight. absolutely silly

9 months ago

Florida has a legit chance to win 3/5 relays at NCs

2 free they should EASILY win
2 medley should win as long as NC State’s breaststroker doesn’t pop a 22 mid
4 medley will be hard to be (44 low Chaney, 50 mid Savicksas or Hillis, 44 mid-high Freise and 41 low Liendo. They could also run Chaney/Savicksas/Liendo/MacDuff)

4 medley is my most anticipated relay at NCs.

Could very well be 3+ teams up 3 minutes. IU, Florida, NCS, even Cal

Reply to  Andrew
9 months ago

For this meet, I feel like they will use Liendo on fly and anchor with McDuff (flat start 41.95), but hopefully Friese just needs more rest and will be ready for NCs. Either way, the school record is 3:01.00 and I think it’ll go down tonight.

Reply to  Andrew
9 months ago

I think you are sleeping on Cal for the 2 free relay. They could throw down something fast.

9 months ago

ACC is a joke compared to this

Reply to  Oops
9 months ago

Some of the events are faster at ACC…

9 months ago

how’s Chaney gonna go an even split 44.6 and still just chill in prelims love that he tried this haven’t seen that specifically before in an elite 100 Yard back like this.

9 months ago

Hot take: this meet is stupid fast.

I really can’t fathom what this meet looks like when you add Texas 😅

9 months ago

Gator men top seed in every event tonight

Reply to  chickenlamp
9 months ago

Tennessee women too

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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