2024 SEC Championship: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap

2024 SEC SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

DAY 3 PRELIMS HEAT SHEET

The 3rd day of the 2024 SEC Championships is here and, with it, we’re sure to get more fantastic racing. As discussed in out scratch report, Florida freshman Bella Sims has scratched both of her events today (400 IM and 200 free), which means she’ll finish the meet out with some combination of the 200 fly, 200 back, and 100 free through the remaining days.

Sims was the top seed and the favorite in the 400 IM and, without her, Florida teammate Emma Weyant is now the top seed by a very healthy margin. Weyant has been 4:03.65 in the event this season and she’s the defending SEC champion in it, having won with her career best of 4:01.18 last year.

No Sims in the 200 free does remove a key player, however, this should still be a highly contested and very exciting event today. Florida fifth year Izzy Ivey comes in as the top seed with a season best of 1:43.03, while Texas A&M’s Chloe Stepanek has also been under 1:44 already this season. Ivey should be viewed as the favorite coming into this morning, as she also has the fastest career best, which is a 1:41.35 that she swam at the 2022 NCAA Championships. Moreover, she split 1:42.19 on Florida’s 800 free relay on the first night of the meet a couple days ago.

Alabama’s Charlie Hawke has really burst onto the men’s 200 free scene in the past year and he comes into this morning as the top seed in the event with his season high of 1:31.30. More specifically, that was his season best until a couple nights ago, when he led Bama’s 800 free relay off in 1:30.75. This should be another great race, as Bama teammate Kaique Alves has been 1:31.97 this season as well, making him the #2 seed. There’s also Tennessee’s Jordan Crooks to look out for. Crooks is fresh off blasting a 17.99 to win the men’s 50 free last night, making him the only swimmer outside of Caeleb Dressel to go under 18 in the event. He’ll no doubt have some great front end speed in the 200 today, so that should make for a really fun race.

Florida’s Josh Liendo comes in as the top seed in the men’s 100 fly this morning, entering with his season best of 44.39, making him the only swimmer in the field to have been under 45 already this season. There’s a chance we see Liendo make a run at the SEC meet record of 44.04 tonight in finals.

TEAM SCORES THRU DAY 2

WOMEN:

  1. Tennessee — 475
  2. Florida — 440
  3. Georgia — 363
  4. Auburn — 312.5
  5. Texas A&M — 256.5
  6. Alabama — 250.5
  7. LSU — 230
  8. South Carolina / Kentucky — 173
  9. (tie)
  10. Missouri — 168.5
  11. Arkansas — 132
  12. Vanderbilt — 94

MEN:

  1. Florida — 622
  2. Texas A&M — 468
  3. Tennessee — 392
  4. Georgia — 381
  5. Auburn — 373
  6. LSU — 266
  7. Kentucky — 191
  8. Alabama — 187
  9. South Carolina — 183
  10. Missouri — 176

WOMEN’S 400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY  – PRELIMS

  • NCAA Record: 3:54.60 – Ella Eastin, Stanford (2018)
  • SEC Record: 3:58.23 – Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M (2022)
  • SEC Championship Record: 3:58.35 – Elizabeth Beisel, Florida (2012)
  • Pool Record: 3:56.54 – Katinka Hosszu, USC (2012)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 4:03.62
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 4:17.30

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Emma Weyant (Florida) – 4:04.62
  2. Zoe Dixon (Florida) – 4:08.07
  3. Hannah Ownbey (Auburn) – 4:09.79
  4. Giulia Goerigk (Texas A&M) – 4:10.18
  5. Anna Auld (Florida) – 4:11.65
  6. Sydney Sanders (Alabama) – 4:12.93
  7. Julia Podkoscielny (Florida) – 4:14.34
  8. Anna Rice (Kentucky) – 4:14.44

Even without Bella Sims in the mix, Florida was dominant in the 400 IM this morning, advancing 4 swimmers to tonight’s ‘A’ final. This morning was led by junior Emma Weyant, who looked smooth as she sped towards the top time of 4:04.62. Weyant was strong all the way around, splitting 56.27 on fly, 1:01.79 on back, 1:09.48 on breast, and 57.08 on free. Those are solid splits across all 4 strokes, but her free split really stuck out to me because 57.08 is already pretty fast to begin with and she looked so relaxed swimming it. It will be interesting to see how quickly she brings the race home tonight in finals.

Teammate Zoe Dixon came in 2nd this morning with a 4:08.07, marking a very nice prelims swim for the sophomore. Dixon had the most front-end speed of anyone in the race this morning, splitting 55.44 on fly and 1:01.17 on back for a very quick 1:56.61 on the opening 200. She holds a career best of 4:06.18 in the event, which she swam at last year’s SEC Championships.

Auburn’s Hannah Ownbey looked very strong this morning as she posted the 3rd-fastest time with a 4:09.79.

MEN’S 400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – PRELIMS

  • NCAA Record: 3:28.82 – Leon Marchand, ASU (2023)
  • SEC Record: 3:33.42 – Chase Kalisz, Georgia (2017)
  • SEC Championship Record: 3:35.76 – Hugo Gonzalez, Auburn (2018)
  • Pool Record: 3:37.31 – Kieran Smith, Florida (2020)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 3:38.90
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 3:50.68

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Ian Grum (Georgia) – 3:40.48
  2. Giovanni Linscheer (Florida) – 3:40.63
  3. Jake Magahey (Georgia) – 3:41.59
  4. Baylor Nelson (Texas A&M) – 3:41.65
  5. Landon Driggers (Tennessee) – 3:42.03
  6. Mason Laur (Florida) – 3:42.07
  7. Jacques Rathle (Auburn) – 3:42.30
  8. Danny Schmidt (Auburn) – 3:44.12

Prelims of the men’s 400 IM was really competitive this morning, seeing it take a 3:44.12 just to make it back for the ‘A’ final. Georgia’s Ian Grum led the way, swimming a 3:40.48, which comes in just 0.07 seconds off his season best. Grum was out fast this morning, splitting 49.19 on fly and 54.49 on back for a 1:43.68 on the opening 200. A solid 1:04.73 on breast kept him in the lead then he was able to come home in 52.07 on free.

Florida’s Giovanni Linscheer swam a much different race than Grum. He was out in 1:47.41 on the first 200 yards, about 4 seconds slower than Grum. Linscheer then popped a very good 1:01.93 breast split and was flying on the last 100, splitting 51.26, which put him into the finish in 3:40.63.

Top-seeded Baylor Nelson (Texas A&M) came in 4th this morning, swimming a 3:41.65. Nelson still holds the fastest time in the SEC this season, having already gone 3:38.33, so keep an eye on his lane tonight.

WOMEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – PRELIMS

  • NCAA Record: 48.46 – Kate Douglass, Virginia (2023)
  • SEC Record: 48.51 – Maggie MacNeil, LSU (2023)
  • SEC Championship Record: 48.99 – Maggie MacNeil, LSU (2023)
  • Pool Record: 49.38 – Erika Brown, Tennessee (2020)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 50.69
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 53.63

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Meghan Lee (Auburn) – 51.24
  2. Olivia Peoples (Florida) – 51.38
  3. Greta Pelzek (South Carolina) – 51.93
  4. Gaby Van Brunt (Alabama) – 52.06
  5. Miranda Grana (Texas A&M) – 52.21
  6. Nicholle Toh (South Carolina) – 52.24
  7. Ellie Waldrep (Auburn) – 52.29
  8. Sara Stotler (Tennessee) – 52.35

Auburn senior Meghan Lee had a big swim this morning, posting the top time in the women’s 100 fly with a 51.24. It was a great morning swim for Lee, taking more than half a second off her season best of 51.91. The swim also sets her up very well to make a run at her career best of 51.01, which she set at last year’s SECs, tonight in finals.

Florida’s Olivia Peoples was right there this morning as well, swimming a 51.38 for 2nd. With that performance, Peoples clipped her season best of 51.59, which was also her career best.

This was a really big event for South Carolina, which saw 2 swimmers make it into the ‘A’ final. Greta Pelzek came in 3rd this morning with a 51.93, while Nicholle Toh clocked a 52.24 for 6th.

MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – PRELIMS

  • NCAA Record: 42.80 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • SEC Record: 42.80 – Caeleb Dressel, Florida (2018)
  • SEC Championship Record: 44.04 – Jordan Crooks, Tennessee (2023)
  • Pool Record: 45.02 – Matt Targett (2009)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 44.64
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 47.08

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Josh Liendo (Florida) – 43.89 (MEET RECORD)
  2. Scotty Buff (Flordia) – 45.00
  3. Connor Foote (Texas A&M) – 45.12
  4. Sohib Khaled (Auburn) – 45.38
  5. Harrison Lierz (Tennessee) – 45.63
  6. Bjoern Kammann (Tennessee) – 45.72
  7. Ruard Van Renen (Georgia) – 45.84
  8. Nate Stoffle (Auburn) – 46.00

Florida’s Josh Linedo didn’t waste the opportunity to put up a great time in prelims of the men’s 100 fly this morning. The Canadian sprint star ripped a new season best of 43.89, touching as the only swimmer in the event under 45 seconds and breaking the SEC Championship record, as well as the Auburn pool record. The previous meet record was set by Tennessee’s Jordan Crooks last year with a 44.04. Crooks has opted to race the 200 free at this meet this year instead, which he will be doing momentarily.

Though Liendo has been significantly faster, holding a career best of 43.40, which he swam at NCAAs last year, this was a huge performance for him nonetheless. Liendo’s 43.89 this morning represents the fastest yards 100 fly we’ve seen in the NCAA outside of the NCAA Championships. 43.89 marks the 11th-fastest 100 fly all-time, but the swims that have been faster than it have all come at NCAAs, with the exception of Tom Shield’s 43.84, which he swam at 2016 Winter Nationals, when he was already out of college.

Florida freshman Scotty Buff had a big swim as well, taking 2nd this morning in 45.00. While that time comes in just off Buff’s lifetime best of 44.87, it blew away his season best of 46.09. Tonight, Buff will try to make a run at the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 44.64.

WOMEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS

  • NCAA Record: 1:39.10 – Missy Franklin, Cal (2015)
  • SEC Record: 1:40.90 – Bella Sims, Florida (2024)
  • SEC Championship Record: 1:40.90 – Bella Sims, Florida (2024)
  • Pool Record: 1:40.90 – Bella Sims, Florida (2024)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:42.84
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 1:47.12

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Izzy Ivey (Florida) – 1:42.85
  2. Chloe Stepanek (Texas A&M) – 1:43.25
  3. Brooklyn Douthwright (Tennessee) – 1:43.47
  4. Camille Spink (Tennessee) – 1:43.53
  5. Amy Riordan (South Carolina) – 1:44.13
  6. Micayla Cronk (Florida) – 1:44.72
  7. Julia Mrozinski (Tennessee) – 1:44.94
  8. Shea Furse (Georgia) – 1:45.02

It very nearly took going under 1:45 to make it into tonight’s ‘A’ final of the women’s 200 free, which is a very fast standard for a conference meet. Georgia’s Shea Furse was the last one in this morning, finishing 8th in 1:45.02, while Auburn’s Polina Nevmovenko was 9th in 1:45.03 and Georgia’s Sloane Reinstein came in 10th with a 1:45.05. Really just as impressively, it took a 1:46.09 to make the ‘B’ final.

Florida’s Izzy Ivey had a really nice prelims swim this morning, posting the top time with a 1:42.85. That swim marks Ivey’s first time under 1:43 from a flat-start this season. She was out fast this morning, splitting 49.16 on the opening 100, then clocked a 26.36 on the 3rd 50 before either shutting it down or fading on the final 50, where she split 27.33.

Chloe Stepanek wasn’t too far behind Ivey this morning, swimming a 1:43.25. She swam a more reserved race than Ivey, going out in 50.01 on the first 100, then coming home in 53.24.

MEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS

  • NCAA Record: 1:29.15 – Dean Farris, Harvard (2019)
  • SEC Record: 1:29.48 – Kieran Smith, Florida (2021)
  • SEC Championship Record: 1:29.48 – Kieran Smith, Florida (2021)
  • Pool Record: 1:30.11 – Kieran Smith, Florida (2020)
  • 2024 NCAA ‘A’ Standard: 1:31.74
  • 2024 NCAA ‘B’ Standard: 1:35.79

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS:

  1. Macguire McDuff (Florida) – 1:31.40
  2. Jordan Crooks (Tennessee) – 1:31.45
  3. Charlie Hawke (Alabama) – 1:31.47
  4. Jake Mitchell (Florida) – 1:32.23
  5. Reese Branzell (Georgia) – 1:32.43
  6. Bradley Dunham (Georgia) – 1:32.77 (Tie)
  7. Kaique Alves (Alabama) – 1:32.77 (Tie)
  8. Tomas Koski (Georgia) – 1:32.80

The men’s 200 free prelims this morning was very fast, seeing a couple career bests at the top. Florida’s Macguire McDuff clocked the top time of the morning, swimming a 1:31.40. With the performance, McDuff clipped his previous best of 1:31.56, which he swam at last year’s NCAA Championships. He pushed the pace early this morning, swimming a 43.75 on the opening 100, which was the fastest first 100 in the field by nearly a second.

Tennessee’s Jordan Crooks swam the 100 fly on this day of the meet last year, then made the switch to the 200 for this year. It looks like a great call, at least for this meet, as Crooks was great this morning, taking 2nd overall with a 1:31.45. That was a huge morning swim for Crooks, marking his first time under 1:32.07 in the event. After swimming a 17.99 to win the 50 free last night, Crooks swam a surprisingly conservative and consistently split 200 free this morning. He split 21.13, 23.40, 23.51, and 23.41 respectively by 50 this morning, meaning he was out in 44.53 on the first 100 and home in 46.92. It will be interesting to see if Crooks decides to try and use more of his superior opening speed in tonight’s final, or if he sticks with the race plan from this morning.

Alabama’s Charlie Hawke had a solid swim this morning, taking 3rd overall with a 1:31.47. Hawke was the top seed coming into this morning with a 1:31.30, though he swam a 1:30.75 leading off Bama’s 800 free relay a couple nights ago.

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SwimmerGuy
1 month ago

Havent seen the Up/Mid/Down article yet but Florida women going 4/3/0 to Tennessee going 0/0/0 in the 4im is at least a 130 point swing. Thats if they get the worse 4 and 3 spots in A and B. At the top 4 and 3 spots its 166 points. So expect a 135-145 point swing to start off Finals.
Makes sense to have moved Sims off that race – would just cannibalize their own points.
Didnt count the other events but they look balanced.

Winkelschleifer
1 month ago

Is there any replay of Crook‘s swim to watch?
Would like to see his swimstyle not sprinting.

Swimfan27
1 month ago

The way Crooks split that 200 free was very surprising, and very impressive. It’s rare to see a sprinter who can split it like that, i.e. A more traditional spread between the two 100s at an elite level and a less “fly and die” spread like some other sprinters who are also fast at the 200 free do (Gretchen Walsh comes to mind).

Diehard
1 month ago

Where is my friend “I miss ISL” this morning?

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
Reply to  Diehard
1 month ago

Hello my friend.
They keep putting my comments on needs approval! I have one about UGA’s performance this morning in the process of being approved right now.
And yes, it mentions Rachel Stege getting 24th.

Diehard
Reply to  I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
1 month ago

So you are saying I was right?
Your UGA women struggled this am but the men were pretty good!

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
Reply to  Diehard
1 month ago

You’ll see what I think lol. They still put 6 girls in the 200 free final, A B and C. That’s still a lot of points. I think Stef chose the route of putting those distance girls on a drop taper so when they get Coetzee back at NCs, they will be firing on all cylinders, and for the reason they’re still fast enough to get into finals without being fully tapered.

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
Reply to  Diehard
1 month ago

Also, what team are you a fan of? Auburn? Alabama? Florida?

Diehard
Reply to  I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
1 month ago

Georgia

jablo
Reply to  I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
1 month ago

contact swimswam and have them clear it because i had a similar issue

Swim3057
Reply to  I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
1 month ago

Stege has since scratched out of 200 free for a medical issue

I miss the ISL
Reply to  Swim3057
1 month ago

Hope she’s alright. If she’s out for the rest of the meet, that’s a huge loss for the dawgs.

VFL
1 month ago

Crooks cookin

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
1 month ago

Georgia men went off this morning. They have 6 A finalists tonight. That will be very helpful for them if they wanna make a push for 2nd overall.
Georgia women, not so much. Rachel Stege 24th in the 2 free? Gotta think that distance group is drop tapering for this and going all out for NCAAs. Good thing is they’re still really gonna be solidly in 3rd place, no team is as deep as Tennessee or Florida, but no women’s team below them can really match UGA either.

Queens
1 month ago

Crooks 1:29 tonight.

xman
Reply to  Queens
1 month ago

He went how fast???
Why would he do that?

MarshFAN
Reply to  Queens
1 month ago

Could happen IF he attacks the front in 42+ which he can do!

Grant Drukker
1 month ago

The 200 free is so fast. 131 low to make it back at NCAAs I bet.

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Grant Drukker
1 month ago

Who are the 8? I’m sure I’m missing some, but this is a good start.

The likelihood of prelims being that fast is unlikely. Last year only 4 went sub 1:31.5 and 2 graduated. I believe there may be 8 1:31 mids or better based on seeds, but it’s tough to get up and go that fast in the morning. Plus most go all out for conference and are slower at NCAAs.

1:29-1:30 last year
Hobson
Jett

1:30 this year
Hawke

1:31 this year
Guiliano

1:31 last year
Sammon
Guziev
Miller (may not swim it this year)

Maybe Carrozza, Mitchell, Miroslaw can go 1:31s but 31 low will be asking a lot.

MarshFAN
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
1 month ago

While possible with the post conference drop off rate which we see every year in this event, I 1:31 mid is more feasible. However it is great that we think fast and faster!