Matias Koski (Georgia), Men’s 1650 Freestyle
“I actually just decided to do the mile (Friday) night. It was between the 100 and the mile, and I had a good feeling for the mile so I went with that. Not thinking about it too much during the meet, not psyching myself out, was probably a good thing. I just said, ‘Let’s do it and see what happens.’”
Jessica Thielmann (Florida), Women’s 1650 Freestyle
“It was a good race. I had a plan and for probably the first time ever, I stuck to my own plan, as I waited and bided my time. Then I made my move at the right time. I didn’t know I won until I touched the wall. I knew those girls had a very fast back-end, so once I made my move, I knew I had to keep going.”
Sean Lehane (Tennessee), Men’s 200 Backstroke
“It feels great. The whole field was so much more competitive this year. I knew I was going to have a lot of guys up there with me. It was tough, especially in the first 100. I saw (Auburn’s) Joe Patching just going for it. It was hard to keep my composure.”
Danielle Galyer (Kentucky), Women’s 200 Backstroke
“I didn’t know what to expect, I just wanted to make the A final, and then after prelims, I just wanted to medal. When you’re swimming a final, your training really comes into effect. It’s a blank state in your mind, you have to let your training take you through the race.”
Kristian Gkolomeev (Alabama), Men’s 100 Freestyle
“My 100 was really good – a (time of) 41.6, that was my goal coming in. We did a great job as a team. We still have NCAAs to go and I hope we continue the good work and have a great meet there as well. I have to thank my teammates and coaches for helping me get to this point.”
Natalie Hinds (Florida), Women’s 100 Freestyle
“I was nervous going in, but what I learned from the 50 (freestyle) is that I need to relax. That’s what Coach Troy told me. In the prelims this morning, I just needed to do what I know I can and tonight, I just needed to stay relaxed. I just wanted to do the best that I could and I was really hurting towards the end so I just went as fast as possible.”
Nic Fink (Georgia), Men’s 200 Breaststroke
“I have felt great today. It’s the last day of SECs, so the adrenaline is really pumping. I’m happy with my breaststroke today. We practice so hard all day every day, so I’ve learned how to race. I really appreciate the way my coaches and teammates push me.”
Kaylin Burchell (Alabama), Women’s 200 Breaststroke
“It’s nice to finish my last SEC Championships this way. I didn’t come into this meet with expectations of being able to do what I ended up doing. It’s a little sad, this is the best meet anyone ever goes to and it’s my last one. I focused this year on having fun and being more about my team and it paid off. I didn’t really have expectations for the 200 breaststroke. I wasn’t on a full taper, but I went into this week knowing I could race and that was the most important thing, getting a good race.”
Fraser McKean (Auburn), Men’s Platform Diving
“I have been working on that dive all year. It came down to the last round just like it did last year, and I am just so glad I was able to pull it out this time.”
Kyle Darmody (Auburn), Men’s 400 Freestyle Relay
“It was huge for us. We hadn’t won a relay all week. We hadn’t won an individual award since platform right before, so it was huge for us to get a win especially because we are the defending national champions in that in event. We always like to put a lot of emphasis on that relay.”
Lauren Harrington (Georgia), Women’s 400 Freestyle Relay
“It was a long meet and we were just pushing through even though it hurt. We just tried to get our hands on the wall first.”
Florida head coach Gregg Troy
“It was a great week. We stood up and raced tough the whole way. It (tonight) was a great way to finish. It was five days of tough racing. The surprise of the meet was Amelia Maughan winning to 200 freestyle. I think the swim of the meet was either Jessica Thielmann’s mile tonight, or Natalie Hinds 100 free swim. In the end, this is just another swim meet, as we have to go back to work on Monday and make sure we’re ready for the next one.”
Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle
“I’ve said it many times, but it’s true: this never gets old. At the same time, every championship has its own unique qualities. Every team puts its own stamp on a championship and this team is no different. We’ve been able to develop depth this year, so we’re getting points up and down the lineup. This feels great. We’re going to enjoy this one.”
— Kaylin Burchell continues to pour it on her senior season, adding the SEC 200 breaststroke championship to the 100 breaststroke title she won Friday.
–On the men’s side, sophomore Kristian Gkolomeev extended his reach on Saturday, adding the 100 freestyle title to the 50 championship he wonWednesday. He was also part of the Tide’s SEC champion 400 medley and the 200 freestyle relays.
— Kaylin Burchell and Kristian Gkolomeev were voted the Southeastern Conference Men’s and Women’s Swimmers of the Meet by the league’s coaches. Burchell is the first Tide women to earn the honor while Gkolomeev is the first member of the Tide men’s team to earn the honor since Arne Borgstrom in 1982.
— Kaylin Burchell was in fifth place at the 150-yard mark of the 200 breaststroke before reeling in the field over the last 25.
— Kaylin Burchell is the first member of the Alabama women’s team to claim a pair of league titles in the same season since Lane Bassham won the SEC 1-meter and 3-meter springboard diving championships in 2004. The last time the Alabama women won the 100 and 200 breaststrokes in the same season was 2002 when Olympic bronze medalist Anne Poleska managed the feat.
— The defending NCAA 50 freestyle champion, Gkolomeev continued his domination of the sprint freestyle events, winning the 100 with a school-record 41.68, becoming the fastest 100 freestyler in the nation this season and the first swimmer in school history to go under 42 seconds.
— Kristian Gkolomeev came close to a fifth SEC title when he combined with junior Brett Walsh and sophomore Alex Gray and Connor Oslin to take second in the 400 freestyle relay with a school record 2:50.20 in the meet’s last event. Alabama’s men were first or second in four of the five relays contested this week.
— The Tide women finished the week out with a school record when junior Justin Panian, freshman Temarie Tomley, sophomore Bailey Scott and junior Emma Saunders combined to take eighth place in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:18.59.
— Alabama’s men finished fifth with 911.5 points, more than a hundred points more than last year’s tally.
— Over the course of the five-day championship, the Crimson Tide men and women combined to break the school record in 18 different events, with the men bettering all five relay marks for the second year in a row. The Tide broke 17 records at last year’s SEC Championships.
— Auburn’s men have won the SEC title 10 straight times, dating back to 2006.
— Fraser McKean’s 451.95 in platform diving was a personal-best. He’s the seventh different diver to win the tower competition for the Tiger men.
— Auburn’s 400 free relay time is the nation’s fastest this season
— Annie Lazor’s time of 2:09.08 in Saturday’s prelims marked the second-best time in Auburn history
— Freshman Caeleb Dressel and junior Natalie Hinds 100-yard freestyle finals times were both school records.
— The Lady Bulldogs won eight events during the conference meet: Van Landeghem in the 50-yard freestyle, McDermott in the 500-yard freestyle, Smoliga in the 100-yard backstroke, Flickinger in the 400-yard individual medley, Olivia Ball on 3-meter springboard, and the 200-, 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays.
— The Bulldogs earned six victories: Kalisz in the 200-yard butterfly and the 400-yard individual medley, Koski in the 200- and 1,650-yard freestyle, Fink in the 100-yard breaststroke and Stewart in the 200-yard individual medley.
— The postseason will continue for Georgia next Saturday and Sunday as it hosts the Bulldog Last Chance Meet at Gabrielsen Natatorium. Georgia’s divers will compete March 9-11 in the Zone B Championship, also in Athens. The NCAA Championships will take place March 19-21 for the women in Greensboro, N.C., and March 26-28 for the men in Iowa City, Iowa.
— Sophomore Danielle Galyer won UK’s second SEC title in as many days with a school-record time of 1:50.95 in the 200 backstroke. Before Christina Bechtel won yesterday’s 200 butterfly, UK’s last SEC title came in 2007, while its last swimming title was in 2006 and its last female swimming gold medal occurred in 1999. Galyer became the 14th Wildcat to win an SEC title and the first to win a gold medal in the backstroke.
— Sophomore Drew Aviotti broke the UK record in the 1,650 freestyle with a time of 15:00.35 and finished ninth overall. The sophomore broke the mark that was set in 1997 while also registering a 9:03.30 in the first 1,000 to break that school record as well.
— The Kentucky women finished seventh in the final team standings with 614 points, the Wildcats’ best finish at the conference championships since 2011, when they also placed seventh. The women beat five teams at the annual event for the first time since 2008. The UK men placed 10th overall with 407 points.
— In total, 10 school records were set in five days at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center. Galyer and Bechtel, who also won a silver medal in the 100 butterfly, were joined on the podium by sophomore diver Rebecca Hamperian, who won silver on 1-meter.