2019 SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, February 19 – Saturday, February 23
- Gabrielsen Natatorium, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: Texas A&M Women (3x), Florida men (6x)(results)
- Live results
- Live Video – SEC Network
- Championship Central
A pair of US National Teamers, Robert Finke and Andrew Abruzzo, missed the A-Final of the 500 free on Wednesday morning at the SEC Championships. In fact, in a loaded group of collegiate rookies, The one freshman to break through to the A-Final was Florida’s Trey Freeman (another US Senior National Team member). He swam 4:16.25 (his mid-season time was 4:16.34) to qualify 4th. His high school best was 4:15.06, and Andrew Mering estimates that it will take 4:15.4 to qualify for NCAAs this season.
Both swimmers are freshmen (at Florida and Georgia, respectively) and both swimmers beat their seed times by at least 2 seconds in the race. Both had well-earned accolades entering their freshmen seasons, and both teams’ fan-bases put high expectations on them coming into the year. The results of Wednesday’s 500 free prelims, however, underscores just how difficult the transition can be to collegiate swimming, especially on the men’s side.
Finke’s seed time in the 500, and season-best time, was 4:20.73; his lifetime best from high school was 4:17.79; and he swam 4:17.25 in prelims. Abruzzo’s season-best and seed time was 4:19.28 coming in; his best coming into college was a 4:21.81; and he swam a 4:17.24 in prelims to qualify 10th and for the B Final.
Both swimmers will need to drop time in their other events to ensure qualification for the NCAA Championships. Finke’s 14:55 in the mile is on-the-bubble, but another few seconds would lock him in for nationals in that race.
The B-Final of the 500 is loaded with top-quality freshman talent in a mid-to-distance group that stands out as probably the best freshman group in the country, by conference. Misssouri’s Jack Dubois qualified 9th in 4:17.23; and another Missouri freshman Jack Dahlgren qualified 12th in 4:17.67.