The SEC has confirmed a plan to split their men’s and women’s meets for 2021 in an effort to mitigate the risks of an ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
First reported by SwimSwam in November, the SEC will hold separate meets on different weekends. Each meet will be condensed from the usual 5-day SEC Championship schedule to the more traditional 4-day conference championship schedule. The meets will be held in separate locations on separate weekends; in addition, the diving meet will be held separately from either swim meet.
2021 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships Schedule
- Men’s and Women’s Diving on February 17-20 at the Mizzou Aquatic Center in Columbia, Mo.
- Women’s Swimming on February 17-20 at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga.
- Men’s Swimming on February 23-26 at the Mizzou Aquatic Center in Columbia, Mo.
Traditionally, the combined-gender SEC Championship meet is typically held 4 weeks before the women’s NCAA Championship meet and 5 weeks before the men’s NCAA Championship meet. As scheduled now, diving and the women’s SEC meet will be held 4 weeks out of the women’s NCAA Championship meet, while the men’s SEC meet will be held 5 weeks out of the men’s NCAA Championship meet.
The 2020 SEC Championships featured about 232 women’s swimmers and 195 men’s swimmers competing. There were about 57 divers, with women and men combined. That means the proposal would split a nearly-500-participant SEC meet into three separate competitions, all with 250 or fewer participants – not including coaches, officials and other staff.
The 2020-21 SEC men’s and women’s swimming & diving season began in October and will conclude no later than January 25, 2021 with regionalized competition permitted upon the adherence of opponents to SEC Medical Guidance Task Force Requirements for COVID-19 Management. Contests are limited to a dual-meet format unless alternative strategies are identified to limit the overall number of participants to ensure appropriate distancing. The number of events is at the discretion of each institution.
The NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships is scheduled for March 17-20 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C., and the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships is set for March 24-27 at the Campus Recreation and the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The University of Florida men won their 8th-straight SEC Championship in 2020, while the Tennessee women won the 2020 title, breaking a four-year winning streak by Texas A&M.