SEC Day 4 Ups/Mids/Downs: Kentucky on Pace for First-Ever SEC Title

by Annika Johnson 22

February 20th, 2021 College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC

SEC – Women’s Swimming & Diving + Men’s Diving

  • Wednesday, February 17 – Saturday, February 20, 2021
  • W Swimming: Gabrielson Natatorium – Athens, GA (Eastern Zone)
  • W&M Diving: Mizzou Aqutics Center – Columbia, MO (Central Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Tennessee (1x) (2020 results)
  • Live results
  • Live Video – SEC Network
  • Championship Central
  • Psych Sheets

For those unfamiliar with swimming terminology, the concept of “Ups” and “Downs” is a good way to track which teams performed best at prelims. In prelims, swimmers qualify for one of three finals heats: the top 8 finishers make the A final, places 9 through 16 the B final and places 17 through 24 the C final. In finals, swimmers are locked into their respective final, meaning a swimmer in the B heat (spots 9-16) can only place as high as 9th or as low as 16th, even if they put up the fastest or slowest time of any heat in the final.

With that in mind, we’ll be tracking “Ups,” “Mids” and “Downs” after each prelims session. “Up” refers to swimmers in the A final, “Mid” to swimmers in the B final and “Down” to swimmers in the C final.

Going into the finals session of Day 4, let’s look back on where the teams stood going into this morning’s prelims session. Florida actually outscored Kentucky through Day 3 by 8 points. The gap between 2nd and 3rd place had widened, leaving Georgia and Alabama to a tight race points-wise.

Current Scores

  1. Florida 779
  2. Kentucky 771
  3. Alabama 684
  4. Georgia 670
  5. Texas A&M 634
  6. Tennessee 633
  7. Arkansas 492
  8. Missouri 432.5
  9. Auburn 384
  10. LSU 315.5
  11. South Carolina 201
  12. Vanderbilt 124

Kentucky earned a total of 17 scoring spots in finals tonight, including 9 in the ‘A’ final. Florida, currently 2nd in team standings, has 9 finalists tonight with 3 swimmers in ‘A’ finals.

Florida’s 8 point lead was devoured by a 2-3 Kentucky finish in the 200 back by Sophie Sorenson and Caitlin Brooks, among other swims this morning.

Florida and Kentucky have one swimmer each in the 100 free ‘A’ final. In the 200 breast, the Wildcats have 3 swimmers in the ‘A’ final including 3rd seed Gillian Davey.

Kentucky scored another top 3 spot in finals tonight in the 200 fly with 2nd seed Izzy Gati who is half-a-second behind Georgia’s Dakota Luther. Florida’s Amanda Ray and Kentucky’s Riley Gaines are also in the mix to score major ‘A’ final points.

Day 4 Ups/Mids/Downs

Credit to Andrew Mering for running the numbers.

Individual 200 Back Prelims 100 Free Prelims 200 Breast Prelims 200 Fly Prelims
Kentucky 9/3/5 3/2/2 1/0/1 3/1/1 2/0/1
Georgia 6/3/4 0/2/2 1/0/1 2/0/1 3/1/0
Alabama 5/2/5 2/1/0 3/0/2 0/0/2 0/1/1
Tennessee 4/5/3 1/0/1 1/2/1 2/2/0 0/1/1
Florida 3/4/2 0/0/2 1/1/0 1/0/0 1/3/0
Texas A&M 3/3/2 1/0/0 0/1/0 0/0/2 2/2/0
Missouri 2/4/3 1/1/0 1/2/2 0/1/1 0/0/0
Auburn 0/3/3 0/0/1 0/0/0 0/3/0 0/0/2
South Carolina 0/2/3 0/1/0 0/1/0 0/0/1 0/0/2
Arkansas 0/2/0 0/0/0 0/1/0 0/1/0 0/0/0
LSU 0/1/2 0/0/1 0/0/1 0/0/0 0/0/1

Looking solely at day 4’s prelims session, Kentucky outscored Georgia handily. Their biggest victory was in the 200 back with a total of 7 swimmers qualifying for finals. That is nearly half of the total amount of Wildcats who made finals tonight. Close behind is the 200 breast.

Georgia and Alabama, while in 3rd  and 4th place in team standings, are set up to score significant points tonight as well with 13 and 12 swimmers in the finals, respectively.

Scored Prelims

  1.  Kentucky 295.5
  2.  Georgia 233.5
  3. Tennessee 191.5
  4. Alabama 188.5
  5. Florida 152.5
  6. Texas A&M 122
  7. Missouri 105
  8. Auburn 62
  9. South Carolina 40
  10. LSU 30.5
  11. Arkansas 27
  12. Vanderbilt 0

Kentucky has built a substantial and potentially insurmountable lead thus far, totaling 135 points over Florida. If they hold their lead tonight this will be their first-ever SEC Championship title. Florida and Georgia, separated by 28 points, may have a battle for 2nd place tonight.

Current Scores + Prelims

  1. Kentucky 1066.5
  2. Florida 931.5
  3. Georgia 903.5
  4. Alabama 872.5
  5. Tennessee 824.5
  6. Texas A&M 756
  7. Missouri 537.5
  8. Arkansas 519
  9. Auburn 446
  10. LSU 346
  11. South Carolina 241
  12. Vanderbilt 124

Florida’s only chance at catching up is in the mile. There, Kentucky’s Beth McNeese is the #3 seed, but their next-highest seed is freshman Kaylee Williams at 20th.

The Wildcats have 4 entries in the mile, while Florida has a whopping 8 swimmers scheduled to swim the race tonight. 5 of those are seeded in the top 16, while the other 3 are seeded with “no times.” The Gators would really have to go wild in that mile to make this a competitive meet – namely something akin to putting all 8 swimmers in the top 16 – but that’s their one plausible path back into this meet.

We should know, by the end of that mile, whether Kentucky is in a runaway, or whether it’s going to be a battle to the end.

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Swimmer Mike
13 days ago

Wow! Who would’ve thought Kentucky might win with the graduation of seidt and galyer. Yay cats!

swimfan
13 days ago

Go Cats!!!

NC Swammer
13 days ago

So what’s Florida’s diving like today? Would it be enough to overcome UK? Seems diving has been good for them so far but they might need today to be otherworldly.

Admin
Reply to  NC Swammer
13 days ago

Women’s diving is already done. Live results show them out of order, but platform was yesterday.

Ghost
Reply to  Braden Keith
13 days ago

So why no include them in this up/down? Or were the points already in totals?

Admin
Reply to  Ghost
13 days ago

The points are already in the totals.

Editor
Reply to  NC Swammer
13 days ago

If Florida are going to win this meet, which is unlikely at this point, the way the come back is the mile. They have 8 swimmers entered there with 5 seeded to score, and 3 no times. That’s a large enough volume of swimmers that if they all go completely nuts, Florida isn’t mathematically eliminated. But realistically barring DQs, Kentucky has this wrapped up.

Creature from the Black Lagoon
Reply to  Andrew Mering
13 days ago

1650 – Florida currently 1, 4, 7, 9 and 12th with the final heat still to go. Two Gators in that heat as well. Gonna be interesting!

Editor
Reply to  Creature from the Black Lagoon
13 days ago

Let’s make the following assumptions about the 1650. 1. McNeese, Kentucky’s swimmer in the final gets 8th, moving down 5 places. 2. Florida’s 2 in the final sweep.3. Taylor Ault (who has the top time right now) ends up 3rd. This is essentially a best case scenario for Florida

That would be Florida 128, Kentucky 35. A difference of 83 points. The current projected margin is 135. So Florida would have 52 more points to make up. Making up 52 points with swimmers locked into their A/B/C finals isn’t a realistic scenario (too many things have to go wrong), and the difference between first and last in the relay is 34 points. So the only real… Read more »

Aquajosh
Reply to  Andrew Mering
13 days ago

Florida is really hurting without their best distance swimmer, Leah Braswell, who was the mile champ last year. UF has been in this situation before. They won NCAAs by 2.5 points over Stanford by outperforming every single one of their seeds in finals. I would LOVE to see it happen, but momentum is on Kentucky’s side. Florida will be a much stronger team next year.

Creature from the Black Lagoon
Reply to  Andrew Mering
13 days ago

Timed Finals – Kentucky finished 15th and 18th…

Creature from the Black Lagoon
Reply to  Creature from the Black Lagoon
13 days ago

Not arguing the points, but the Florida distance girls did a great job in the mile.

Aquajosh
Reply to  NC Swammer
13 days ago

Diving is done, and it won’t be enough for Florida to overcome Kentucky, but Brian Gillooly has his first-ever SEC champion in Ashley McCool, who should be named SEC Diver of the Year after winning the 1m and being the only one who finished top 3 in the 3m to get into the platform final. If he can convince her to use that extra year of eligibility, it could make a huge difference next year when Florida gets some major additions that will keep them from having to spread some of their relays so thin. Hats off to Kentucky though, Lars is a fantastic coach, and I’ve been saying that for almost a decade now since his alma mater Tennessee… Read more »