The first draft of the psych sheets have been released for one of the most anticipated college conference swimming and diving championships, those belonging to the Southeastern Conference, scheduled to take place February 17th-February 21st at Auburn University. Even with most swimmers currently listed in their prime events, some surprises are certain to exist across multiple events to shake up the blockbuster of a meet.
It is important to note that several key athletes (and overall team rosters, for that matter) are over-entered, meaning they are listed in more than the allotted three individual event maximum. Obviously, changes to the psychs will result, but we can take a look at anticipated moves.
Editor’s note: an initial version of this article said that athletes can swim four individual events. That is incorrect.
Florida powerhouses on the men’s side are clinging to their usual events, with no real curveballs being thrown in the mix save for a couple potentials with Caeleb Dressel and Dan Wallace, For his part, Wallace is currently listed to swim the 500y free, 1650y free, 200y breaststroke, 200y IM, 400y IM, 200y free and 200y butterfly, so obviously something has gotta give. There is only one event in between his podium-possible 500 free and his less-threatening-but-still-impressive 200 IM, yet Wallace has not quite passed into field-crushing territory in the 200y breaststroke….either one of those two events seem to be prime candidates for disposal.
Dressel’s unique entry is the 200y IM event, where he is seeded a very respectable 23rd. This is certainly way further down ladder than his 50 free #2 seed, his 100 butterfly #1 seed, but the fact that the event is directly before his much better-performing 50y freestyle will most likely dictate that we will not see Dressel listed in the 200 IM in the second draft of these psych sheets.
Jessica Thielman’s name is also prolific throughout, appearing in the 500y free, 400y IM, 200y freestyle, 200y butterfly and 1650y freestyle races, so look for her to scratch at least one event – 200y free seems likely – to get enough rest to dominate as she typically does within the SEC.
Another change expected will be the removal of Florida’s Sinead Russell, who currently appears across several events. Due to her recent health scare, it seems doubtful the junior will make an appearance at the SEC’s in a competitive capacity this year.
The team that seems to have by and large complete entries is the University of Missouri, with the likes of Matthew Margritier, Michael Chadwick and Sam Tierney for the men and Dani Barbiea and Sharli Brady for the women listed in their trademark events. That may be the case for Texas A&M athletes as well, where Sarah Henry is evenly entered in the 500y freestyle, 400 IM and 1650y freestyle events.
A full preview of the meet will be available next week.