SEC Week in Review – Sept 22-27 2014

by Jeff Gonder 6

October 01st, 2014 College, News, SEC

Six of 12 SEC teams saw action last week in the form of scrimmages or dual meets to begin their march toward the championship season, which culminates in March with the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships held in Greensboro, NC, (March 19-21) and the men’s national championship event taking place the following weekend (March 26-28) in Iowa City, IA.

Here is a recap of last week’s actions and a view of what is up next.

Last week’s action

University of Florida (Gators)

The lady Gators hosted and defeated their conference rival, Arkansas Razorbacks, on Saturday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center (O’Dome) in Gainesville, Fla.  The meet was each team’s season opener.

Key performances for the Orange and Blue included junior Natalie Hinds, from Midland Texas, who won the 50-yard (22.49) and 100-yard (49.08), freestyle events, the 100-yard fly (54.75) and for good measure threw in an anchor leg to help her team (CanadianSinead Russell, Lindsey McKnight and Sierra Kuhn) win the 200-yard medley relay (1:40.22).

The all-junior team of Jessica Thielmann, Ashlee Linn, McKnight and Russell made the relays a sweep for the Gators by placing first in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:24.14).

Other notable performances include:  junior Megan Rankin winning the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:01.89), redshirt freshman Georgia Hohmann taking the 200-yard back (2:00.15), Russell adding the 100-yard back (54.65), and Thielmann ending the individual races with a 400-yard individual medley win (4:21.22).

The Gator men, who have not yet raced, will join their Gator sisters in action this week at their Pinch-a-Penny All Florida Invitational, Oct. 3-5. The Gators are riding a wave of success at this annual meet and are aiming for five consecutive wins. Teams looking to stop the Gators at four include Florida State, who were second last year in both women’s and men’s rankings, University of Miami, Nova Southeastern, North Florida, Southern Florida and Florida Gulf Coast.

It will be tough to take down the NCAA powerhouse, though. The Gators protected their O’Dome waters last year by winning all five relays, taking ten of 12 events on the final day and winning both the men’s and women’s titles by at least a couple of hundred points.

The Pinch-a-Penny has to be one the more exciting, early-season meets with its prelim/final format. Last year it resulted in 21 NCAA provisional cuts posted by the Gators. That is quite a feat, considering the NCAA Championships were six months away.

To read SwimSwam’s full recap, click here:

Full results can be found here:

University of Georgia (Bulldogs) 

The season opener was a rout for the lady Bulldogs, who took a bite out of conference rival Vanderbilt by winning all 14 races. It was sort of expected, considering Georgia are the reigning women’s NCAA Champions and had 89 straight dual or tri-meet victories at the Gabrielsen Natatorium going into the meet. The lady Commodores did stand their ground with strong freshmen and sophomore results and a final tally of 94 points to Georgia’s 153.

Georgia divvied up the wins with two double winners (Hali Flickinger and Amber McDermott), three freshmen in college debuts (Kylie Stewart, Megan Kingsley andMeaghan Raab) and four veterans (Jordan Mattern, Emily Cameron, Lauren Harrington,Chantal Van Landeghem, and Maddie Locus).

Flickinger’s two wins came in the 100-yard backstroke (54.73) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:51.38), while McDermott’s gained hers in the 200-yard backstroke (2:00.45) and the 200-yard individual medley (2:02.77).

Raab, Cameron, Locus along with Brittany MacLean won the 200-yard medley relay (1:43.58), and Locus joined the trio of Anna McKenzie, Kylie Stewart and Shannon O’Malley to win the 200-yard free relay (1:34.55).

The Georgia women are back in action on Oct. 10 when they and the men’s team host Alabama. This will also be the season opener for the men, who have a strong team and will likely challenge for the NCAA Championship title.

To read SwimSwam’s full recap, click here:

For full results of the Georgia/Vanderbilt dual meet, click here:

Photo gallery here:

University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee’s redshirt freshman David Heron erased a 19-year-old pool record in the 1,000-yard freestyle to highlight the Volunteers win over the host, University of North Carolina Wilmington last Friday at the Seahawk Natatorium. UT defeated the AquaHawks 174-117 on the men’s side, and won the women’s competition by a similar margin, 166-120.

Heron, whose hometown is Mission Viejo, CA, posted a 9:11.21 for the 1,000-yard freestyle, placing him eighth all-time in Tennessee’s record book. Heron’s bested his nearest competitor, teammate Trevor Leland, by nearly 23 seconds in the record-breaking swim.

“During the race, I was trying to make this record,” said Heron in report posted to the UT’s website. “I wanted to take (the start) out a little fast and then follow with a pace where I seemed comfortable. Then, I just tried not to slow down.”

The Tennessee freshmen looked great with wins from Slovenian-standout Peter John Stevens in the 100-yard breaststroke (57.37), Sam McHugh in the 200-yard individual medley (1:52.20), Micah Bohon in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke (2:22.34) and Alex Cleveland in the women’s 50-yard freestyle (23.72).

The two teams met up again the next day to compete in a friendly open water race at Wrightsville Beach, where swimmers competed on two courses — one designed for sprinters and for distance swimmers.

Tennessee takes a trip to Charlotte on Oct. 9 to take on Queens University of Charlotte and then to Chapel Hill the next day for a meet against the University of North Carolina.

To read SwimSwam’s full recap, click here:

For full results of the dual meet, click here:

Vanderbilt University (Commodores)

Despite falling to the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday in Athens, the Commodores carried some of last year’s momentum, when 15 school records were set, into the dual meet with some good racing.

The Commodores were in tough lining up against the defending national champions, but it was a good measuring stick for Vanderbilt’s women.

“It was great to get in some racing,” said Vanderbilt head coach Jeremy Organ in a story posted to the Vanderbilt website. “We had a pretty good day. It was good to see the freshmen respond well to their first meet situation. I think they handled it very well.”

The first six events didn’t see a Commodore in the top three. Freshman Madeline Hunt, who is from the Chicago area, broke the spell of Georgia sweeps with a third place finish in the 50-yard freestyle (24.72). After Hunt opened the door, freshman Kara Lucentiplaced third in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:23.94), junior Hannah Martin took third place in the 100-yard freestyle (54.18), barely missing second by 0.02, and then senior Chrissy Oberg placed third in the 200-yard backstroke (2:08.93).

Vanderbilt hosts Campbell, San Diego State and University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) on Oct. 10, and then San Diego State and UALR stick around for a tri-meet on the following day.

To read SwimSwam’s full recap, click here:

For full results of the Georgia/Vanderbilt dual meet, click here:

Photo gallery here:

University of Arkansas (Razorbacks)

The Razorbacks can hold their heads high in their 110.6-189.5 loss to the Gators in Gainesville, FLA, last Saturday, as there was lots to be proud of and to build off of, including four first place finishes and several top three finishes.

Double wins came from senior Nikki Daniels and junior Anna Mayfield. Daniels ruled the breastroke, taking the 100-yard (1:01.63) and 200-yard (2:16.25) events, while Mayfieldshowed her freestyle prowess in the the 200-yard (1:48.93) and 500-yard (4:49.42) freestyle races.  The double-winner duo partnered with senior Liz Braun and juniorMaddie Monroe to take second place in the 200-yard medley relay (1:43.51). Mayfield and Monroe also added a second-place result in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:25.33) with help from juniors Nina Drolc and Rachel Stoehr.

The list of top three finishes is highlighted by Drolc and Monroe taking second and third in the always exciting 50-yard freestyle (23.16 and 24.12). Continuing the trend of good results coming in pairs, freshmen Taylor Weiss and Olivia Weekley also went two and three in the 200-yard butterfly (56.59 and 57.17).

The Razorback also recorded seven third-finishes in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events, the 100-, 500-, and 1000-yard freestyle events, the 200-yard fly and the 400-yard individual medley.

Arkansas hosts conference rival Texas A&M on Oct. 18, where the Aggie women will open their season in the pool, after competing at the Open Water Collegiate Championships in Lake Travis, Austin, TX, on Oct. 4.

To read SwimSwam’s full recap, click here:

Full results can be found here:

Louisiana State University (Fighting Tigers)

The Purple team prevailed 147-124 over the Gold squad last Friday at the Fighting Tigers’ annual Purple and Gold Intrasquad scrimmage at the LSU Natatorium.

Amber Carter, Brandon Goldman and Kara Kopcso gained double wins. Cater, a native of Houston, took the 50-yard free (23.25) and the 100-yard fly (53.95). Sophmore Goldmantook the 200-yard fly (1:52.09) and the 200-yard back (1:51.34). Kopcso, who is also a sophomore, showed why she is the LSU record holder in the 200-yard fly by winning the event (1:59.15) and taking the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:03.35.

“This was a good meet and we took a lot of positive things from it,” said LSU Swimming coach Dave Geyer in a story posted on the LSU website. “There are definitely some things that we have to work on before our first SEC dual meet.”

The women dual Tulane on Oct. 3 (Friday) in New Orleans at the Reilly Natatorium, while the men are off until Oct. 10, when the entire Fighting Tiger squad heads to Florida to face the Gators in Gainesville at the O’Dome.

To read SwimSwam’s full recap, click here:

For meet results, click here:

View a photo gallery here:

Waiting on deck

University of Alabama (Crimson Tide): The Crimson Tide didn’t see action last week, but they have seen competition, having kicked off the 2014-15 collegiate season on Sept. 12 with a win over Delta State University in Tuscaloosa at the Don Gambril Olympic Pool. The Crimson Tide men beat the Statesmen 199-98 while the women delivered a dominating 216-79 win. The Crimson Tide return to action on Oct. 10 against the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, Ga.

University of Kentucky (Wildcats): The Wildcats open their season on Oct. 10 at home against South Carolina, but first they will warm their engines up this Friday (Oct. 3) with their annual Blue/White scrimmage.

University of Missouri (Tigers): The state of Missouri is going to heat up Oct. 3 (Friday) when the Tigers open the season at home with their ninth annual Show-Me Showdown, which brings the following nine universities to the Mizzou Aquatic Center: Drury, Lindenwood, Maryville, Missouri S&T, Missouri State, Truman State, Missouri-Saint Louis, Washington University and William Jewell. Following the Show-Me Showdown, the Tiger women take on Arkansas on Oct. 24, and then the women and men host Missouri State onOct. 31.

University of South Carolina (Gamecocks): The Gamecocks start their season on the road with three meets, which is a great way to build team chemistry, but by the end of it they will be eager to race in their own pool, the Carolina Natatorium. First up is the University of Kentucky on Oct. 10 for both the men and women, and then to Atlanta, where the women will take on Notre Dame and the men will compete against Georgia Tech. The women won’t compete in their own pool until Oct. 31, when they host Florida Gulf Coast, and the men continue their wait until Nov. 8, when they host the College of Charleston and East Carolina University.

Auburn University (Tigers): Powerhouse Auburn doesn’t open the season until Oct. 10, when the men and women will be in Bloomington, IN, for a dual meet against the University of Indiana. It will also be the season opener for the Hoosiers. This meet will be a treat for swim fans, as the meet will be broadcast live from the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center on the Big Ten Network, starting at 1 p.m. ET.

Texas A&M University (Aggies): The Lady Aggies start their season this Friday (Oct. 4) at the ASA Open Water Collegiate Championships in Lake Travis, Austin, TX.  The ladies will hit the competition lanes on Oct. 18 in Fayetteville, ARK, where they will take on the Lady Razorbacks in a dual meet. The men open their season in Austin, TX with a dual meet at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center against the Longhorns on Oct. 17.

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Several thoughts, first I am excited to see the Georgia men begin their season. They added key a handful of key freshmen to the team, although still lack the necessary relay pieces to compete for an NCAA title. The Georgia women are stacked as usual and will have a lot of planning to do when coming down to conference and NCAAs as to which girls they want to put in which events. This Florida invitational always confuses me as to why Florida seems to rest and suit up for a meet at the beginning of October. I almost think Troy wants his team to own most of the top times in the NCAA early on in the season so that… Read more »


Former Gator here, I went to the Florida Invite as a spectator last year, they’re not suited or rested. The meet is fast because only a few swimmers can make finals, so each session is highly competitive. Additionally, training hasn’t ramped up as it is still early in the year I would imagine


Well as long as we are speculating without any shred of evidence, allow me to join in. I don’t think Troy is self-delusional, so he wouldn’t try to convince himself of anything. In fact that statement is really odd when you read it again. Why would any coach convince themselves they had a shot at an NCAA title by pumping up early season times? It doesn’t make sense regardless of your personal feelings about the man. I’m interested also in your statement about UF resting and suiting for this meet. Have you been to the meets or is this more speculation on your part? I agree that he lost a lot of pieces from last year’s team, but unless you… Read more »


Love the sarcasm throughout, showing clear emotion and aggression. Just as you said “you don’t think” I am saying that I do think, showing my own opinion. While he did not directly say that Dressel’s diversity will make it all better, he did say how excited he was about his diversity here: As for Josh below this, since I will keep this in one comment, I said he was dependable in the 50, just as he was going 18, just nearly as dependable in the 100 or third event as in that one event. Considering the Florida Invitational, there are a good amount of individuals, not necessarily the superstars of the team, who went best times there and added… Read more »


Thatswimkid, you tend to hold a contrarian view of anything related to Florida. I remember last year when you said that Brad deBorde was a disappointment when he was named SEC Swimmer of the Week and that Florida would only be able to depend on his 50. Meanwhile last season, he became one of the only American swimmers to ever hit an 18 in the 50 in college, and he also finaled in the 100 at NCAAs with a 42.1. I don’t know what makes you think that Florida rests or suits for this meet. Here are the times from last year: Please look at those results and tell us again that you really think Florida rested and/or suited… Read more »