Texas A&M Women Break Georgia’s 7-Year 800 Free Relay Streak

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 4

February 14th, 2017 College, News, SEC



When the Texas A&M women won the 800 free relay on Tuesday in the opening session of the 2017 SEC Championships, swimming a 6:57.90, they broke their own school record and snapped one of the most impressive conference-title-event runs in the country.

To be specific, they ended a run of 7 straight SEC titles in the event for the Georgia Bulldogs, whose middle-distance freestyle group has been unparalleled nationally for the better part of a decade.

In Tuesday’s final, Georgia was actually 3rd in 7:00.44. Kentucky finished 2nd in 6:59.33.

A&M’s winning time was slower than any time that’s won this race at the SEC Championships since Auburn’s 7:04 in 2007. The A&M relay did, though, have the two fastest splits of the entire field – Sarah Gibson’s leadoff 1:43.64 bookended with Claire Rasmus‘ anchor of 1:43.11. Gibson is a senior, while the other three legs (Sydney Pickrem, sophomore; Katie Portz, freshman; Claire Rasmus, sophomore) are all underclassmen.

Georgia still holds plenty of title streaks in the conference. The Bulldogs have won the conference title in the 50 free for the last 4 seasons, and with Olivia Smoliga has a chance to run that streak to 5. They’ve also won the last three 500 frees.

Georgia won the 800 free relay at last year’s NCAA Championship, and graduated both their relay and anchor (and two fastest legs) from that relay.

After Georgia won the 200 medley relay on Tuesday evening (beating A&M by .05 seconds on an electric Chantal van Landeghem 21.18 anchor), none of the defending women’s champions have won more than 1 in a row. On the men’s side, Auburn has won 14 consecutive 200 free relays, and Florida has won 5 consecutive 800 free relays.

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4 years ago

UGA’s incoming recruiting class can’t come soon enough

Reply to  Lyftdriver
4 years ago

Have you seen A&M’s incoming recruiting class…?

Reply to  Lyftdriver
4 years ago

first of all they graduate Smogs and Chantal so those are huge holes to plug on relays and individually. uga had some weak recruiting classes and it is catching up on them. their 500’s this morning on the women’s side was ugly. first seed got 16th and second seed got 29th. ouch!

4 years ago

I think Van Landeghem has as good of a chance as Smoliga to continue the Georgia 50 free streak. She’s looking really good. It’s interesting that Georgia has that streak as I have never thought of them as a sprint program.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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