University of Georgia Set To Host 2019 SEC Championships

by Maclin Simpson 20

July 17th, 2018 College, News, SEC

The dates and location for the 2019 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships have been set.

The University of Georgia will play host to the combined women’s and men’s meet at the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, GA. The championships will run from Tuesday, February 19 to Saturday, February 23, 2019.

Unlike other conference championships, the SEC moved to a 5-day meet back in 2013 after the introduction of Texas A&M and Missouri to the conference. Along with that, the event schedule strays away from the standard championship format. The main difference involves breaking up the typically long 3rd day of individual events (400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back) into the 400 IM, 100 fly, and 200 free on day 3. Then, day 4 consists of the 200 fly, 100 back, and 100 breast and day 5 consists of the 1,650 free, 200 back, 100 free, and 200 breast.

Georgia last hosted the conference championship in 2014. Opened in 1996, UGA’s Gabrielsen Natatorium has a seating capacity of approximately 2,000.

Last year, the SEC Championships were hosted by Texas A&M in College Station, TX where the Aggie women took home their 3rd-consecutive team title with 1,319 points ahead of runner-up Georgia (1,030 points) and 3rd place Tennessee (950 points). On the men’s side, the Florida Gators claimed their 6th-consecutive team title with 1,237 points ahead of runner-up Texas A&M (994 points) and 3rd place Georgia (975 points).

Gabrielsen Natatorium has always provided a strong home pool advantage (and then some) for the Georgia women. When SEC’s was in last in Athens in 2014, the UGA ladies took home the team title by over 350 points. Up until last year, the Bulldog women held a 22-year home dual meet winning streak. That streak was snapped in January 2017 by the Texas Longhorns.

The women will have just over 4 weeks (29 days) between the start of their conference championship meet and the women’s NCAA Championship meet, which is set to take place Wednesday, March 20 to Saturday, March 23, 2019 in Austin, TX at the University of Texas. The men will have exactly 5 weeks between the start of their conference championship meet the men’s NCAA Championships – also in Austin, TX – from Tuesday, March 26 to Friday, March 29, 2019.

Georgia is also scheduled to host the 2020 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships March 18-21, 2020.

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The SEC has its act together as regards swimming. It is by far the best swimming conference, and when that is considered alongside the success of football and basketball, it says lots about the Conference priorities. Let the football teams make nearly $billions from successful football programs, and support the “minor” sports. Along with this incredible depth in swimming, the SEC colleges have also stepped up in terms of facilities. Top-to-bottom, SEC has the best on-campus swim facilities, and its great that a rotation among the premier facilities to host SEC’s allows for great championships (including 10m platform diving). National-level facilities are almost universal in the league: UGA, Auburn, Tennessee, A&M, Mizzou, Florida, and Kentucky have all hosted SEC. That’s… Read more »

Sean Justice

The SEC, well when I swam, rotated the conference meet. So you had USC host SEC as well as UGA. I think that if a university built a new pool, then would skip to the front in terms of hosting.


Aside from Ole Miss or Mississippi State sponsoring swimming and building a facility, I don’t see any other SEC school building a new pool. Basically, what I mean is, USC and Vandy aren’t going to build new pools. USC has a good-enough pool, though the lanes are narrow. Vandy is the smallest school by far, and they get by with using the Tracy Caulkins pool in Nashville. UK, Bama, and Florida both have good pools, even though the diving apparatus are at one end of each of those. No reason for them to build a new pool. Pools that are in a “rotation” to (potentially) host NCAA’s are: Federal Way, Texas, A&M, Mizzou, Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue, IU Natatorium (Indy), Ohio… Read more »


A&M joining SEC really messed with competition in Big 12 swimming a few years ago.


You’re right. Not to speak ill of the rest of the conference, but the talent-level drops off dramatically after Texas. Just the facts.


In the B1G, Michigan has hosted the conference championships in the past. Rutgers also has a 50 meter pool with platforms, but doesn’t have a separate diving well/full warm down pool. In the ACC, Louisville and Pittsburgh have 50 meter pools with diving towers (Pittsburgh also has a separate warm down pool).


Michigan also hosted women’s NCAAs in mid 90s. It shouldn’t happen again


I agree. The spectator seating capacity there is limited.


And deck space


Maybe to put it another way: NCAA Championships require a pool with a separate diving well with 10m towers. Using that criteria, SEC has more facilities than any other conference to host that level of a meet. Only a very small handful of pools outside the SEC can host NCAAs: Iowa, Georgia Tech, Texas, GAC, Federal Way, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue… Houston? Long Island?

You missed the most obvious one: IUPUI 😉

But yes, on totality, the SEC has the best aquatics facilities of any conference in the country, especially once A&M and Missouri joined (though, speaking technically, those were both built as Big 12 facilities, so one could make a semantics argument about whether SEC gets the credit for ‘investing’ in those facilities. Either way, they’re in the SEC now!)


Yea, wow. I include Federal Way, GAC, and Long Island, but I miss IU Nat in the roster of off-campus, national-level pools.


It hasn’t hosted a national level meet in quite some time other than NSCA Juniors, but the Orlando YMCA has 50 meters with a separate pool for diving. Spring Nationals were held there in 2004, but I don’t think any NCAA meets have been held there. Indiana and Michigan technically fit the bill, but they don’t have a ton of spectator or athlete seating.


Another obscure one–Palo Alto College Aquatics Center in San Antonio. It hosted the US Open in 2002ish. They have a 75 meter pool with towers. Oklahoma City Community College fit the bill until they tore down their pool a few years ago.
Liberty University just built a facility that meets those standards as well.

Show Me The Money

This needs to have an updated picture of the natatorium; UGA has put in much needed new scoreboards that now make it the best championship-hosting pool in the SEC.


Georgia is also hosting women’s NCAA the following year (2020).

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