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.