2019 SEC Championships
- Tuesday, February 19 – Saturday, February 23
- Gabrielsen Natatorium, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Women’s Champion: Texas A&M (3x) (results)
- Defending Men’s Champion: Florida (6x) (results)
- Live results
- Live Video – SEC Network
- Championship Central
The first of the NCAA’s major conferences to hold its championship meet, the SEC has released an early version of its psych sheets for the 2019 meet.
You can view the full psych sheets here.
The early drafts of the psych sheets usually find athletes over-entered: in other words, they’ll enter more events than they can ultimately swim (and teams have bigger rosters than they can ultimately enter). Athletes and coaches pare down their competition lineups closer to the meet itself, scratching out of extra events.
In total, we already know of 14 would-be top 10 seeds that, pre-cut, are already out of contention.
Noteworthy entries pre-cut:
- Missouri sophomore Lauren Savoy, who is ranked 8th in the conference in the 200 breaststroke, isn’t on the psych sheets at all (though she’s still listed on Missouri’s roster). That’s her only event ranked in the top 30 of the conference this season, so the lost probably costs the Tigers around 20 points.
- It’s not really a surprise, but Tennessee isn’t playing any games with the roster of their star sprinter Erika Brown. She’ll swim the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly individually, meaning no 200 free (5th in the SEC this season), 100 back (4th in the SEC this season), or 200 fly (9th in the SEC this season). Two weeks ago, Brown swam what is believed to be the fastest-ever 50 free in a dual meet.
- Georgia’s Javier Acevedo, still working his way back from a foot and hand injury, won’t swim the 200 free at SECs. He’s 6th-best in the conference so far this season in that event. Last year, he was the conference runner-up in the 200 back and conference champion in the 100 back. His entries this year will be chosen from among the 50 free, 200 IM, 100 back, and 200 back.
- Missouri’s Ann Ochitwa will swim the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly for her senior SEC Championship: the same lineup she had last season. That means no 200 free (6th in the conference) or 100 back (7th in conference), both of which would’ve been higher seeds than what she has in the 50 free (8th).
- Texas A&M star Sydney Pickrem is the defending conference champion in the 200 breaststroke, 200 IM, and 400 IM. Pre cuts, she holds top seeds in all three of those races, plus the 4th seed in the 200 back. She’s not entered in the 100 breaststroke, however: an event in which she ranks 2nd in the SEC this season.
- South Carolina’s Emma Barksdale, who was an all-American in both the 200 IM and 400 IM last season, will swim both races at SECs this year, plus the 200 breaststroke – where she’s seeded 18th. Her best time in the 200 breast is 2:10.16, which would rocket her up the rankings, but still would only put her as high as 6th: the same seed she would’ve held in the 200 fly if she had entered it (she didn’t).
- Tennessee’s Stanzi Moseley has whittled her schedule down to 4 possible individual events: the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, and 100 back. She won’t swim the 100 fly, where she’s 8th-best in the conference this year. That would have been her 2nd-best seed.
- Tenessee’s Joey Reilman will race the 200 free (2nd seed), 100 back (5th seed), and 200 back (1st seed). After a breakthrough senior season, those are the same events he swam at last year’s SEC, without opening the possibility for the 100 free – where he’s 4th-best in the conference so far this season.
- Missouri’s junior Nick Alexander will race the 100 back, 200 back, and 200 IM, including as the top seed in the latter of those events. That means no 100 fly, where he’s 10th-best in the conference this season.
- Alabama junior Zane Waddell will swim the 50 free (2nd seed), 100 back (2nd seed), and 100 free (5th seed): the same three events as last season. That means no 100 fly, where he’s 5th-best in the conference this season.
- The conference’s most versatile freshman, Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas, has taken a ‘pass’ on the 50 free at SECs. He’s 7th-best in the conference in that so far this season. That still leaves him with the #2 seed in the 200 IM, #7 seed in the 100 fly, #4 seed in the 100 back, and #4 seed in the 200 back.
Athletes are allowed up to 3 individual swims and up to 7 swims overall. That essentially means top athletes have a choice between 3 individual races and 4 relays or 2 individuals and a leg on all 5 relays (at the conference level, teams almost always choose the former).
The SEC men and women compete at the same meet, which will take place next week in Georgia. Last year, the Texas A&M women won the conference title, but this year’s projections show a much more even battle between Tennessee and Texas A&M, with Florida and Georgia very much in the mix as well. The men’s meet has a surprisingly-strong Missouri team projected at the top, with defending champs Florida close behind.