Why the SEC Championships are a Must See Event (Video Feature)

The sights. The sounds. The celebrations. I, like many other swim fans, have spent hours in front of my computer refreshing live results (or refreshing SwimSwam) to get the latest updates on every big meet around the country. But, there are some things you don’t get from seeing just the splits on a screen. Ask anyone, and they’ll say that the SEC championships are unlike any other meet. What makes it a must see event?

Coaches and athletes agree that the SEC championships are special. It’s the only Power 5 conference in the country that has a 5-day meet schedule, and only 1 of 2 that hosts men and women at the same event (Big 12 being the other). Both men and women have 10+ teams filling stands with parents, alums, and excited fans for all 9 sessions, cheering for every event that their school is competing in. This year, you had 2 defending team champions (Men – Florida, Women – Texas A&M) whose legacies were both in jeopardy, and you got to see the emotion and grit that went into the fight they put up to get back on top of the podium.

Being such a long event, you have to have the mental fortitude as an athlete to tough it out and be ready to put up a faster swim than you ever have; than you ever thought possible. As a coach, you have to be able to put emotion into each swim, to cheer your loudest, but know that you may have to pull your team out of a slump if the going ever gets tough. As a parent, you must be prepared for the ups and downs such a rollercoaster can bring, and support your athlete through goods and bads. And as a fan. Well, all you have to do then is get your ticket, get your seat, and enjoy the ride that is the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.

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3 years ago

There is absolutely nothing like the SEC meet. If I could describe it in one word: ELECTRIC. Even some Olympians will tell you that it is the most fun they’ve ever had at a swim meet.

3 years ago

If this is true – when we gonna combine NCAAS? (Get rid of diving)

Reply to  Ladymanvol
3 years ago

Diving hurts more teams than it helps them point wise.

3 years ago

i’m sure the SEC was good. BUT the BIG Ten was special this year. I am not a huge Lily King fan but to see the best breaststroker in history lead her team to an upset conference championship win over Michigan and swim her last events in her home pool was really special. We were all waiting for Michigan to close the point gap and take the lead but it never happened.

Reply to  Mike
3 years ago

That is special for sure, but you’re not grasping the point of this article/video. The SEC meet has an atmosphere like no other meet, AND it’s for 5 days, a total of 9 sessions! The electricity in the natatorium is palpable at SEC’s, like no other swimming event. And, the relays are CRAAAAAAAAZY!!!! I’d even go as far as to say that it’s got more energy and hype than NCAA’s. I personally have competed at Pac12’s and it’s nothing like SEC’s!

Reply to  swimswamswum
3 years ago

I would agree. The combined makes it something special. Not that watching King isn’t cool. But at SECs you watch Brown throw down an amazing 50free and then a few heats later watch the same exciting race for Howard on the mens side. The energy, crowd and swimmers never stop at that meet. When the stands are full for middle session 1650’s you know you have a crowd that loves swimming.

3 years ago

Listen, NO DISRESPECT to any of the other conference championships, but this meet is HANDS DOWN a completely different meet than any other meet I’ve ever seen. I’ve been to all 5 of the “major” conference championships and the addition of the men adds an incredible vibe to the meet, similar to a huge football/basketball game. I wish all conferences, if possible, would have both men and women combined to allow swimmers/parents/coaches/fans/administrators to experience it for themselves.

Reply to  swimDAD
3 years ago

Totally agree, the combined men’s/women’s factor made this extra exciting, I don’t think having separate meet for each gender would result in the hype level felt at SECs.

3 years ago

Also was able to experience this meet. The atmosphere was exciting the whole time, and the fans are the best at SECs!

3 years ago

It was an amazing experience for a first time, live attendee… must see for all swim fans!

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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