2023 SEC SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The final session of the 2023 SEC Championships should feature some exciting showdowns on Saturday night at Texas A&M’s Rec Center Natatorium.
At the 100 free women, LSU star Maggie McNeil competes as the top seed with a 47.46, just 0.01 seconds ahead of Alabama senior Kalia Antoniou.
After Jordan Crooks won the 50 free and Josh Liendo Having triumphed in the 100m fly, we are ready for round 3 of this exciting men’s 100m free sprint match. Liendo’s time of 41.22 in the heats this morning made him the second fastest rookie ever at the event, just 0.06s behind Crooks.
Florida’s fifth-year Dillon Hillis equaled the SEC record in the heats with a 1:51.53, but he could be challenged in tonight’s finals by teammate Aleksas Savickas, who was within a tenth of Hillis this morning.
The 1650 Free, 200 Back, Men’s Platform Diving and 400 Free Relays are also on the program that evening. In the mile, two-time defending champion Kristen Stege of Tennessee will attempt to defend her title against 2020 champion Kensey McMahon of Alabama. Alabama is particularly noteworthy Rhyan White missed the women’s 200 backstroke A final this morning.
Stay tuned for live updates below:
RESULTS AFTER DAY 4
WOMEN’S 1650 FREESTYLE – FINALS
- NCAA record: Katie Ledecky (Stanford): 15:03.31
- SEC record: Brittany MacLean (Georgia): 15:27.84
- Encounter record: Brittany MacLean (Georgia): 15:36.52
- NCAA A-average: 15:52.41
- 2022 Champion: Kristen Stege, Tennessee (15:42.37)
Kensey McMahon, fifth grader from Alabama, is back on top.
After losing the mile to Tennessee’s Kristen Stege for the past two years, McMahon passed her 10 minutes into the race and never looked back en route to victory in 15:47.02. That time cut her season best by 12 seconds.
“That’s what my coach and I have been working on for the past three years,” McMahon said. “So it definitely feels good that it happened that way.”
Tennessee junior Aly Breslin swam this afternoon but her massive personal best gave her second place ahead of Stege, who faded the course. Breslin lost more than 10 seconds off her lifetime best from last year’s Big Ten Championships.
MEN’S 1650 FREESTYLE – FINALS
- NCAA record: Bobby Finke (Florida): 14:12.08
- SEC record: Bobby Finke (Florida): 14:12.08
- Encounter record: Bobby Finke (Florida): 14:12.08
- NCAA A-Average: 14:37.31
- 2022 champion: Trey Freeman, Florida (14:39.74)
In one of the week’s swims, Kentucky freshman Levi Sandidge flew out to the mile for a quick start and clung to an upset win.
His winning time of 14:31.47 cut his previous best by a whopping 20 seconds, shocking both the rest of the field and himself. It’s the fastest time in the country this season ahead of Alabama’s Victor Johansson, who by around eight seconds He finished seventh behind his best time of the season.
Sandidge made history as the first Kentucky man to win an SEC title since 2006 and the first wildcat to win the mile in program history.
georgia Jake Magahey (14:38.45) and Florida’s Tyler Watson (14:38.50) were separated by just 0.05 seconds in the battle for second place.
200 WOMEN’S RETURN – FINAL
- NCAA record: 1:47.24, Beata Nelson (2019)
- SEC record: 1:48.06, Rhyan White (2020)
- Hit record: 1:48.06, Rhyan White (2022)
- Pool record: 1:49.11, Gemma Spofforth (2009)
- NCAA A-Average: 1:50.50
- Champion 2022: Rhyan WhiteAlabama (1:50.22
With defending champion Rhyan White After the A-Finals, that race was wide open, and LSU freshman Ella Varga capitalized on the opportunity by hitting another breakout performance.
Varga’s best time last month was just 1’56.68, but she lost four seconds in this morning’s heats before tonight’s 1’51.74 took her to victory. Varga sealed her victory with a 28.44 split in the last 50, the fastest in the field.
Tennessee’s Josephine Fuller (1:52.21) and Kentucky’s Caitlin Brooks (1:52.38) rounded out the podium. Brooks was joined by two Kentucky teammates, newcomers Lydia Hanlon (1:52.83) and Grace Freericks (1:53.97) in fifth and sixth. The Wildcats rookies show themselves so far tonight.
200 SETBACK MEN – FINALS
- NCAA record: 1:35.73, Ryan Murphy (2016)
- SEC record: 1:35.75, Shaine Casas (2021)
- Hit record: 1:36.85, Shaine Casas (2021)
- Pool record: 1:36.62, Shaine Casas (2020)
- NCAA A-average: 1:39.13
- 2022 Champion: Kieran Smith, Florida (1:39.51)
For the past two years, Bradley Dunham has finished fourth, just off the podium. This time the senior from Georgia was not denied a medal.
Dunham’s 1:39.27 was slightly slower than his best time from this morning’s heats (1:38.90), but it was still enough to eclipse Texas A&M newcomer Baylor Nelson (1:39.79). to beat about half a second.
“It’s surreal,” Dunham said. “I’m just so grateful to my family, friends, team and coaches for believing in me.”
Nelson’s time was a personal best, a few tenths off his previous best time this morning. Missouri Senior Jack Dahlgren rounded out the podium in third with a 1:39.80, and Auburn Senior Aidan Stoffle was the only other swimmer in the sub-1:40 field with a 1:39.88.
WOMEN 100 FREESTYLE FINALS
- NCAA record: 45.56, Simone Manuel (2017)
- SEC record: 45.83, Erika Brown (2020)
- Hit record: 45.83, Erika Brown (2020)
- Pool record: 46.62, Simone Manuel (2014)
- NCAA A-cut: 47.18
- 2022 champion: Morgan Scott, Alabama (47.32)
LSU Graduate Transfer Maggie McNeil rode by more than a second to the 100th free title with a time of 46.27, breaking Simone Manuel’s 2014 pool record. That time would have been No. 1 in the nation if it had been an hour earlier, but Kate Douglass just pitched a 45.86 to win the ACC title.
“I love it,” MacNeil said of her fifth year with the Tigers. “I’m just happy to get back to what I need to do next year on the way to Paris 2024.”
Alabama senior Kalia Antoniou was second with a time of 47.46, and sophomore Ekaterina Nikonova held off her Florida compatriot Micayla Cronk by just 0.02 seconds to take the last spot in the to reach the podium.
MEN 100 FREESTYLE – FINALS
- NCAA record: 39.90, Caeleb Dressel (2018)
- SEC record: 39.90, Caeleb Dressel (2018)
- Hit record: 40.87, Caeleb Dressel (2018)
- Pool record: 40.87, Caeleb Dressel (2018)
- NCAA A Average: 41.64
- Champion 2022: Brooks curryLSU (40.99)
Round 3 of the Tennessee’s sprint battle Jordan Crooks and Florida’s Josh Liendo lived up to the hype in the 100 free.
Liendo was a tenth of a second ahead at halfway point in the race, but Crooks charged ahead at the finish, passing Liendo by just 0.05 seconds. Crook’s winning time of 41.19 was slightly slower than his NCAA lead of 41.17 from the Tennessee Invitational in November. The win made Crooks the first volunteer to win that race in 27 years.
Liendo’s 41.24 was just behind his time from the heats that made him the second fastest rookie of all time.
Tennessee rookie Gui Caribe, the third fastest rookie of all time at the event, finished third with a 41.55, relegating Florida’s Macguire McDuff (41.59) to the last spot on the podium.
defending champion Brooks curry LSU placed fifth with 41.88.
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WOMEN’S 200 BREAST STRIKE – FINALS
- NCAA record: 2:01.43, Kate Douglass (2023)
- SEC record: 2:03.26, Bethany Galat (2018)
- Record hit: 2:04.62, Sydney Pickrem (2018)
- Pool record: 2:04.62, Sydney Pickrem (2018)
- NCAA A-cut: 2:06.18
- 2022 Champion: Gillian Davey, Kentucky (2:06.21)
Tennessee junior Mona McSharry clinched her second title of the week in the 200 breast (2:05.11) after winning the 100 breast earlier in the competition. McSharry also finished second in the 50 free behind LSUs earlier this week Maggie McNeil.
It was a three-way race for the crown of the 200 breaststroke between McSharry, Georgia Zoie Hartmanand Avery Wiseman of Alabama, all of whom were just short of their best times.
MEN’S 200 BREAST BEAT – FINALS
- NCAA record: 1:47.91, Will Licon (2017)
- SEC record: 1:50.80, Nic Fink (2015)
- Hit record: 1:51.53, Dillon Hillis (2023)
- Pool record: 1:51.09, Alex Sanchez (2022)
- NCAA A-Average: 1:51.54
- 2022 Champion: Derek Maas, Alabama (1:51.56)
MEN’S PLATFORM – FINALS
- SEC Record: 507.15 – Zhipeng Zeng, Tennessee (2018)
- SEC Meeting Record: 496.55 – Juan Celaya Hernandez, LSU (496.55)
- 2022 champion: Juan Hernandez, LSU (430.55)
WOMEN 400 FREE SEASON
- NCAA record: California: 3:06.96
- SEC record: Georgia: 2:08.97
- SEC meeting record: Georgia: 3:09.18
- NCAA A-cut: 3:14.10
- Champions 2022: Alabama (3:10.86)
MEN 400 FREE RELAY
- NCAA record: NC State: 2:44.31
- SEC record: Florida: 2:45.73
- SEC meeting record: Florida: 2:46.03
- NCAA-A standard: 2:50.52
- Champions 2022: Florida (2:46.91)