Peter John Stevens of Tennessee (and Slovenia) split 22.76 50 Breast on the 200 Medley Relay. He split 22.72 last year — still the fastest 50 Breast ever. Unfortunately he was DQ’ed in the 100 Breast after going 51.96 for doing a dolphin kick during his finish. He scored 0 individual points.
Caeleb Dressel is obviously the MVS of SEC’s on the Men’s side of things. But, for the Women, I’m going with Olivia Smoliga. 50 Free and 100 Back Champ and runner up in the 100 Free (which was the race of the meet vs. Florida’s Natalie Hinds). Smoliga was also pretty good on relays: Fastest split in the 50 Back on the 200MR. Fastest lead off swimmer on the 200FR. 2nd fastest back split on the 400MR. 2nd fastest lead off split on the 400FR. That’s LOTS OF POINTS.
Texas A&M’s Women were awesome. 4 girls in the Top 8 in the 2IM. 3 are Sophomores and 1 is Freshman. 3 of those 4 went 1-2-3- in the 4IM. Lisa Bratton had a superb meet, as did Beryl Gastaldello and Sarah Gibson — all intricate on relays. They also went 1-2 in the 100 Fly and 200 Breast. And, had 3 swimmers in the Top 8 of the 2 Free. That’s how you win an SEC Championship!
Kyle Decoursey, a Frosh at Tennessee, had a breakout meet. 19.43/43.26 in the 50 and 100 Free. Also had relay splits of 18.85/18.86/42.36/42.85. His 3rd individual event was the 200 Free which didn’t turn out too good. None the less, expect to hear much, much more from him. And, some would argue he’s a better LCM swimmer.
Jay Litherland of Georgia won the 4IM nearly breaking 3:40. Then, turned around and added just .02 in the 200 Free. I would have added 12 seconds. That’s a testament to his training — both mentally and physically.
Kira Toussaint of Tennessee was a huge transfer pick up. She has been one of the most valuable swimmers in the SEC this year. 2nd in the 100 Back, 4th in the 100 Free, 6th in the 50 Free and crushed it on relays. Sprinters rule the world. UT had 4 of the Top 8 100 Freestylers. They won the 200 Free Relay, the 400 Free Relay, and the 200 Medley Relay. SPRINTERS. RULE. THE. WORLD.
I think Auburn & Alabama’s Men are going to have a really strong NCAA Championships. They are well rounded, have a lot of depth, and no glaring relay issues.
Georgia’s Women are missing a dominant breaststroker. That would have made all the difference.