PHOENIX, Arizona, February 21. THE college season is in full force and conference championships are underway. We start today by recognizing Georgia's Megan Romano, who split a 20.99 as anchor of the 200 freestyle relay on day two of the Southeastern Conference Championships. Her split pulled UGA ahead of Tennessee to win the race, and made her the third woman in history to swim under 21 seconds in a 50 yard freestyle. Margo Greer and Ariana Vanderpool-Wallace have previously broken the barrier, clocking sub-21 times as 200 freestyle relay splits at NCAA Championships. However, Romano's time is unofficial since it was swum from a rolling relay start. For a point of reference on how fast a 20.99 really is: the American Record in the event is a 21.27, set by Lara Jackson in 2009, nearly three tenths slower than Romano's split.
SEC Championships, hosted by Texas A&M at College Station, continues today with day three. Auburn and Florida are in a tight race on the men's side, 417-412.5, while the Georgia women have a comfortable 36-point lead ahead of Texas A&M, 500-464. Today's events are the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 freestyle and 3-meter diving.
The Big Tens and the ACCs are also mid competition. Indiana became the first school in the Big Tens to break 7 minutes in the 800 freestyle relay with a 6:59.48, an automatic NCAA cut. Virginia has the lead in the ACCs heading into Day 2. Make sure to check out SwimmingWorld.com for all conference results.
In other fast Championships news, Paralympian Cortney Jorden set a new S7 classification American Record in the 200 backstroke earlier this week at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship, clocking a 2:39.88. Jorden represented the United States at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games, and won two silvers and a bronze medal in London.
Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Arizona, the headquarters for Swimming World Magazine, the battle for the historic Phoenix Swim Club rages on. Neighborhood support continues to grow as petitions for the club to retain its special uses permit are circling online and in person. We'll keep you updated on the battle as events progress.