Caeleb Dressel Highlights SEC Championships Prelims

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Caeleb Dressel sent ripples through the swimming community with a 18.39 preliminary time in the 50-yard freestyle. The time was an American record. The Florida sophomore’s big swim was one of many highlights from Wednesday’s heats.

The Georgia women showed off their depth in the 500-yard freestyle, placing four swimmers in the A final. The Bulldogs were led by Hali Flickinger who posted a time of 4:35.56 to lead all swimmers. She was followed by Texas A&M’s Sarah Gibson and Georgia’s Brittany MacLean. 

South Carolina placed two swimmers in the men’s 500-yard freestyle top eight. Sophomore Akaram Mahmoud led the way for the Gamecocks with a time of 4:12.78. He was followed by two Gators: junior Mitch D’Arrigo and senior Pawel Werner. 

In the women’s 200-yard individual medley, Texas A&M made a statement. The Aggies had the top three qualifying swimmers for the A final. Sydney Pickrem touched in 1:55.87 and was followed by Lisa Bratton and Bethany Galat. 

Georgia’s Gunnar Bentz led the way in the men’s race. He posted a time of 1:43.21, just a hundredth of a second ahead of Auburn’s Joe Patching. Florida’s Mark Szaranek was third in the morning heats.

In the women’s 50-yard freestyle, Georgia’s Olivia Smoliga posted a time of 21.80. Florida’s Natalie Hinds touched next in 21.92 and Tennessee’s Madeline Banic was third. Banic touched in 22.06.

In the men’s 50-yard event, Dressel was followed by Alabama’s Kristian Gkolomeev. Auburn’s Peter Holoda touched third and Missouri’s Michael Chadwick touched fourth.

Finals start at 6 p.m.