SEC Championships, Day 2: Bella Sims Opts for 200 IM over 500 Free

Bella Sims of United States of America prepares to compete in the Women's Freestyle 200m Heats during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 25th, 2023.
Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

SEC Championships, Day 2: Bella Sims Opts for 200 IM over 500 Free

Florida’s Bella Sims, fresh off her SEC record in the 200 free, opted out of the 500 free on the second day of the SEC Championships on Wednesday.

Sims already holds an A cut in the 500 free, having gone 4:32.53 this year, a time that is quicker than the SEC Championships record. She instead went 1:55.12 to grab the fifth seed in the 200 IM. That’s well off her personal best of 1:52.73, though she hasn’t swum it yet in college.

All the action from Auburn University on Day 2 of the SEC Championships.

Team Scores

Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 7                      
  1. Auburn University                 167   2. University of Florida             160
  3. University of Tennessee           147   4. Louisiana State University        146
  5. Georgia, University of            134   6. Texas A&M University              129
  7. University of Alabama             127   8. Missouri                          107
  9. South Carolina, University of,     99  10. University of Kentucky             98
 11. Vanderbilt University              62  12. University of Arkansas             56
 Men - Team Rankings - Through Event 8                       
  1. Texas A&M University              199   2. University of Florida             180
  3. University of Tennessee           155   4. Georgia, University of            150
  5. Auburn University                 127   6. University of Alabama             116
  7. Missouri                          111   8. Louisiana State University        106
  9. University of Kentucky            101  10. South Carolina, University of,     93

Women’s 500 freestyle

Without Sims, Abby McCulloh took the top seed, the fourth seed quicker than her seed time in 4:37.43. Georgia has three in the A final, with Rachel Stege third in 4:39.10 and Jillian Barczyk seventh.

Emma Weyant is the second seed for Florida, having gone 4:38.83. She’s the only Gator in the top eight.

Fourth is Hayden Miller of Texas A&M in 4:39.72. Tennessee’s Julia Mrozinski and Kate McCarville followed.

Men’s 500 freestyle

Mason Mathias and Michael Bonson will give the home crowd something to cheer about, bookending a tight final. Mathias led the way in prelims in 4:12.26, a tenth up on Georgia’s Jake Magahey. Bonson snuck into the A final in eighth.

Florida pushed three into the A final. Giovanni Linscheer led the way with 4:13.10. Andrew Taylor was fourth and Jake Mitchell seventh. Watch for Alabama’s Charlie Hawke, fifth in 4:13.63.

Women’s 200 individual medley

Florida has three in the A final, thanks to the move by Bella Sims. Leading the way in prelims was Josephine Fuller of Tennessee, who went 1:53.59. Georgia’s Zoie Hartman finished second in 1:54.36.

Then came the Florida trio. Zoe Dixon went 1:54.55. Isabel Ivey, the top seed entering the meet, was fourth in 1:54.67, ahead of Sims’ 1:55.12. Brooklyn Douthwright in sixth and Sara Stotler in eighth give Tennessee three A finalists.

Men’s 200 individual medley

Joaquin Gonzalez Pineiro of Florida led the way in the 200 IM in 1:42.07, but eyes will be on Texas A&M’s Baylor Nelson. The sophomore is the third seed in 1:42.82, a second and a half off the time of 1:41.33 he set earlier in the year.

Florida has four A finalists, with Julian Smith fourth (1:42.92). Mason Laur and Sean Sullivan are seventh and eighth, respectively.

Zach Hils of Georgia is the second seed in 1:42.69. Alex Sanchez of Texas A&M and Auburn’s Danny Schmidt round out the A final.

Women’s 50 freestyle

Camille Spink leads the way in a 50 free that includes no A cuts and could be pretty wide open. Spink led the way in 21.74 seconds. Only she and Florida’s Micayla Cronk went under 22 at 21.97.

Spink has two Tennessee teammates in the A final, Mona McSharry third and Amber Myers seventh. McSharry tied Chloe Stepanek of Texas A&M at 22.06. Just .02 back was Arkansas’s Bella Cothern.

Men’s 50 freestyle

Jordan Crooks led the way with a time of 18.30 seconds, a season best by a tenth of a second. He’s .47 clear of Florida’s Josh Liendo, with UT and the Gators taking the top five spots.

Crooks is joined by Gui Caribe in 18.88 as the fourth seed. Liendo is backed by Macguire McDuff in third in 18.87 and Adam Chaney in 18.69. Jere Hribar of LSU is the best of the rest in sixth in 18.99.

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