SEC Women’s Championships: Courtney Harnish Three-Peats as 500 Free Champ on Night 2

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Courtney Harnish; Photo Courtesy: Georgia Athletics

Georgia entered Day 2 of the 2021 SEC Women’s Championships mired in 11th place. It didn’t stay there for long.

Courtney Harnish built on a strong morning performance by the Bulldogs to repeat as the SEC champ in the 500 freestyle, taking the win in 4:35.33. It’s the second-fastest time in the nation this year. Harnish has won the event the last three years after finishing second as a freshman.

Harnish was one of 13 Bulldogs to swim in the night session, including seven A finalists, that powered the Bulldogs up to second place. Alabama, which won the 50 free and the 200 free relay, is up to third, trailing Florida.

500 freestyle

Harnish was the second seed in the morning but controlled the evening swim from start to finish. She clocked in at 4:35.33, a personal-best in high school. (She was 4:35.52 in winning as a sophomore in 2019). It’s also the only NCAA A cut from the event.

Second was the morning’s top seed, Tennessee’s Kristen Stege, in 4:38.38. Peyton Palsha of Alabama was third, improving by one spot her finish from last year, in 4:38.97. Tylor Mathieu scored points for Florida in fourth, while Alabama’s Kensey McMahon, fourth in this event last year, slid to fifth.

 Event 3  Women 500 Yard Freestyle
=========================================================================
         NCAA: N 4:24.06  3/16/2017 Katie Ledecky, Stanford
     SEC Meet: S 4:33.10  2/17/2016 Brittany MacLean, Georgia
         Pool: P 4:30.85  12/4/2015 Leah Smith, Virginia
                 4:35.76  A
                 4:47.20  B
    Name           Year School            Prelims     Finals       Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Harnish, Courtn  SR Georgia-GA        4:40.57    4:35.33 A       32  
                 25.51        52.86 (27.35)
        1:20.61 (27.75)     1:48.40 (27.79)
        2:16.30 (27.90)     2:44.33 (28.03)
        3:12.46 (28.13)     3:40.67 (28.21)
        4:08.33 (27.66)     4:35.33 (27.00)
  2 Stege, Kristen   SO Tennessee-SE      4:39.35    4:38.38 B       28  
                 25.58        53.20 (27.62)
        1:21.26 (28.06)     1:49.40 (28.14)
        2:17.61 (28.21)     2:45.92 (28.31)
        3:14.54 (28.62)     3:43.09 (28.55)
        4:11.13 (28.04)     4:38.38 (27.25)
  3 Palsha, Peyton   SR Arkansas-AR       4:39.94    4:38.97 B       27  
                 25.25        52.56 (27.31)
        1:20.49 (27.93)     1:48.73 (28.24)
        2:16.96 (28.23)     2:45.35 (28.39)
        3:13.75 (28.40)     3:42.11 (28.36)
        4:10.79 (28.68)     4:38.97 (28.18)
  4 Mathieu, Tylor   SO FLOR-FL           4:43.25    4:39.21 B       26  
                 25.71        53.26 (27.55)
        1:21.33 (28.07)     1:49.74 (28.41)
        2:18.18 (28.44)     2:46.47 (28.29)
        3:14.92 (28.45)     3:43.46 (28.54)
        4:12.00 (28.54)     4:39.21 (27.21)
  5 McMahon, Kensey  JR Alabama-SE        4:42.10    4:40.06 B       25  
                 26.07        53.67 (27.60)
        1:21.70 (28.03)     1:49.81 (28.11)
        2:18.32 (28.51)     2:46.58 (28.26)
        3:15.18 (28.60)     3:44.02 (28.84)
        4:12.44 (28.42)     4:40.06 (27.62)
  6 Bauer, Elise C   FR FLOR-FL           4:41.26    4:42.05 B       24  
                 25.43        53.18 (27.75)
        1:21.55 (28.37)     1:50.15 (28.60)
        2:18.88 (28.73)     2:47.44 (28.56)
        3:16.26 (28.82)     3:45.38 (29.12)
        4:14.40 (29.02)     4:42.05 (27.65)
  7 Barczyk, Jillia  SO Georgia-GA        4:43.43    4:45.56 B       23  
                 26.12        54.24 (28.12)
        1:22.86 (28.62)     1:51.69 (28.83)
        2:20.66 (28.97)     2:49.98 (29.32)
        3:19.37 (29.39)     3:48.47 (29.10)
        4:17.46 (28.99)     4:45.56 (28.10)
  8 Anderson, Olivi  SR Georgia-GA        4:43.44    4:46.25 B       22  
                 26.03        54.00 (27.97)
        1:22.81 (28.81)     1:51.39 (28.58)
        2:20.49 (29.10)     2:49.49 (29.00)
        3:18.78 (29.29)     3:48.24 (29.46)
        4:17.55 (29.31)     4:46.25 (28.70)

200 individual medley

Zoie Hartman made it two wins from two events for Georgia, taking control with the second-fastest breaststroke split in the field to win in 1:53.58. It’s an NCAA B cut, her fastest time of the season and the third-fastest in the nation.

Vanessa Pearl of Florida improved a spot from prelims to second in 1:54.72, and Tennessee’s Alexis Yaeger jumped two spots to third in 1:55.67.

Izzy Gati of Kentucky was first after 50 yards but couldn’t keep the pace, the Wildcats getting fifth (Lauren Poole), sixth and eighth in the race.

Event 4  Women 200 Yard IM
=========================================================================
         NCAA: N 1:50.67  3/15/2018 Ella Easton, Stanford
     SEC Meet: S 1:51.62  2/20/2019 Meghan Small, Tennessee
         Pool: P 1:51.62  2/20/2019 Meghan Small, Tennessee
                 1:53.66  A
                 1:59.94  B
    Name           Year School            Prelims     Finals       Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Hartman, Zoie E  SO Georgia-GA        1:54.35    1:53.68 B       32  
                 25.54        53.82 (28.28)
        1:26.16 (32.34)     1:53.68 (27.52)
  2 Pearl, Vanessa   JR FLOR-FL           1:55.40    1:54.72 B       28  
                 25.63        54.25 (28.62)
        1:26.93 (32.68)     1:54.72 (27.79)
  3 Yager, Alexis A  SR Tennessee-SE      1:55.88    1:55.67 B       27  
                 25.64        55.12 (29.48)
        1:27.89 (32.77)     1:55.67 (27.78)
  4 Dellatorre, Dan  SR Georgia-GA        1:55.29    1:55.74 B       26  
                 25.65        56.24 (30.59)
        1:28.20 (31.96)     1:55.74 (27.54)
  5 Poole, Lauren M  SO Kentucky-KY       1:55.56    1:56.25 B       25  
                 24.94        53.37 (28.43)
        1:27.80 (34.43)     1:56.25 (28.45)
  6 Gati, Izzy G     JR Kentucky-KY       1:56.25    1:56.64 B       24  
                 24.40        54.04 (29.64)
        1:28.92 (34.88)     1:56.64 (27.72)
  7 Ownbey, Hannah      Auburn-SE         1:56.73    1:56.77 B       23  
                 25.35        54.83 (29.48)
        1:28.88 (34.05)     1:56.77 (27.89)
  8 Bonnett, Bailey  SR Kentucky-KY       1:56.30    1:58.61 B       22  
                 25.76        56.84 (31.08)
        1:29.72 (32.88)     1:58.61 (28.89)

50 freestyle

It was Roll Tide, with a bit of an asterisk.

Alabama’s Kalia Antoniou won the A final in 21.69 seconds, the Cypriot international leading a 1-2 with teammate Cora Dupre. That duo are the second and third women to break 22 seconds in program history. Katelyn Mack of Florida, the top seed from prelims was third in 21.85.

But …

The fastest time in the event, the only NCAA A cut and the third-fastest time in the nation came via Missouri’s Sarah Thompson in 21.57. Thompson had been the top seed entering prelims at 21.76 but went a disappointing 22.22 this morning, the 12th-fastest of the morning. That means she settles for ninth. Missouri also won the C final via Amy Feddersen.

 Event 5  Women 50 Yard Freestyle
=========================================================================
         NCAA: N 20.90  12/5/2019 Abbey Weitzeil, California
     SEC Meet: S 21.03  2/19/2020 Erika Brown, Tennessee
         Pool: P 21.15  2/20/2019 Erika Brown, Tennessee
                 21.66  A
                 22.76  B
    Name           Year School            Prelims     Finals       Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Antoniou, Kalia  JR Alabama-SE          21.91      21.69 B       32  
                 10.53        21.69 (11.16)
  2 Dupre, Cora A    SO Alabama-SE          22.12      21.82 B       28  
                 10.54        21.82 (11.28)
  3 Mack, Katelyn G  SO FLOR-FL             21.82      21.85 B       27  
                 10.43        21.85 (11.42)
  4 Parker, Maxine   FR Georgia-GA          22.07      21.93 B       26  
                 10.73        21.93 (11.20)
  5 Grinter, Bailey  SR Tennessee-SE        22.13      22.08 B       25  
                 10.75        22.08 (11.33)
  6 Fa'Amausili, Ga  SR Georgia-GA          21.99      22.09 B       24  
                 10.68        22.09 (11.41)
  7 Keil, Megan K    JR Missouri-MV         22.09      22.26 B       23  
                 10.76        22.26 (11.50)
  8 Melton, Kobie M  JR Arkansas-AR         22.18      22.36 B       22  
                 10.79        22.36 (11.57)

200 freestyle relay

Alabama’s wait for an SEC relay win lasted 36 years. The next wait didn’t last 36 hours.

Alabama won its second relay in as many nights, the team of Antoniou, Morgan Scott, Flora Molnar and Dupre winning in 1:27.02, an NCAA A cut. (That foursome finished first, 10th, 22nd and second, respectively, in the 50 free.) ‘Bama entered as the sixth seed. It’s the first time the Tide have won that event since 1983.

Top seed Missouri was out front thanks to Thompson going 21.65, but Dupre chased down Alex Moderski on the anchor leg. Megan Keil and Feddersen were also on the relay, which notched an A cut of 1:27.36. Tennessee was third in an A cut of 1:28.50 with Florida fourth.

Event 7  Women 200 Yard Freestyle Relay
==================================================================================
         NCAA: N 1:24.55  3/21/2019 California
                          M.Murphy, K. McLaughlin, B. Bilquist, A. Weitzeil
     SEC Meet: S 1:25.41  2/19/2020 Auburn
                          J. Meynan, C. Fisch, AJ Kutsch, R. Clevenger
         Pool: P 1:26.31  12/2/2016 California
                          Weitzeil, Bilquist, Hull, Osman
                 1:28.43  A
                 1:29.21  B
    School                           Seed     Finals       Points 
==================================================================================
  1 Alabama-SE  'A'               1:30.04    1:27.02 A       64  
     1) Antoniou, Kalia JR            2) Scott, Morgan E JR           
     3) Molnar, Flora SR              4) Dupre, Cora A SO             
                 10.60        21.82 (21.82)
          31.90 (10.08)       43.38 (21.56)
          53.84 (10.46)     1:05.59 (22.21)
        1:15.79 (10.20)     1:27.02 (21.43)
  2 Missouri-MV  'A'              1:28.47    1:27.36 A       56  
     1) Thompson, Sarah M SR          2) Keil, Megan K JR             
     3) Feddersen, Amy J SO           4) Moderski, Alex C SO          
                 10.36        21.65 (21.65)
          32.12 (10.47)       43.42 (21.77)
          53.84 (10.42)     1:05.27 (21.85)
        1:15.62 (10.35)     1:27.36 (22.09)
  3 Tennessee-SE  'A'             1:29.45    1:28.00 A       54  
     1) McSharry, Mona L FR           2) Ungaretti, Natalie A SO      
     3) Sichterman, Megan J SR        4) Grinter, Bailey A SR         
                 10.56        22.07 (22.07)
          32.62 (10.55)       44.30 (22.23)
          54.70 (10.40)     1:06.32 (22.02)
        1:16.62 (10.30)     1:28.00 (21.68)
  4 FLOR-FL  'A'                  1:29.56    1:28.50 B       52  
     1) Mack, Katelyn G SO            2) Bates, Talia B SO            
     3) Hillis, Gabrielle B SR        4) Golding, Kathleen A FR       
                 10.61        22.04 (22.04)
          32.31 (10.27)       43.72 (21.68)
          54.26 (10.54)     1:05.82 (22.10)
        1:16.61 (10.79)     1:28.50 (22.68)
  5 Georgia-GA  'A'               1:29.15    1:28.61 B       50  
     1) Fa'Amausili, Gabi A SR        2) Parker, Maxine C FR          
     3) Dellatorre, Danielle G SR     4) Hartman, Zoie E SO           
                 10.71        22.13 (22.13)
          32.50 (10.37)       43.78 (21.65)
          54.58 (10.80)     1:06.71 (22.93)
        1:17.06 (10.35)     1:28.61 (21.90)
  6 Arkansas-AR  'A'              1:29.77    1:29.59         48  
     1) Barclay, Emily G JR           2) Melton, Kobie M JR           
     3) Moore, Molly A JR             4) Cothern, Bella FR            
                 10.94        22.59 (22.59)
          32.85 (10.26)       44.35 (21.76)
          55.12 (10.77)     1:07.09 (22.74)
        1:17.55 (10.46)     1:29.59 (22.50)

3-meter diving

Texas A&M, which had won four straight championships before Tennessee claimed the crown last year, got a boost via diving with a 1-2 result. Charlye Campbell outpointed her teammate Aimee Wilson, 376.45 to 372.90, in the race to gold. The Aggies find themselves sixth in the team competition after two days.

Ashley McCool helped solidify Florida’s top spot by finishing third. Arkansas pushed three divers into the top eight.

SEC Women’s Championships team scores (including 3-meter diving)

1. Florida – 448
2. Georgia – 365
3. Alabama – 357
4. Tennessee – 348
5. Kentucky – 343
6. Texas A&M – 334
7. Arkansas – 325
8. Missouri – 253
9. LSU – 198
10. Auburn – 188
11. South Carolina – 145
12. Vanderbilt – 94

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