Following a regular season that saw both the men’s and women’s squads find success, the Tennessee swimming and diving team will now compete in the 2018 SEC Championships, hosted by Texas A&M and starting Wednesday in College Station at Student Rec Center Natatorium.
The Lady Vols finished the season with a 7-3 dual meet record and were ranked No. 9 in the CSCAA TYR Top 25. The men’s team had a record of 6-2-1 and was ranked 12th nationally.
Sophomore Erika Brown had a coming out party on the national scene at the Tennessee Invitational. During the meet, she set school records in the 50-yard freestyle (21.50), 100-yard freestyle (47.54) and 100-yard butterfly (50.33), with the 100-yard butterfly time being the fastest in the nation this year.
This was a huge step up from her freshman year, when she only qualified for relays at NCAAs.
Redshirt junior Colin Zeng, a former NCAA champion at Ohio State, was named SEC Diver of the Week six times during the regular season and crushed Tennessee’s 16-year-old school record on platform with a score of 460.20, while senior Ryan Coetzee claimed the school record in the 100-yard butterfly, clocking a time of 45.46 at the Tennessee Invitational.
In 2017, the men’s team brought home sixth place, and the ladies finished the meet in fourth.
The Vols have four swimmers on the roster who are former SEC champions: Senior Liam Stone, juniors Madeline Banic and Rachel Rubadue and sophomore Meghan Small. Banic received a title in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.54, while Small won the 200-yard IM in her debut meet last season (1:54.86) and bettered her record again at the NCAAs with a time of 1:53.31.
Stone has titles in the 1-meter (468.30) and the 3-meter springboards (463.50) and is the reigning SEC Diver of the Year who had a fourth-place finish in both events at the NCAAs.
Head coach Matt Kredich will look to lead the Vols to conference success at the championships, with the Durham, North Carolina, native having found SEC glory himself in the past when he was named SEC Women’s Coach of the Year in both 2008 and 2012.
The SEC Championships are set to start with the men’s 3-meter and women’s 1-meter diving preliminaries at 11:30 a.m. The diving finals, 200-yard medley relay, and 800-yard freestyle relay will begin that same evening at 5:20 p.m.
On Thursday, preliminary swim sessions will begin at 11 a.m., after which diving preliminaries will take place. Final sessions are set to take place at 7 p.m.
The championship meet will conclude on Sunday.