The 2020 SEC Championships saw the 100 butterfly American Record broken by Erika Brown who won her third consecutive SEC title in the event.
“I never want to take a swim like that for granted," said women’s associate head coach Ashley Jahn. "That was an incredible performance that has been built on her consistency and her drive to get better and mindset. She continues to look for all the little things, she relies on her teammates and her teammates rely on her. She gives so much to other people and I feel like that performance came out of all those little things.”
Brown competed in the 100 fly having most recently topped Olympian Natalie Coughlin’s pool record with her performance in the preliminaries. She also broke Olympian Kelsi Dahlia’s American Record after posting a time of 49.38 in the finals.
Brown now stands as the third-fastest performer in the event’s history. She also improved her SEC and school record time.
Tess Cieplucha performed well in the 400 IM and won the gold medal after posting a time of 4:01.08. Not only was this her first individual medal at the SECs, but she also owns the nation’s two-fastest swims in the event. Her other time was 4:03.06, which occurred earlier in the season.
“I really thought she was going to have a great swim tonight," said Jahn. "She didn't disappoint. Tess does a great job of preparing and communicating and she continues to do the little things to get herself to this point.”
After tonight, the Lady Vols were first with 632.5 points, while Florida ended in second with 585.5 points. The Vols are currently fifth, with Florida leading with 694.5 points.
Women’s 400 IM
Alexis Yager finished with a time of 4:10.54, which was good for sixth place in the A-final. At the preliminaries, Yager timed out at 4:05.75, which set a school record for the third-fastest time in history.
Amanda Nunan and Danika Katzer finished with times of 4:15.25 and 4:16.26, respectively, with Nunan’s time being a personal best.
Men’s 400 IM
Ethan Sanders and Nathan Murray were the only two contestants for the Vols. Sanders clocked in at 3:51.08 at the preliminaries, a personal best, and Murray finished with a time of 3:52.64.
Women’s 100 Butterfly
In the 100 fly, six Lady Vols earned second swims. Brown, Trude Rothrock, Mallory Beil, Megan Sichterman, Stanzi Moseley and Carrie Johnson were the swimmers for Tennessee.
Rothrock placed fourth in the A-final after posting a time of 51.60. Beil finished with a new personal best. She clocked in at 52.33 and earned the win during the B-final. Sichterman finished in third place after her time of 52.62. Moseley placed in eighth in the B-final with a time of 53.48. Johnson also finished in eighth but was competing in the C-final, with a final time of 53.67.
“All of our athletes rallied together," said Jahn. "They all stopped by as an event group to talk to us before going behind the blocks and each had the goal of scoring points. They did a great job of that tonight.”
Men’s 100 Butterfly
The Vols had three swims in the finals. Kayky Mota finished in fifth in the A-final, posting a time of 45.76. Braga Verhage won the B-final after finishing with a 46.07 time. Oskar Hoff finished in eighth in the C-final after posting a time of 47.61.
“The 100 fly group showed a lot of attention to detail," said men’s associate head coach Lance Asti. "The guys were watching video in-between sessions and you could tell. They made adjustments in their races and it was a great night overall.”
Women’s 200 Freestyle
Meghan Small and Tjasa Pinter competed in the 200 freestyle A-final, finishing in fourth and seventh place, respectively. Small touched the wall at 1:43.55 and Pintar finished with a time of 1:45.30.
Abby Samansky placed seventh at 1:46.20 in the B-final. Both Samansky and McKenna Morello set personal bests with times of 1:46.02 and 1:49.55, respectively.
Men’s 200 Freestyle
Tennessee had three finals swims with Josh Walsh in A-final, Seth Thompson-Bailey in B-final and Alec Connolly in C-final. Walsh set the program’s sixth fastest 200 free all-time after placing seventh with a time of 1:34.35.
Thompson-Bailey touched the wall at 1:35.21 and placed fifth in the B-final. Connolly claimed victory in the C-final with his time of 1:34.69.
Women’s 3-Meter Diving
The Lady Vols did not have anyone competing in the finals sessions. Grace Cable finished highest for Tennessee, scoring 290.20, which placed her at 11th.
Kara Holt finished in 23rd after a 250.55 dive and Ana Celaya Hernadez placed in 27th with a dive of 241.30 points.