Alabama Swimming and Diving Earns Three SEC Titles, Sets Nine School Records during SEC Championships
The Alabama swimming and diving teams finished five days in Knoxville, Tenn., for the 2017 Southeastern Conference Championships with three individual SEC titles, an SEC record, 12 medals and nine school records.
As a team, the Crimson Tide men finished fourth with 897 points while the women were 10th with 464 points at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center on the University of Tennessee campus. Both the men and women matched their finish from a year ago.
Senior Connor Oslin led the way for the men, winning his third-consecutive SEC 100 backstroke title, smashing Ryan Lochte’s 12-year-old SEC record in the process with a time of 44.73 seconds. Oslin is the first UA swimmer under 45 seconds in the 100 backstroke and the first swimmer under 45 at the SEC Championships. Junior Luke Kaliszak also reached the podium in the 100 backstroke, taking second place.
Junior Christopher Reid, who was fourth in the 100 backstroke, came back on the championships’ last night to win Alabama’s first SEC 200 backstroke title since Bryan Jennings won the 1986 championship. Reid posted a school- and pool-record 1:39.64 to win his first league title. Oslin was second in the 200 backstroke to once again give Alabama the top-two places in an event.
Anton McKee, the 2014 SEC 200 breaststroke champion as a freshman, came back to bookend his career with another SEC title, winning the 2017 200 breaststroke championship with a time of 1:52.22. McKee also medaled in the 100 breaststroke, taking third place with a 52.28. He also broke the school record in the 200 individual medley with a mark of 1:44.47, becoming the first UA swimmer under 1:45 in the event.
Junior Bailey Scott, who missed last year’s SEC Championships with a shoulder injury, roared back in 2017, setting school marks in the 50 and 100 freestyles. In the 50, she became the first UA swimmer in history to go under 22 seconds, smashing her own school record with a 21.84 to reach the podium and earn the bronze medal. On the meet’s last night, she won the B final of the 100 freestyle with a school record 48.48, taking ninth overall.
Senior Bridget Blood reached the podium in the women’s 100 breaststroke, taking third in a time of 59.95. After coming close in prelims, junior Mia Nonnenberg bettered her own school record in the finals of the 500 freestyle, touching the wall with a 4:43.20 to take third in the B final and 11th overall.
The Tide women opened their SEC run with a school record in the 200 medley relay when senior Caroline Korst, Blood, junior Hannah Musser and Scott combined for a 1:37.02, garnering sixth place.
The Tide men reached the podium on the championships’ first day when Oslin, senior Pavel Romanov, Kaliszak and freshman Zane Waddell took second in the men's 200 medley relay with a 1:23.52. Waddell came back later in the championships to earn the silver medal in the 50 freestyle with a time of 19.17, which ranks him second all-time at Alabama.
The men's 200 freestyle relay of Waddell, Kaliszak and sophomores Robert Howard and Laurent Bams also earned a spot on the podium, taking third place with a time of 1:16.40.
The Crimson Tide closed out the championship week with school records in the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle relays. The men’s squad of Waddell, Howard, Reid and Bams took second with a time of 2:49.68. In the women’s race, junior Temarie Tomley, junior Lindsay Morrow, junior Hannah Musser and Scott combined to post a 3:17.98 and take eighth place.