Following a pair of successful dual seasons, University of Georgia swimming and diving heads to Auburn, Ala. for the 2020 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships beginning Tuesday morning at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center.
The championship meet begins Tuesday with timed trials at 11 a.m. EST, followed by diving prelims at 11:30 a.m. and finals at 5:20 p.m. For the remainder of the week, the swimming prelims will start at 10:30 a.m., followed by diving prelims at 1 p.m. and nightly finals at 6:30 p.m.
Each session will be broadcast on SEC Network +, with a re-air of Saturday night’s finals on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. on SEC Network. Live results will be available on AuburnTigers.com and the MeetMobile app.
Georgia is looking to continue its strong tradition of 15 conference titles, with the Lady Bulldogs seeking their first crown since 2015 and the men attempting to top the league for the first time since 1955. The No. 8 men (5-1, 3-1 SEC) and No. 9 women (4-2, 2-2 SEC) will take on a loaded field at Auburn, featuring seven ranked men’s teams and nine ranked women’s teams.
Entering this week’s meet, Georgia carries the top seed in eight different events, including three league-leading marks by freshman Zoie Hartman (100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, 200 IM). Hartman also swam the breaststroke leg of the Lady Bulldogs’ top-seeded 400 medley relay which ranks fourth nationally. In the individual rankings, Hartman is first nationally in the 100 breast with a school-record time of 58.27, while ranking second in the 200 breast and third in the 200 IM. During her outstanding freshman campaign, she has twice earned SEC Women’s Swimmer of the Week honors, as well as two SEC Women’s Freshman of the Week awards.
In the butterfly, junior Camden Murphy is seeded first in the 100 fly with sophomore Dakota Luther topping the 200 fly, with both times ranking fourth nationally. Also ranking fourth nationally are junior Courtney Harnish (No. 1 seed in 500 freestyle) and senior Clayton Forde (No. 1 seed in 400 IM). Murphy and Harnish have both been named SEC Swimmer of the Week twice this season.
Aside from top seeds, Harnish sits at third in the 200 fly, senior Walker Higgins is sixth in the 500 free, senior Veronica Burchill ranks seventh in the 100 free and junior Olivia Anderson is seventh in the mile. Junior Danielle Della Torre (No. 7 nationally in 100 breast) joins Hartman and senior Sofia Carnevale in Georgia’s strong breaststroke group, giving them three of the top four seeds in the 100.
At the diving well, junior Zach Allen enters SECs with six victories on the season, including a sweep of the springboard events at November’s Tennessee Invitational. For the Lady Bulldogs, senior McKensi Austin and sophomore Ellie Crump have earned three combined wins this year, while senior Freida Lim prevailed on the platform in each of her outings this season.
Following this week’s championships, the Bulldogs will return home next weekend for the Bulldog Invitational NCAA qualifying meet. Georgia swimmers and divers will have one final opportunity to qualify for postseason competition in the two-day event, beginning on Saturday, Feb. 29 at Gabrielsen Natatorium.