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SEC Prelims Day 3: Kalisz Cruises 3:40, Sarah Gibson Scares SEC Record

SEC Prelims Day 3: Kalisz Cruises 3:40, Sarah Gibson Scares SEC Record
Photo: © Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Day three prelims are in the books at the 2017 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Thursday. On the women's side, ​Sarah Gibson ​of Texas A&M was the star of the morning, narrowly missing the SEC Meet Record in the 100 butterfly. From a team perspective, the Aggies put at least two swimmers in each A-final as they look to extend their lead. On the men's side, ​Caeleb Dressel​ and ​Maxime Rooney​ of Florida lead with strong swims in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle, respectively. Florida is in a prime position to build upon its already dominant lead tonight.

400IM


Women
SEC Meet Record: 3:58.35 (Elizabeth Beisel - Florida, 2012)
NCAA 'A' Automatic: 4:05.36 
NCAA 'B' Consideration: 4:19.39

This one was all ​Sydney Pickrem​ of Texas A&M. The defending SEC champion looked in control the entire way, touching first in a 4:05.98. After that, it was a toss-up as eight women finished with a time of 4:08. Yes, EIGHT. Second through ninth place in this event ranged from a 4:08.2 to a 4:08.9. Talk about close, especially for a 400 IM. Look for the third place qualifier, ​Bethany Galat​ of Texas A&M, to give her teammate a run for her money tonight. The Aggies duo finished first and third last year and will certainly put on another show at this year's meet. ​Emma Barksdale ​of South Carolina finished in second with a 4:08.28 and could be the dark horse to spoil Texas A&M's party.

Top 8 Finalists

1.) Sydney Pickrem (Texas A&M): 4:05.98
2.) Emma Barksdale (South Carolina): 4:08.28
3.) Bethany Galat (Texas A&M): 4:08.33
4.) Meghan Small (Tennessee): 4:08.42 
5.) Emily Cameron (Georgia): 4:08.76
6.) Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo (Texas A&M): 4:087.72
7.) Sharli Brady (Mizzou): 4:08.90
8.) Mia Nonnenberg (Alabama): 4:08.85
16th: 4:13.71
24th: 4:17.13


Men
SEC Meet Record: 3:37.75 (Conor Dwyer - Florida, 2011)
NCAA 'A' Automatic: 3:40.76
NCAA 'B' Consideration: 3:54.49

This is looking like it could be another matchup of last night's thrilling 200 IM between ​Chase Kalisz ​of Georgia and ​Mark Szaranek ​of Florida. Kalisz, a 400 IM specialist, cruised through his preliminary heat to take the top seed with a 3:40.93. In the heat before, Szaranek dueled with Olympian ​Jay Litherland​ of Georgia to claim the second seed with a 3:42.42 to Litherland's 3:42.63. Kalisz is the NCAA record holder in this event with a 3:34 from 2014. Don't look for him to challenge that time tonight, but we could easily see three swimmers with sub-3:40 swims. 

Top 8 Finalists

1.) Chase Kalisz (Georgia): 3:40.93
2.) Mark Szaranek (Florida): 3:42.42
3.) Jay Litherland (Georgia): 3:42.63
4.) Tom Peribonio (South Carolina): 3:45.12
5.) Joe Patching (Auburn): 3:45.36
6.) Gunnar Bentz (Georgia): 3:45.79
7.) Sam McHugh (Tennessee): 3:45.86
8.) Alex Lebed (Florida): 3:46.44
16th: 3:48.51
24th: 3:51.46


100 Butterfly


Women
SEC Meet Record: 50.87 (Beryl Gastaldello - Texas A&M, 2015)
NCAA 'A' Automatic: 51.49
NCAA 'B' Consideration: 54.49

​Sarah Gibson​ of Texas A&M, Wednesday night's champion in the 500 freestyle, came dangerously close to her teammate's SEC meet record with a strong 50.93. The current record holder, ​Beryl Gastaldello​, was sixth with a 52.32. Unless Gastaldello can get back to top form, don't expect anyone to challenge Gibson tonight as the senior is the top seed by over half a second. The second-place finisher was ​Chelsea Britt​ of Georgia who touched in a 51.47.

Top 8 Finalists

1.) Sarah Gibson (Texas A&M): 50.93 (NCAA 'A')
2.) Chelsea Britt (Georgia): 51.47 (NCAA 'A')
3.) Haley Black (Auburn): 52.09
4.) Madeline Banic (Tennessee): 52.20
5.) Kylie Stewart (Georgia): 52.29
6.) Beryl Gastaldello (Texas A&M): 52.32
7.) Kara Kopcso (LSU): 52.34 
8.) Bailey Nero (Auburn): 52.39
16th: 53.28
24th: 54.08


Men
SEC Meet Record: 44.80 (Caeleb Dressel - Florida, 2016)
NCAA 'A' Automatic: 45.73
NCAA 'B' Consideration: 48.29

​No surprise here: ​Caeleb Dressel​ of Florida takes the top seed by over a second with a 44.87, less than a 10th off of his own meet record. Dressel is actually tied for the fastest time in the country this season with the second seed of Mizzou, ​Andrew Sansoucie​, in 44.86. However, Sansoucie is rocking an impressive beard, signaling that he is not shaved and fully tapered for this meet. Look for this to be a much more hotly contested race between these two at NCAAs. Second through eighth is separated by only two-10ths of a second, so this is going to be a fight to get on the podium and rack up team points.

Top 8 Finalists

1.) Caeleb Dressel (Florida): 44.87 (NCAA 'A')
2.) Andrew Sansoucie (Mizzou): 45.97
3.) Luis Martinez (Auburn): 46.02
4.) Logan Rysemus (LSU): 46.10
5.) Luke Kaliszak (Alabama): 46.15 
6.) Connor Oslin (Alabama): 46.16 
7.) Jan Switkowski (Florida): 46.22
8.) Ryan Coetzee (Tennessee): 46.23
16th: 47.01
24th: 47.65


200 Freestyle


Women
SEC Meet Record: 1:41.83 (Shannon Vreeland - Georgia, 2014)
NCAA 'A' Automatic: 1:43.63
NCAA 'B' Consideration: 1:47.99

Last year's bronze medalist from the SEC Championships, ​Geena Freriks​ of Kentucky, claimed the top spot this morning with a 1:45.29. Freriks will look to capitalize on the absence of ​Brittany MacLean, ​the defending champion in this race. However, she will have her hands full with a slew of 1:45s from ​Claire Rasmus​ of Texas A&M, ​Meaghan Raab​ of Georgia, and ​Erin Falconer​ of Auburn. Raab was last year's second-place finisher, so look for her to make a strong push for the title as well.

Top 8 Finalists

1.) Geena Freriks (Kentucky): 1:45.29
2.) Claire Rasmus (Texas A&M): 1:45.40
3.) Meaghan Raab (Georgia): 1:45.75
4.) Erin Falconer (Auburn): 1:45.90
5.) Meryn McCann (Georgia): 1:46.35 
6.) Kristin Malone (Texas A&M): 1:46.44
7.) Ali Galyer (Kentucky): 1:46.70
8.) Kendal Casey (Kentucky): 1:46.83
16th: 1:47.25
24th: 1:48.15


Men
SEC Meet Record: 1:31.73 (Conor Dwyer - Florida, 2011)
NCAA 'A' Automatic: 1:32.97
NCAA 'B' Consideration: 1:37.99

​Maxime Rooney​, Florida's standout freshman, dropped the second-fastest time in the country this morning with a swift 1:33.05 to take the top seed by over a second. After his blazing-fast 1:31.5 split on Tuesday night's 800 freestyle relay, Rooney was primed for a great swim. ​Fynn Minuth​, the 500 freestyle champion from South Carolina, claimed the second seed after touching in 1:34.22. Florida's ​Khader Baqlah ​touched third with a 1:34.47. The bigger storyline here is the Gators putting three up in the top five, which has major implications in the team race as they look to extend their lead.

Top 8 Finalists

1.) Maxime Rooney (Florida): 1:33.05
2.) Fynn Minuth (South Carolina): 1:34.22
3.) Khader Baqlah (Florida): 1:34.47
4.) Laurent Bams (Alabama): 1:34.56
5.) Mitch D'Arrigo (Florida): 1:34.62
6.) Walker Higgins (Georgia): 1:34.81
7.) Joey Reilman (Tennessee): 1:34.82
8.) Mikel Schreuders (Mizzou): 1:34.99
16th: 1:35.63
24th: 1:36.30
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