Alabama swim and dive tally 11 medals including 5 gold at SEC Championships

Jeff Mullin, Contributing Writer

Alabama’s best swimmers impressed at the SEC Championships last week, with the swim and dive team bringing home five gold medals among eleven podium finishes. The women’s team won four of the five golds, while Charlie Hawke took home a gold in the 200 freestyle for the men’s team.  

Rhyan White was dominant throughout the week for the women’s team, becoming the first swimmer ever to win the SEC women’s 100 backstroke four times, finishing this win with a time of 50.92 seconds. She also won two other golds in the women’s 200 and 400 medley alongside Avery Wiseman, Emily Jones and Kalia Antoniou. Swim and dive coach Margo Greer said she felt the importance of White’s performance. 

“Rhyan winning her fourth consecutive 100 back title was historic and was an awesome moment for our team,” Greer said.  

The Crimson Tide didn’t just make their presence known on the podium. They also broke several school records.  

The men’s 800 freestyle relay team broke the previous school record with a time of 6:12.46 on the way to earning the school’s first medal in the event since 1994. Hawke broke the school record in men’s 200 freestyle for the fifth time this season while winning his gold medal in the event. Cat Wright swam a 1:55.82 in the women’s 200 individual medley, becoming the first UA woman to ever break the 1:56.00 barrier.  

Mateo Miceli broke the oldest standing UA men’s record by outracing Stefan Gherghel’s 2003 record in the 200 butterfly with a 1:42.02 time. His swim was the first on Friday, the only day on which the Crimson Tide won multiple gold medals. Coach Greer indicated that Miceli’s swim, despite only being a fifth-place finish, was a tone setter for the Crimson Tide’s best day of the five-day competition. 

“Seeing a sophomore step up and break the oldest school record on the books started us off on a great note,” Greer said.  

Kensey McMahon won the Crimson Tide’s final gold medal of the week on the last day, setting the fastest time in the nation this season in the women’s 1650 freestyle at 15:47.02. 

The women’s team, helped by McMahon’s gold and a silver medal won by Antoniou, jumped two spots on the last day of the event, finishing fourth overall while the men’s team placed sixth. Both finishes land in the top half of the SEC and gave Greer confidence moving forward. 

“I’m proud of the fight that the team showed during the meet and we’re going to keep improving as we head into March,” Greer said. 

The swim and dive teams will begin prepping for the NCAA Championships which begin Sunday, March 5, in Knoxville, Tennessee.