Kentucky Scores Most Points in Program History, Finishes 14th at NCAA Championships
INDIANAPOLIS – The Kentucky women’s swimming and diving team wrapped up its successful week at the 2017 NCAA Championships on Saturday evening, accumulating its highest point total in program history with 106 points to finish 14th overall. The 14th-place finish also marked Kentucky’s best in ten years, and the first top-15 placing under head coach Lars Jorgensen.
“Overall, it was a great championships,” said Jorgensen, who is in his fourth season coaching Kentucky. “We talked about making this the best team in school history, and with placing third at SECs and getting the most points in program history at NCAAs, I feel like we accomplished that. It was really a magical weekend here in Indianapolis.”
Much like last month’s Southeastern Conference Championships, the highlight of the week came in Saturday night’s 200-yard backstroke, which saw all four qualifiers earn a final swim including three in the championship final. Freshman Asia Seidt, the SEC gold medalist in the event, picked up the Wildcats’ highest finish in the meet in the race, taking third place with a school-record time of 1:49.63.
"You know, it's pretty exciting because I didn't really think going into it that I could place top three," said Seidt. "But going in and having two teammates next to me helped me feel confident in my swim."
Senior Danielle Galyer made her final appearance for the Blue and White in the race, finishing fifth overall with a time of 1:50.49. Her younger sister, freshman Ali Galyer, swam along side her to finish eighth in the race and touch the wall in 1:51.05. Junior Bridgette Alexander finished 13th overall, going 1:52.00. Seidt and both Galyers picked up First-Team All-America honors in the event, while Alexander earned All-America honorable mention. In all, the Wildcats tallied 45 points in the event.
"I don't think I could've put a better last race together, like anywhere," said Danielle. "I mean, if you told me before I came to college that I would even make NCAAs, I would say, 'No, you're lying. Whatever.' To swim my best event in an NCAA 'A' final next to my little sister, was – I don't even know. There's not even words to describe the icing on the cake that puts on my career."
In the 200-yard breaststroke prelims, senior Kendra Crew swam her final race as a Wildcat, finishing with the 19th-best time in the field and a new school-record of 2:10.20. Freshman Madison Winstead also posted a new personal best in the race, touching the wall in 2:12.13.
Kentucky’s 400 freestyle relay of Geena Freriks, Ali Galyer, Danielle Galyer and Seidt also set a new UK standard in the race, just barely missing out on the consolation final with a time of 3:15.36. The group finished 17th overall in the event. The mark improved upon their seed time by more than a full second.
In the 1650 free, sophomore Kathryn Painter finished 27th overall with a new personal best mark of 16:11.25 which moves her into second on Kentucky’s top-10 performance list. Senior Kendal Casey also swam the mile, donning a Wildcat cap in competition for the last time. Casey touched the wall with a time of 16:22.76.
With the conclusion of the meet, the women’s swimming and diving season comes to a close.
The Kentucky men will take their shot at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships next week, from March 22-25 in Indianapolis.
2017 Kentucky All-Americans
Geena Freriks (800 free relay)
Ali Galyer (800 free relay, 200 backstroke)
Danielle Galyer (800 free relay, 200 backstroke)
Asia Seidt (800 free relay, 200 IM, 200 backstroke)
Bridgette Alexander (200 backstroke)
Geena Freriks (500 free, 400 medley relay, 200 free)
Danielle Galyer (400 medley relay, 100 backstroke)
Rebecca Hamperian (3-meter)
Kathryn Painter (400 IM)
Asia Seidt (400 medley relay, 100 backstroke)
Madison Winstead (400 medley relay)