Kentucky Set to Take on Staunch Competition in Indiana
|KENTUCKY AT INDIANA QUAD MEET
When: Friday, Oct. 30, 2 p.m. ET |
Where: Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center, Bloomington, Ind.
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Wildcats Suffer Setback to Texas A&M
Video: Kentucky S&D Indiana Quad Preview
Performance List: Women
Performance List: Men
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky’s swimming and diving team faces its biggest test of the young season, as it will head to Bloomington, Ind., for the Indiana Quad on Friday, Oct. 30. Along with the storied program of host Indiana, the Wildcats will also face Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee and Atlantic Coast Conference opponent North Carolina.
The meet is slated to start at 2 p.m. ET inside Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center. In addition to being broadcast on BTN Plus, the meet will be available to subscribers for streaming via BTN2Go.
The captains of the meet for the men will be Isaac Jones, Levi Lindsey and Kyle Higgins. On the women’s team, Rebecca Hamperian, Frida Jakobsson and Kendal Casey will serve as the team captains.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
Friday’s meet provides an opportunity for the Blue and White to perform against some of the most highly-touted programs in the nation. At last year’s NCAA Championships, all three teams finished in the top-20 on both the men’s and women’s sides. Indiana had the most success, with the women garnering a 10th-place finish while the men took 11th. Tennessee finished 11th on the women’s side and 14th on the men’s side, and North Carolina saw a 19th-place finish out of its women and an 18th-place performance from the men.
With the release of the first College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) poll on Oct. 27, which alternates on a weekly basis between women’s and men’s rankings, the three teams that UK will face are confirmed to be just as strong as last year, if not stronger. Only the women’s poll has been released so far, and North Carolina is the top-ranked opponent for Friday as the No. 5 team in the NCAA. Tennessee holds down the No. 10 ranking, followed by No. 11 Indiana. Though the Wildcats were unable to crack the top-25 in the opening poll, the team did receive votes.
LAST TIME OUT AT INDIANA
The Wildcats faced both Indiana and Tennessee last year in a Halloween matchup, but did not see North Carolina in Bloomington. The women’s squad dropped a 176.5-123.5 decision to then-No. 1 Indiana and also fell to then-No. 15 Tennessee, 191-109. The men were also unable to pick up a win, conceding the victory to the then-No. 6 Hoosiers, 240-58, while losing a 234-64 contest to the then-No. 16 Volunteers.
MEN ON THE RISE
Though UK has replaced last year’s social media mantra of #OnTheRise with #GRIT for the 2015-16 campaign, the Kentucky men certainly retained the spirit of the old adage in their season opener against Texas A&M on Oct. 14. The team dropped a 155-145 nail biter to the Aggies, but showed immense improvement from last year’s lid lifter against South Carolina on Oct. 10 inside the same tank at Lancaster Aquatic Center.
When comparing the lead Kentucky times, meaning the first swimmer or relay team donning the Blue and White to be the first to touch the wall in every event between the two meets, the men cut time in 13-of-14 events. The improvement was no slim shave either, as the Wildcats lost a combined 29.43 seconds off their lead times, for an average of 2.10 seconds per event lead time. The biggest drops were in the 200 IM (-3.28 seconds), 200 fly (-4.49 seconds,) 400 free relay (-4.55 seconds) and 200 breast (-5.36 seconds).
ON DECK: MIZZOU QUAD MEET
The Wildcats will head to Columbia, Mo. to take on SEC opponent Missouri along with Northwestern and Southern Illinois in a two-day meet on Nov. 6-7. The meet will provide the team an opportunity to swim in the pool that will play host to the 2016 SEC Championships on Feb. 16-20.
KENTUCKY ATHLETES IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
Since the beginning of the 2015-16 campaign on Oct. 10, Kentucky has posted seven times that currently rank in the top-25 nationally, with an additional 17 sitting in the top-50 times set by NCAA Division I competitors this season.
Danielle Galyer leads the team with two top-10 times to her name, as she is fifth in the nation in the 200 back in 1:56.12 and eighth in the 100 back in 53.67 seconds. Additionally, she sits right outside the top-25 in the 200 IM, ranking 30th in 2:03.48. Also notching a top performance for the women was Kendal Casey, who has the 24th-fastest time in the NCAA in the 1000 free after clocking a 10:05.09 in the event. The 200 medley relay team of Galyer, Kendra Crew, Haley McInerny and Geena Freriks combined for the 25th-best mark after touching in at 1:42.77.
The women’s squad has eight additional times that fall within the top-50 nationally, including swims in the 1000 free, 100 back, 100 and 200 breast, 100 and 200 fly, and the 400 free relay.
On the men’s side, Kyle Higgins holds the highest-ranked time with a No. 15 swim in the 200 fly in 1:47.94. Andrew Aviotti also picked up a ranked time, sitting at 23rd in the 1000 free in 9:15.72, and the 400 free relay of Sean Gunn, Higgins, Walker Thaning and Scott Crosthwaite posted a time of 3:02.47, which ranks 23rd in the nation.
The men also have nine times that rank in the top-50, including swims in the 50, 100, 200 and 500 free, the 100 and 200 back, 100 and 200 fly, 200 IM, and the 200 medley relay.
WILDCATS ON TEAM USA
After swimming for the Junior National Team in 2014-15, junior Danielle Galyer has been invited to be a member of the USA Swimming National Team for 2015-16. Galyer notched the second-fastest time in the 200-meter backstroke at the Phillips 66 Nationals, touching in at 2:09.75, and also placed eighth in the 100m back in 1:01.23. Also representing the United States is recent UK alum Christina Bechtel, who finished third in both the 100m and 200m fly (58.74/2:09.20) at the Phillips 66 Nationals. Bechtel is no stranger to Team USA after competing in the 50m and 100m fly in 2014-15.
The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be held from June 26-July 3, 2016 in Omaha, Neb.
For the latest on the Kentucky swimming and diving program, follow @UKSwimDive on Twitter, on Facebook at Facebook.com/UKSwimDive, and on the web at ukathletics.com.