Kentucky to Split for Ohio State Invite and House of Champions
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 22/23 (men/women) Kentucky swimming and diving teams will split up this weekend, with the swimmers heading to Columbus, Ohio, for the Ohio State Invitational and the divers traveling to Indianapolis for the House of Champions, hosted by Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Both groups are set to compete Friday through Sunday, Nov. 18-20.
In addition to host school Ohio State, which is ranked No. 25 on the men’s side and No. 24 on the women’s, Kentucky will face staunch competitors in the No. 1 women from Stanford. The Penn State women, Washington State women and Utah men are all also receiving votes in the latest College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Division I Top 25 poll which was released Nov. 9.
“We’re excited about finishing up fall competition with a really competitive meet at Ohio State,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “I think we will definitely have some people step up and be more competitive in terms of getting even more NCAA-standard times. Swimming against some of the best teams in the country is a great opportunity, and will really help us to prepare for the postseason.”
Kentucky’s men’s and women’s diving teams will have the opportunity to compete in this season’s NCAA Championship venue this weekend, as they’ll dive inside the IUPUI Natatorium. Although the House of Champions also includes swimming, a number of high-level diving programs chose to split from their teams for the weekend in order to dive in the championship pool.
“We’re excited to have some good competition this weekend in Indianapolis,” said diving coach Ted Hautau. “With diving, it’s always nice to get used to the venue before NCAAs. It really helps us to get used to the lighting, the boards and helps our athletes to know where they are in the air. We’re in the middle of our training season, so we’re looking forward to adding some new dives as well as familiarizing ourselves with the pool there.”
KENTUCKY ATHLETES IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
Between both the men’s and women’s squads, Kentucky holds 16 times that currently rank in the top 25 nationally among Division I swimmers, including two times that rank in the top 10.
Senior Kyle Higgins holds one of the highest-ranked times for Kentucky, as he owns the No. 5 spot in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:45.37. Higgins also contributed to the 400 medley relay team that owns the No. 23 spot, when he teamed up with Walker Thaning, Wyatt Amdor and Sean Gunn to turn in a 3:17.51 time against Auburn.
The men’s distance freestyle events have proven to be a strong specialty for the Wildcats, holding five top-25 times between the 500, 1000 and 1650 races. Senior Andrew Aviotti holds the fifth-fastest time in the 1650 freestyle race with his 15:19.00 swim at South Carolina. Aviotti also holds the 21th-fastest time in the 1000 free, after touching in 9:07.71 at UK’s tri meet with Tennessee and Indiana.
After improving his 500 free time in every meet this season, junior Isaac Jones has climbed to the 12th-fastest time in the country in the event by posting a 4:24.71 on Nov. 4.
Freshman Glen Brown also cut more than five seconds off of his 400 individual medley time on Nov. 4 to claim the No. 14 spot in the event with a time of 3:55.06.
On the women’s side, freshman Asia Seidt has completely dominated for the Blue and White, as she holds three individual times that sit inside the top 25. Her 2:00.21 finish in the 200 individual medley on Oct. 28 earns her the 19th-fastest time in the country. Seidt also holds the No. 19 time in the 100-yard backstroke and 21st-fastest time in the 200 back. The freshman was also part of UK’s 200 medley relay team which holds the No. 19 spot.
Sophomore Kathryn Painter is the only other Wildcat to grab an individual top-time for the women, as her time of 16:57.66 at South Carolina is good for 16th in the standings.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wildcats hosted Northwestern, Southern Illinois and Southeastern Conference foe Missouri in a two-day quad meet Nov. 4-5 inside the Lancaster Aquatic Center. The men defeated SIU 313-56 and Northwestern 274-98. The women also overcame the Salukis, 288-72, and Northwestern by a 246-107 margin. Although both squads kept it close, No. 20 Missouri captured a 202-170 win over men, and the No. 17 Tigers won 199-152 against the women.