Kentucky Women Swimmers Finish Fifth at USA Nationals

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s swimming and diving team had its best-ever performance at the 2015 Phillips 66 National Championships, hauling in a fifth-place finish on the heels of setting 10 new long-course meter records in Kentucky program history.

The Phillips 66 National Championships is the premier annual event on the USA Swimming calendar, featuring some of the nation’s top swimmers. The event serves as the USA National Team selection for several international events, including the 2015 Pan Pacific Championships, 2016 World Championships and the 2016 World University Games.

“Overall it was a very good week for us,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said after the meet. “This has served as great preparation for next year’s Olympic trials, as well as our school season which is around the corner. The better that we can compete in the summer, I think that gives us a lot of confidence heading into the school year because I believe that success in the summer is important for success during the school year.”

There were a lot of contributors to Kentucky’s program-best finish this week, highlighted by Danielle Galyer and Tina Bechtel.

Galyer finished second in the 200m backstroke for the Wildcats, turning in a time of 2:09.75 and earning 17 points. Galyer finished less than three tenths of a second out of first place, held by Claire Adams. All four of Galyer’s splits in the 200m backstroke were under 33.6 seconds, with her fastest split time being the first 50m, as she went out in 30.74, the second-fastest opening split of the race.

Also on the podium in the finals was Kentucky’s Christina Bechtel, who grabbed hold of a third-place finish in the 100m butterfly, one of four individual events for Bechtel on the week. Bechtel finished in 58.74 seconds, and earning 16 points. Bechtel had the third-fastest second split time, coming home in 30.88 seconds, one of only three swimmers to come home in the 30-second bracket. Bechtel went out in 27.86. Her finals time of 58.74 was more than six full tenths faster than her prelim swim.

In addition to live streaming on USASwimming.org throughout the week, the meet’s finals will be aired live on NBC beginning Sunday, Aug. 16 from 1 p.m. ET to 3 p.m. ET on NBC as well with Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines on the call. The coverage of the Phillips 66 Nationals will run congruently with the 16th FINA World Championships.

For the latest on the Kentucky swimming & diving teams, follow @UKSwimDive on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.