Men's Swimming and Diving Earns Second SEC Win of the Season in Tri Meet
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 18/21 Kentucky swimming and diving teams hosted No. 1/13 Indiana and Southeastern Conference foe No. 13/11 Tennessee in a double dual on Friday afternoon inside Lancaster Aquatic Center. The men recorded their second SEC dual win of the season, tallying a 167-143 victory over the 13th-ranked Volunteers, while the women fell to Tennessee in a 155-145 decision. Both squads fell to the Hoosiers, as the men were defeated 195-105, and the women 169-131.
“It was great day here in Lancaster Aquatic Center with the guys coming up victorious over the Tennessee program,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “It’s a significant win for our guys, and really across the board it was outstanding.”
The Wildcats combined for five first-place finishes and six NCAA B standard times on the day. Freshman Asia Seidt was the only UK swimmer to turn in two B cuts in the meet with her second-place time of 53:72 in the 100 backstroke event, and first-place finish of 2:00.21 in the 200 individual medley.
Senior Kyle Higgins turned in his third top finish in the 200-yard butterfly this year, coming in at 1:45.50. His time in the event was his second best this year, as he currently holds the No. 2 time among Division I swimmers in the event from his 1:45.37 finish at Auburn on Oct. 12. Higgins also came in second in the 100 fly, narrowly missing the B standard by nine-hundredths of a second with his 48.38 performance.
“I was really proud of how the team performed. We’ve come a long way since my freshman year,” said Higgins. “I’m also proud of how I swam. It felt good to put up a time that was very close to my fastest time this season. Going forward, I just need to keep working on those little things as we go into the Ohio State meet.”
Walker Thaning also touched in first in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:46.97. His second first-place time in the event this season, he barely missed the B standard of 1:46.39. Thaning also turned in top-three finishes, finishing second in the 100 backstroke and contributing to a third-place finish in the 200 medley relay.
Andrew Aviotti also recorded a top finish for the men, posting a 9:07.71 in the 1000-yard freestyle race.
Senior diver Becca Hamperian continued to shine on the springboards, placing first in the 1-meter event with 299.10 points, and third in the 3-meter with a 290.70 tally. Hamperian only missed second place by 3.1 points in the 3-meter, finishing behind Indiana’s Michal Bower (342.15) and Jessica Parato (293.80).
Defending NCAA Champion in the 200 backstroke, senior Danielle Galyer touched the wall with a B cut time of 1:57.52 for first place in the race. Bridgette Alexander also recorded a B standard in the event with a 1:58.37, good for third place.
Senior Kendra Crew turned in two stellar breaststroke performances on the day, finishing second in the 200 and third in the 100. Her 2:15.71 finish in the 200-yard event is good for NCAA consideration, as she followed closely behind Olympic gold-medalist Lilly King, who finished with a time of 2:14.25 for Indiana.
“I’m happy my swims were consistent,” said Crew. “My times were a little faster at Auburn, but consistency is still good. I also am really happy with how we’re coming together as a team. We had some great energy today.”
The Wildcats will stay home for their next meet, as they host a quad meet against SEC opponent Missouri, Northwestern and Southern Illinois. The meet will run from Nov. 4-5, with events beginning at 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. The Missouri men's and women's squads each earned top-20 rankings in this week's CSCAA, coming in at No. 20/17, respectively.
Last season's quad meet was hosted by Missouri. Against the Salukis, the men captured a 239-106 victory, while the women recorded a 238-106 win. Only the men’s team took on Northwestern, downing the Big Ten Wildcats, 231.5-112.5. Both teams dropped to Mizzou, with the men falling in a 193.5-144.5 decision, while the women dropped a 214-124 contest.