Record-Breaking 800 Free Relay Lineup Brings in All-America Honors on Opening Day of NCAA Championships

ATLANTA –  The Kentucky women’s swimming and diving team got off to a strong start on the first day of the 2016 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on Wednesday night, with the 800 free relay team earning All-America honorable mention.

The Wildcat lineup of Geena Freriks, Danielle Galyer, Haley McInerny and Kendal Casey earned All-America distinction with their 15th-place finish in the lone event of the day, breaking their own UK record previously set at the Southeastern Conference Championships by nearly a second in 7:04.75.  The quartet started with Freriks in the leadoff position in 1:46.39, followed by Galyer and McInerny at 1:45.70 and 1:46.07.  Casey closed out the race in 1:46.59, as all four Cats swam the fastest splits of their season in the event. 

“This is a great way to start off the meet,” praised head coach Lars Jorgensen.  “We had three new All-Americans tonight, and that is a tremendous way to kick things off going into the next three days.”

Casey, McInerny and Freriks all earned the first All-America accolades of their careers, while Galyer picked up her fifth total All-America honor and fourth honorable mention.  The finish marked just the third time in school history that Kentucky has had an All-America performance in the 800 free relay, and it is the first time in program history that the feat has been accomplished in consecutive seasons after Galyer, along with Christina Bechtel, Abby Myers and Kristen Wilson took 15th last season in 7:07.23.  

Kentucky, which finished sixth in the event at the SEC Championships, was the third-fastest team from the league tonight behind the 2016 NCAA championship lineup from Georgia and the fifth-place Texas A&M foursome.  UK edged out this year’s SEC bronze medalist Florida by a slim four-hundredths of a second.

The Wildcats have posted four points on the opening day of action, which will resume tomorrow with prelims beginning at 10 a.m. ET.  Kentucky will have Freriks, Casey and Kathryn Painter in the 500 free, followed by Bridgette Alexander in the 200 IM.  The 400 medley relay prelims will follow, with the session capped off with the 1-meter diving prelims for Rebecca Hamperian and Courtney Clark.  The finals session for all events contested in the prelims will begin at 6 p.m. ET.  

ESPN3.com will live stream the finals sessions of the NCAA Championships on Friday and Saturday.  Wednesday’s evening session, Thursday’s sessions, along with the morning sessions on Friday and Saturday, will be streamed live on NCAA.com.  Additionally, ESPNU will air a two-hour broadcast via tape delay at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 29. Live results are available here

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.