Rivalry Meet with the Cardinals Rescheduled for 4 p.m.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky swimming and diving team is set to renew its rivalry with in-state foe Louisville on Saturday, heading to Louisville, Ky., for the annual meet between the two Bluegrass institutions.  

Due to inclement weather in the area, the meet’s start time has been changed from the original 1 p.m. ET to 4 p.m.

“We have a very exciting opportunity this weekend to swim against a very good Louisville team,” commented head coach Lars Jorgensen.  “Obviously they’re our rival, but they’re also a really good team.  Going there, we’re going to have our hands full and hopefully can compete well.  It’s going to be a great meet for the state of Kentucky because there are going to be some really good swimmers on both sides.”

The Wildcats are coming off a strong performance on the men’s side, which saw the team pick up its first Southeastern Conference dual victory in nearly seven years with a 198-188 win against LSU, while the women dropped their matchup with the No. 24 Tigers.  The two teams also had a setback to Virginia Tech in the tri meet on Jan. 8-9. Following his performance in the tri meet, freshman Seb Masterton collected SEC Diver of the Week honors, the second of his rookie career, after sweeping all three events against LSU.  

The captains for the meet will be Bridgette Alexander, Danielle Galyer and Rebecca Hamperian on the women’s side while Sean Gunn, Kyle Higgins and Masterton will captain the men.

Since the start of the 2015-16 campaign, Kentucky has been posting times that rank highly among national competition.  Currently, the Wildats have 11 marks that rank in the top-25 of NCAA Division I competitors, with an additional 12 in the top-50. 

Headlining the women’s team is Galyer, who holds the No. 3 time in the 200 back in 1:51.52, a time that has already punched Galyer’s ticket to the NCAA Championships in March. Alexander joins Galyer in the top-25 in the event with a 1:53.41, which ranks 21st nationally. Galyer also holds the 18th-fastest 100 back time in 52.45 seconds, along with a top-50 time in the 200 free.

Kendal Casey also has two top-25 swims to her name, ranking 18th in the 1650 free in 16:15.53 and 22nd in the 500 free in a UK record 4:42.58.  Just six-hundredths of a second off claiming a school record of her own in the 400 IM, Kathryn Painter holds the No. 23 time in the event in 4:11.45.  

In the relays, the women have the No. 12 times in both the 800 free and 400 medley relays, with Galyer, Geena Freriks, Haley McInerny and Casey posting a 7:11.62 in the 800 free relay while Galyer, Kendra Crew, McInerny and Freriks combined for a 3:34.85 in the 400 medley relay.  Addtionally, the women have eight other marks in the top-50, including swims in the 200, 500 and 1650 free, the 100 back, the 200 breast, and the 400 free and 200 medley relays.

For the men, Andrew Aviotti and Brandon Flynn have posted the only individual top-25 times.  Flynn has posted the No. 21 time in the 400 IM in 3:47.70, while Aviotti currently holds the 22nd-fastest 1650 free mark in the nation in 15:05.24. Higgins sits just outside the top-25 in the 200 fly with a 1:45.30, good for 32nd.  

The 800 free relay has been the fastest for the Wildcats, with Gunn, Scott Crosthwaite, Higgins and Flynn combining for a 6:53.42, good for 24th in the NCAA.  Kentucky also has two top-50 relay lineups on the men’s side in the 200 free relay of Matt Roman, Gunn, Cobe Garcia and Josh Swart in 1:21.76 as well as the 400 medley relay of Walker Thaning, Mike Summe, Higgins and Gunn in 3:17.64.

Louisville enters the meet as the No. 7 team in the nation on the men’s side, while the women are ranked No. 10.  In terms of the number of swims that rank in the top-25 and top-50, both the men’s and women’s squads have 20 times that rank in the top-25 of NCAA Division I competitors, with an additional 11 in the top-50.  

On the men’s side, Trevor Carroll and Matthias Lindenbauer pace the team in the freestyles, both holding top-50 times in the 50, 100, 200 and 500 free.  The 200 free is the strongest event for the duo, with Carroll boasting the fifth-fastest time in the nation in 1:33.67 with Lindenbauer right behind him in 1:34.01, good for sixth in the country.  Grigory Tarasevich, the reigning ACC Swimmer of the Week, paces the team in the backstroke as his 45.46 in the 100 back is good for fifth in the nation, while he also holds the No. 7 spot in the 200 back in 1:40.89.  Additionally, the Cardinals hold the No. 11 and 12 spots in the 200 back thanks to Aaron Green and Nolan Tesone.  Tesone is the lead individual medley swimmer for the Cardinals, with the fourth-best time in the nation in the 400 IM in 3:41.70 and the NO. 8 time in the 200 IM in 1:44.04.  

Carlos Claverie, who is the Venezuelan national record holder in the 200 breast, is the fifth-fastest swimmer in the NCAA in the event in 1:53.58, and also holds the 10th-best time in the 100 breast in 52.84 seconds.  Rounding out the individual stroke leaders is Pedro Coutinho, who has the No. 12 time in the 100 fly in 46.36 seconds.

Each of the Cardinals’ five relays rank in the top-15 nationally.  The highest-ranked lineup is the 800 free relay quartet of Lindenbauer, Roben Izarra, Carroll and Tarasevich, who have clocked a 6:19.79 for the No. 4 time in the NCAA.  The 400 medley relay of Tarasevich, Claverie, Coutinho and Carroll hold the No. 5 time in 3:07.60, while Josh Quallen replaces Coutinho for the butterfly leg in the 200 medley relay for a lineup that has touched in at 1:25.26, good for seventh in the nation.  Louisville’s 400 free relay also ranks eighth, while the 200 free relay is the 15th-fastest in the nation.

For the women, Kelsi Worrell, Mallory Comerford and Andrea Kneppers are the standout swimmers in the freestyle events.  Worrell holds the No. 4 time in the 50 free in 21.97 seconds and the No. 18 time in the 00 free in 48.60 seconds, with Comerford appearing in the top-50 in both events.  Comerford paces the team in the 200, 500 and 1000, with the ninth-best time in the 200 in 1:44.71, accompanied by Kneppers in 1:45.00 for 15th, and also holds the 12th-fastest 500 mark in 4:41.20 and a top-50 time in the 1000.  Worrell also holds the top time for the team in the 100 back, a 52.53 for No. 20 in the nation, and the 200 IM, a 1:56.76 for No. 12, but also shines in the butterfly races.  In the 100 fly, she holds the No. 3 time in the NCAA in 51.36 seconds and additionally has the No. 13 time in the 200 fly in 1:56.46.

The Cardinals do not have as dominant a presence in the 200 back, as Alina Kendzior is the top mark holder in the event in 1:56.03, just inside the top-50.  They do possess strength in the breaststrokes, with Amber Cottrell boasting the No. 4 time in the 100 breast in 58.69 seconds and the No. 10 time in the 200 breast in 2:08.63.    Rounding out the individual event leaders is Rachael Bradford-Feldman, who hold the 14th-fastest 400 IM time in 4:09.45.

Similar to the men, the women’s relay lineups all fall within the top-20 nationally, with three ranking in the top-four.  Both the 200 medley and 200 free relays are the third-fastest in the NCAA behind the lineups of Kendzor, Cottrell, Comerford and Kneppers in the medley relay in 1:36.65, while Kneppers, Worrell, Comerford and Cottrell team up for the sprint free relay in 1:28.00.  In the 400 medley relay, Kenzior, Cottrell, Worrell and Comerford have posted a 3:31.25, good for fourth nationally.  Additionally, the 800 free relay ranks 10th in 7:10.40, while the 400 free relay in 3:17.94 holds the No. 20 time in the nation.

The two teams last met on Jan. 24, 2015, with the women dropping a tight dual to then-No. 13 Louisville, 155-145.  Returning veterans Casey and Galyer each picked up two victories, with Casey taking titles in the 500 and 1000 free while Galyer swept the backstroke races.  On the men’s side, UK dropped a 211-89 decision to the then-No. 10 Cardinals, earning victories from Aviotti in the 1000 free, Higgins in the 200 fly, and Levi Lindsey on the 3-meter springboard.

Kentucky will have back-to-back duals next Friday and Saturday, first traveling to Columbus, Ohio, for a matchup with the Buckeyes of Ohio State at 5 p.m. on Friday before returning to Lexington on Saturday for Senior Day.  The Wildcats will honor their four seniors, Scott Crosthwaite, George Greenhalgh, Frida Jakobsson and Matt Roman, while the team takes on the Cincinnati Bearcats at 1 p.m. inside Lancaster Aquatic Center.

After swimming for the Junior National Team in 2014-15, 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 Wildcats still have more opportunities to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which 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.