Seidt Earns Second Individual NCAA Bid in Final Day at Ohio State Invite
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Kentucky swimming team wrapped up its fall competition in style on Sunday evening at the Ohio State Invitational, as some record-setting performances propelled the men and women to third and second-place finishes, respectively. The women recorded 615 points in the meet behind Stanford (1,080), while the men had 629.5 points behind host-school Ohio State (1,233) and Utah (746.5).
“It was a great weekend for the Cats,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “Really, really proud of in particular today. I thought we fought really, really hard … Overall, the meet was, I thought, a success. But in particular, I really liked the way they finished today. I think we got some more people qualified, which is what we’re here to do. We’re looking forward to SECs and NCAAs now.”
A strong discipline for the women’s team, the 200-yard backstroke event saw a tremendous amount of success as four Wildcats posted B standard times in the prelims to advance to the A final of the event on Sunday afternoon. Most notably, freshman Asia Seidt posted an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 1:51.18 to secure her third A standard of the meet. The defending NCAA champion in the event, Danielle Galyer followed close behind Seidt, garnering a third-place finish with her time of 1:52.21. Bridgette Alexander also finished fifth with 1:52.84 and Ali Galyer came in seventh at 1:54.49. With their swims today, each of the four rank among the top-10 performers in the event in the nation, with Seidt sitting at No. 2 and Danielle close behind at No. 3.
“Being able to qualify this early in the season is pretty nice because it takes off the pressure towards the end of the season,” said Seidt. “But swimming some of these races I can see some of the things I need to work on towards NCAAs.”
Seniors Kelly Berger and Kendal Casey both advanced to the A final of the women’s 1,650-yard freestyle race, where they came in seventh (16:26.32) and ninth (16:28.30), respectively. Each of which are good for NCAA consideration in the event.
On the men’s side, two Kentucky records were broken on Sunday. The first came as senior Andrew Aviotti shattered his own previous UK record time of 15:00.35 by touching in 14:58.50 today to finish first in the 1,650 free race. With today’s finish, Aviotti now ranks No. 2 among Division I swimmers nationally in the event. Aviotti was also the first Wildcat to swim the race in under 15 minutes.
The second Kentucky record should come as no surprise, as senior Kyle Higgins has completely dominated in the 200-yard butterfly event all season long. Today Higgins’ swim of 1:42.66 not only secured him the top spot in the UK laurels, but also sits as the second-best swim in the country.
“I came into this meet with my goal of making NCAAs for the past two years and I finally did that here this year,” said Higgins. “So, I’m really happy with that and to have less focus on SECs and to now prepare for NCAAs I think is really going to help me to end the season.”
But Higgins wasn’t the only Wildcat to see success in the 200 fly, as Matthew Beach came in second behind him with a time of 1:45.27. In addition to climbing to the fifth-best performer in Kentucky history in the event, Beach’s time currently ranks as the 11th-best swim in the nation in the event.
At the House of Champions in Indianapolis, Rebecca Hamperian earned second place on platform, tallying 263.30. Courtney Clark was the next-best Wildcat for the women’s squad, placing tenth with 205.50 points. In the men's platform competition, Seb Masterton was the top finisher for Kentucky, placing eight with 209.45 points. Stephen Jou came in tenth with 269.05 points, and Noah Richter took 11th with 246.90 points.