Women's Swimming Beats Vanderbilt to Open New Year
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Fueled by two individual wins by sophomores Kendra Crew and Danielle Galyer and senior Christina Bechtel, the Kentucky women’s swimming team opened the new year with a 170-92 victory at Vanderbilt Friday.
The Wildcats won 11 of the 14 events, including five 1-2 finishes and a pair of contests where UK claimed each of the top three spots. Freshman Bridgette Alexander, sophomore Kelly Berger and senior Abby Myers also notched wins in Nashville, while Galyer and Myers both swam in both of Kentucky’s two relay victories.
“I thought we swam well today,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “Kendra Crew was probably the star of the meet, she did a really nice job. Freshman Bridgette Alexander had some career-best times, so that was good to see. Consistently across the board I was pleased with the progress we’ve made. Vanderbilt is a much-improved SEC team, so any time you can get a win in this conference is good for the Wildcats.”
Kentucky opened the competition with a 1-2 finish in the 200 medley relay. Galyer, Crew, Bechtel and Myers finished in 1:44.03 to lead UK, while Alexander, senior Sam Shaheen, sophomore Morgan Contino and senior Kristen Wilson placed second in 1:45.75. The first and second place finish gave the Wildcats an early lead, and they never looked back.
Berger and freshman Aubrey Jones added a first and second place finish, respectively, in the very next race, the 1,000 freestyle. Berger touched the wall with a season-best time of 10:07.99, while Jones posted a 10:15.50.
In the day’s fourth event, the 100 backstroke, Galyer, Alexander and freshman Alyssa Ruffing helped the Wildcats to their first one-two-three finish of the competition. Galyer posted the win in 56.18, while Alexander was second in 56.28 and Ruffing third in 57.78.
Crew tallied her first individual win in the next event with a 1:04.45 to win the 100 breaststroke. Bechtel and Myers followed with a sweep of the top two spots in the 200 butterfly, with a 1:58.32 and a 1:59.20, respectively. The win by Bechtel gave Kentucky five victories in the first six events.
Two events later, Bechtel again touched the wall in first with a 52.06 to win the 100 freestyle. Alexander secured her first win in the next event, the 200 backstroke. The freshman recorded a 2:00.16 to win by over three seconds.
Crew posted her second win of the meet in the 200 breaststroke, thanks to a win by 4.61 seconds in the 200 breaststroke. The sophomore earned the win with a 2:17.34.
UK recorded another 1-2-3 finish in the 500 freestyle, with Galyer, Wilson and Berger. Galyer won with a 4:57.18 in her season debut in the event, while Wilson finished second in 5:02.22, just ahead of Berger’s 5:02.28.
Myers swam to her first individual win of the meet with a 54.20 to win the 100 butterfly. The senior beat out Vanderbilt’s second-place swimmer by 1.46 seconds.
Kentucky closed the meet with a win in the 400 freestyle relay. Galyer, Myers, senior Blair Kuethe and sophomore Lindsay Shultz finished in 3:28.95.
The Wildcats return home for an in-state clash with Louisville on Jan. 24. The Senior Day contest begins at Noon, ET with diving, while swimming commences at 1 p.m.
For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Swimming and Diving program, go to UKathletics.com/SwimmingDiving. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates, photos and more can be found on Twitter at @UKSwimDive and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKSwimDive.