Kentucky Swimming Notches Nine Individual Wins vs. Louisville
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky swimming and diving teams posted nine individual wins in the Senior Day meet vs. Louisville on Saturday in front of a packed crowd at UK's Lancaster Aquatic Center.
The Kentucky women, ranked No. 31 in the nation, won six events - including two each by Kendal Casey and Danielle Galyer - in a 155-145 loss to No. 13-ranked Louisville. The UK men, ranked No. 36 nationally, got three wins vs. the No. 10-ranked Cardinals, who prevailed the team score 211-89.
"The women fought hard and came up just short against a very good Louisville team," Kentucky head coach Lars Jorgensen said. "The guys raced hard and are making good progress as a team.
"I also want to talk about the great crowd we had today," Jorgensen said. "I appreciate everyone who came out and made it such a good environment."
Diver Christa Cabot celebrated her Senior Day by opening the meet with a win on the 3-meter board. Later in the day, Rebecca Hamperian, Cabot and senior Lindsay Keahey went 1-2-3 from the 1-meter board.
"The seniors were amped up and emotional," UK diving coach Ted Hautau said. "Christa is a great competitor and has given us a lot of leadership and Lindsay got the best score of her career on Senior Day."
Sophomore Kendal Casey got the Wildcats' first victory in the pool in the 1,000-yard freestyle, taking the lead midway through the event and surging to win by more than four seconds at 10:03.92. The 500 free proved to the Cats' best event of the day as Casey (4:56.31), Kelly Berger and Aubrey Jones swam to the first three spots.
"I was really happy with all of my swims," Casey said. "The team really came together today, we swam well and swam for each other. We've come so far in all aspects, in our swimming, our times, also our teamwork and togetherness."
The 100 backstroke was a strong event for the Wildcat women. Sophomore Danielle Galyer won with a time of 54.24, followed in second place by teammate Bridgette Alexander. Galyer got a second victory in the 200 backstroke with a winning time of 1:57.20.
"I'm really happy with my times so far this season," said Galyer, who has begun looking forward to the postseason competition. "I think we're getting a lot more confident and it's just going to keep getting better from now until SECs (league championship meet) in February."
Although attention today was focused on the seniors, Jorgensen sees encouragement for the future in his younger swimmers.
The UK men got their first triumph in the 1,000 freestyle. As Kendal Casey did for the women, Drew Aviotti had to come from behind midway through the swim before winning with his season-best clock of 9:12.33. In addition, Kyle Higgins put the Cats in the win column in the 200 butterfly at 1:47.92.
"Aviotti was been relentless, consistently working hard," Jorgensen said. "Kyle Higgins continues to improve and showed that today in winning the 200."
The men's divers also got a victory today as freshman Levi Lindsey notched 349.58 in six efforts from the 3-meter board.
"Levi was really good on the 3-meter, was decisive mentally that he was going to win," Hautau said.
Kentucky honored 12 athletes on Senior Day, including Christina Bechtel, Christa Cabot, Michael Christian, Brent Dillon, Katrina Keirns, Lindsay Keahey, Blair Kuethe, Abby Myers, Robert Resch, Samantha Shaheen, Derrick Smith and Kristen Wilson.
Kentucky concludes the regular season Friday, Jan. 29, at Cincinnati. The UK swimmers will compete in Cincinnati at 5 p.m. The diving competition will take place in Lexington at the Lancaster Aquatic Center, featuring action on the platform and 3-meter board.
Postseason action begins Feb. 17-21 with the Southeastern Conference Championships at Auburn, Ala.
For complete information on Kentucky Swimming and Diving, 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.