Bechtel Wins Silver, Two UK Records Fall Third Day of SECs
AUBURN, Ala. - University of Kentucky swimmer Christina Bechtel won a silver medal in the 100 butterfly and the Wildcats broke two school records on the third day of the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday.
The UK records, set by Bechtel and sophomore Brandon Flynn, give the Wildcats five program-best times in the first three days of the five-day conference championships. Bechtel's mark came in the 100 butterfly with a 51.04, while Flynn's record came in the 400 individual medley with a 3:44.99.
"It was great to break two more records and get another spot on the podium today," UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. "Christina came so close to winning, it was a really close race. Lately she's been preparing for NCAAs, so I know she's excited for that opportunity coming up to work towards a different result. Brandon was fantastic as well, hopefully his time will earn him a spot at the NCAA Championships. We've built a lot of momentum in the first three days, and that will carry over into a big day tomorrow."
Bechtel won her second career SEC medal by breaking her own school-record time by 0.07 seconds. She was joined in the final by senior Abby Myers, who finished sixth overall with a 52.65, the third-fastest time in program history.
"It really was a great race for both Christina and Abby," Jorgensen said. "Both personal-best times and two of the fastest times in program history. I'm really proud of Abby for her first finals appearance, she's worked so hard for it and it is well earned. Christina and Abby work so well together every day in practice, and it's fun to see that hard work pay off in the pool in the biggest meet of the year so far."
Flynn got Thursday's finals started in a big way, with a school-record time in the 400 individual medley. The sophomore recorded a 3:44.99 to finish third in the consolation final and 11th overall. Flynn beat his own record, set in the morning's prelims, by 0.98 seconds.
The Wildcats added a pair of top-10-fastest times in program history in the men's 200 freestyle. Junior Scott Crosthwaite earned a spot in the consolation final and posted the fifth-fastest time in UK history and finished 11th overall with a time of 1:35.89. Freshman Isaac Jones, who broke the school record in the 500 freestyle yesterday, posted a 1:36.43 to win the C final and finish 17th overall. Jones' time marks the seventh-fastest in the event in the UK record books.
Junior Matt Roman earned a bid in the C final in the 100 butterfly with a personal-best time of 47.55 in the prelims, the sixth-fastest time in program history. In the finals, Roman touched the wall in 47.86 and placed 22nd overall and sixth in his final.
Senior Kristen Wilson crushed her career-best time with a 1:46.92 in the prelims of the women's 200 freestyle. The second-fastest time in school history, Wilson beat her previous best by 1.67 seconds. In the finals, Wilson tallied a 1:48.83 to finish 23rd overall.
Kentucky's top finish in the women's 400 individual medley came courtesy of Frida Jakobsson, who finished 32nd. The junior recorded a season-best time of 4:21.86. Freshmen Allyson Dupay and Morgan Belli tied with a 4:23.02 to finish 35th.
Through the first three days of the SEC Championships, the UK women are seventh with 300 points, while the men are 10th with 220 points. Georgia leads the women's standings with 804 points, while Florida's 707.5 is tops among the men.
The Championships continue Friday at Auburn's James E. Martin Aquatics Center. Fans can follow along with live swimming results at AuburnTigers.com. Diving results can be found on DiveMeets.com. Both the prelims and finals will be broadcast live on the SEC Network+. Additional updates and behind-the-scenes notes and photos can be found at @UKSwimDive.
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.