Ferrucci Earns Bronze on Platform for UK's Second SEC Medal

Feb. 21, 2014

Complete Results | Video: Coach Jorgensen and Ferrucci Recap Day Four

ATHENS, Ga. – University of Kentucky senior diver Greg Ferrucci went out with a bang in his final Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championship appearance with a bronze medal-winning performance on platform Friday night at Georgia’s Gabrielsen Natatorium.

Ferrucci won his sixth SEC medal with a 409.90 in an exciting, tightly-contested platform final, the last men’s diving competition of the championships. The medal is the second for UK at the five day event after junior Christina Bechtel won silver in the 100 butterfly.

Also on Friday in front of 1,341 fans at the University of Georgia, UK broke four school record times, sent two swimmers to the A Finals and placed six in the top 15 on five events.

“Greg was awesome,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “I thought he had a chance to win it, it was really exciting, there were four or five guys who could have won it towards the end. Greg really is getting a lot better, I think he’ll be ready for Zones and NCAAs. He’s a great competitor, he battled hard. I couldn’t be more pleased with diving coach Ted Hautau for developing him into the diver he is today.

“Today was great, we set four school records today, it couldn’t have gone much better. We had Christina and George Greenhalgh in the A Finals, which was nice. We missed a few opportunities, but I thought we swam well, it couldn’t have gone better.”

The bronze medal for Ferrucci comes after he placed fourth in the 3-meter and sixth in the 1-meter earlier in the championships.

“I felt really confident, it was the most relaxed I’ve felt in an SEC or NCAA platform finals,” Ferrucci said. “It feels great, coming into this last event, it was the only thing I wanted, to represent UK on the podium. It felt great to represent Kentucky.”

Ferrucci opened with an 86.40 on his first dive and followed it up with a 76.80. He was in first place after two rounds, but he was not the only diver putting up high scores. A 45.00 on Ferrucci’s third dive took him out of first place, but he rebounded nicely with a 69.00 fourth dive. After a 52.700 fifth dive, the senior ended with a bang, an 80.00, to ensure a spot on the podium.

In the women’s 200 butterfly, the first event of the day, Bechtel came back to notch a fourth-place finish for her second top-four finish of the Championships. A day after she captured UK’s first SEC silver medal since 2010 in the 100 butterfly, Bechtel finished in 1:55.06, 0.19 shy of back-to-back podium finishes. She was in seventh place 100 yards into the race, but used a strong second half to come back and capture fourth.

Fellow junior Abby Myers placed 10th overall and 2nd in the B Final with a 1:57.60 in the event, the highest SEC finish of her career.

George Greenhalgh cemented himself in the UK record books with a program-best 53.54 in the 100 breaststroke prelims, which sent him to the A Finals. In the finals, the junior notched an eighth-place finish with a time of 53.74, which gives him two of the fastest three times in the event in UK history.

A total of three school records fell in the final two events Friday. In the men’s 400 medley relay, senior Lucas Gerotto led off with a record 100 backstroke time of 46.85, leading to a program best 3:11.73 from the foursome of Gerotto, Greenhalgh and seniors Eric Bruck and Chris Lott.

In the women’s 400 medley relay, UK’s 3:36.85 also was a UK record-setting time, coming from freshmen Danielle Galyer and Kendra Crew along with Bechtel and Myers. The women’s relay squad placed second in their heat and 10th overall, while the men were third in their heat and ninth overall.

UK was represented in the B Final of the men’s 200 butterfly, where senior Maclin Simpson finished seventh in the final and 15th overall in 1:45.78. He was joined in the finals by freshman teammate Chris Grimmett-Norris, who was sixth in the C final, 22nd overall, with a 1:47.03, a career best.

Senior Lucas Gerotto placed fourth in the B Final of the men’s 100 backstroke and 12th overall. He touched the wall in 47.50, 0.02 seconds ahead of the fifth-place finisher, from Georgia.

In the women’s 100 breaststroke prelims, freshman Kendra Crew earned UK’s highest finish with a 1:02.83 to place 26th. She finished just 0.13 seconds shy of a berth in the finals, but she did record a career-best time. Junior Sam Shaheen also just missed on a spot in the finals, with a 1:02.94 to finish 27th overall.

UK’s lone entry in the prelims of the women’s 100 backstroke was junior Kate Jones, who placed 29th in 55.58. She was 0.39 seconds away from an NCAA B qualifying time and 1.04 away from a spot in the finals.

The Wildcat men are in ninth place with 417 points after four days, while the women are 10th with 313 points. Florida sits atop the men’s standings with 1,097.5 points, while Georgia is first in the women’s standings with 1,098 points.

The five-day SEC Championships close Saturday, with the 1,650 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke, 400 freestyle relay and the women’s platform dive. Prelims commence at 10 a.m. ET, while the finals begin at 6 p.m. The diving prelims start at 1 p.m.

On Tuesday, UK broke two school records, while Ferrucci and fellow diver Christa Cabot notched fourth-place finishes in the finals of the 3- and 1-meter, respectively. Wednesday, seven Wildcats advanced to the finals and two placed in the top nine. Thursday, along with Bechtel’s silver medal, eight UK swimmers advanced to the finals. A full recap from Tuesday can be found here, while Wednesday’s recap can be found here and Thursday’s here.

Fans can follow along with all the action from the University of Georgia with live results of every competition and a live video stream of the finals at GeorgiaDogs.com.

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.