Swimming and Diving Splits with South Carolina

Oct. 9, 2009

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COLUMBIA, S.C. - The University of Kentucky swimming and diving teams began the season by notching 15 victories and sweeping the relay events in a split at South Carolina. UK's women won by a 168-130 margin, while the men dropped a close 160-140 meet.

Kentucky's relay squads were simply spectacular in the first meet of the year as both the men's and women's 200-medley and 400-free relays captured wins. UK went one-two in three of the four relays to highlight the impressive performance.

On the women's side, UK got things started with a sweep of the 200-medley relay. Juniors Chatham Penrod (26.48) and Lindsey Graessle (29.52) and sophomores Anna Mattox (25.58) and Chelsea Peterson (23.70) clocked in a time of 1:45.28.

The quartet of sophomores Claire Archibald (27.61) and Jenna Willis (30.46), junior Megan Pulskamp (24.79) and sophomore Kelsi Hall (23.25) touched in a time of 1:46.11 for second place.

On the men's side, it was a quartet of seniors that edged out their counterparts in the 200-medley. Warren Grobbelaar (24.05), Eric McGinnis (26.12), Elvis Burrows (21.74) and Alex Forbes (20.13) put together a 1:32.04 time to take the meet's first event.

Freshman Ramon Walton (24.43) and seniors Julio Vallette (25.73), Travis Muzzillo (22.70) and Colin Faris (20.55) out-touched South Carolina by a mere six one-hundredths of a second to take place. UK's squad tapped in a time of 1:33.41, with the Gamecocks coming in at 1:33.41.

Sophomore Tyler Reed achieved UK's first individual win of the season when he claimed first in the 200-free with a time of 1:39.22. On the women's side, Penrod was the first of many individual winners for the Blue and White capturing first in the 100-backstroke in a time of 56.40.

Hall, Graessle and Willis finished 1-2-3 in the 100-breaststroke. Hall touched in a time of 1:05.52, with Graessle clocking in at 1:06.13 and Willis finishing in 1:06.53.

Pulskamp led a sweep of the 200-fly for the Wildcats with a time of 2:04.26. Seniors Casey Miller (2:06.87) and Anna Sirmon (2:06.88) finished just behind.

Newsome placed first in the 50-free in a time of 23.51 for the third individual win of the day for the women.

Forbes led a 1-through-4 finish in the 50-free on the men's side by clocking in at 20.68. McGinnis (20.76), Burrows (20.89) and Faris (21.14) were the next in line for Kentucky.

Junior Kayla Sergesketter topped the field in the 100-free with a time of 51.65 to lead a sweep for the Blue and White in the event. Newsome finished in a time of 51.93 and Pulskamp with a time of 52.28.

Forbes won his second event of the day by taking the 100-free on the men's side with a time of 45.63. McGinnis and Faris were the third and fourth finishers in the event.

Pulskamp captured her second win of the day with a first place finish in the 100-fly. Pulskamp an All-American in the event as a junior began the season with a win behind a 56.39 time. Grobbelaar achieved his first individual win of his senior season after coming off of a redshirt season. The senior tapped in a time of 49.25 to take the 100-fly.

Archibald and Miller came in at a one-two finish in the 200-individual medley for the women. Archibald needed just 2:06.27 to take the win with Miller clocking in at 2:07.48.

Rounding out the wins for the Blue and White was a sweep of the 400-freestyle relay. The women behind the quartet of Newsome (51.89), sophomore Mandy Myers (51.96), Sergesketter (51.17) and Hall (51.26) tapped in a time of 3:26.28.

The men once again took the top two spots in the relay with the team of McGinnis (46.11), Forbes (45.00), Reed (46.22) and senior Kyle Greene (45.66) coming in at 3:02.99. UK's second team tapped in a time of 3:06.57. That quartet was comprised of Faris (47.92), junior Reinhardt Strijdom (45.88), Grobbelaar (46.57) and Burrows (46.20).

A pair of newcomer divers notched second place finishes in their first SEC action. Junior Lisa Faulkner placed second on the one-meter in her first meet in the Blue and White. Faulkner achieved a score of 309.75 in the event for second place, and finished just six points off of first place.

Freshman John Fox took second on the three-meter on the men's side. Fox scored 291.90 points for his second place finish in the event.

The Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Oct. 17 when they host their first home meet of the season. UK will welcome Arkansas' women, Southern Illinois' men and Cumberland for a tri-meet with a 3 p.m. start time.