UK Breaks Three School Records, Both with NCAA `A' Times
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Highlighted by two NCAA ‘A’ qualifying times and three school-record times, the Kentucky swimming and diving team won five events on the second day of the Ohio State Invitational Saturday.
UK’s Christina Bechtel, Danielle Galyer, Abby Myers and Kendal Casey won the 800 freestyle relay with a program-best time of 7:06.84, while Bechtel also broke her own school record in the 100 butterfly with a meet-record 51.11. Both times are NCAA ‘A’ qualifying times.
After two days at the three-day, seven-team Ohio State Invitational, the Kentucky women are second in the team standings with 616 points. After a strong second day, the UK men moved up to third with 333.5 points. Purdue leads the women’s scoring with 762 points, while Ohio State sits atop the men’s standings with 1,068 points.
“The highlight of the night was the relay team, earning an NCAA ‘A’ cut,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “Getting four swimmers to the NCAA Championships is phenomenal, I’m really proud of that. Christina in the 100 fly is the best time in the country this year, so that was a great swim as well. The men swam really well today too. Brandon Flynn swam a gutsy race to win the 400 individual medley and we showed some depth today.”
Along with the relay team and Bechtel, Galyer earned her second win in as many days with a victory in the 400 individual medley, while fellow sophomore Brandon Flynn also claimed a win in the men’s 400 individual medley. Freshman Bridgette Alexander recorded her first collegiate victory with a win in the 100 backstroke with the third-fastest time in program history.
Kentucky’s biggest win of the day came in the second-to-last event, the women’s 800 freestyle relay. Bechtel, Galyer, Myers and Casey finished in 7:06.84 to break the UK record by nearly four seconds. The NCAA ‘A’ qualifying time beat the second-place finishers from Purdue by nearly eight seconds. UK also finished fourth with a 7:22.80 and ninth with a 7:32.53 in the event.
Bechtel, who has not lost a butterfly event this season, remained perfect with a win in the women’s 100 butterfly. Her 51.11 broke the meet record in the event and gave the senior an NCAA ‘A’ qualifying time. Bechtel’s time also broke her own UK record, which she set last season. Myers finished second in the event for UK with a 52.87. A new personal-best and the fourth-fastest time in school history, Myers earned an NCAA ‘B’ qualifying time.
A day after setting a school record with a win in the 200 individual medley, Galyer earned a win in the 400 individual medley, under one second shy of setting another program record. The sophomore finished in 4:12.34, a new personal-best.
In the very next event in Saturday’s finals, Flynn notched a win in the men’s 400 individual medley. Flynn, who already owns the school record in the event, notched a season-best 3:51.17 for the victory.
Alexander added to Kentucky’s win total with a victory in the women’s 100 backstroke. She touched the wall in 53.76 to record the third-fastest time in Wildcat history and earn an NCAA ‘B’ qualifying time. Fellow freshman Alyssa Ruffing added a fifth-place finish in the event with a 56.26.
Senior Sam Shaheen tallied a second-place finish for the Wildcats in the women’s 100 breaststroke. With a 1:02.76, Shaheen set a new personal-best time and broke her own mark as the fourth-fastest time in program history.
Sophomore Kyle Higgins notched a runner-up finish in the men’s 100 butterfly. His time of 48.43 was just 0.02 shy of a spot among the top 10 times in UK history. Higgins’ added his place to the record books in the men’s 100 backstroke though, with a 49.39 to finish eighth, tied for the 10th-best in team history.
The Wildcats placed fourth and fifth in the women’s 200 freestyle. Casey was fourth with a 1:48.51, followed by senior Kristen Wilson, who touched the wall in 1:49.20. Both Casey and Wilson’s times were season-bests.
The Wildcats opened Saturday’s finals with a fourth-place finish in the women’s 200 medley relay with a time of 1:42.03. UK’s ‘B’ relay also notched a top-10 finish and finished in 1:46.22 to place 10th. In the men’s 200 medley relay, Kentucky finished seventh in 1:31.41.
In the diving competition, sophomore Rebecca Hamperian led UK with a fourth-place finish on 1-meter with a 304.00. Senior Christa Cabot scored a 261.15 to place 10th. With the men on 3-meter, freshman Levi Lindsey led UK with a 297.60 to finish 10th.
Sophomore Tanner Anderson advanced to the A final in the men’s 100 breaststroke and placed 10th overall with a 57.40.
Fans can follow along with live results from the Ohio State Invite’s final day on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Additional updates and behind-the-scenes news and notes can be found on Twitter 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.