Swimming Opens 2013 with Dual Meet at LSU

Jan. 4, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky swimming team will compete for the first time in the New Year when they travel to Baton Rouge, La., to swim against Louisiana State University at the LSU Natatorium in a dual meet on Saturday at 10 a.m. CT.

Kentucky last competed in the Tennessee Invitational, a three day event in mid-November. The Wildcats have been training at their facility, the Lancaster Aquatic Center, since that event as they continue to prepare for the second half of their season. UK got back into their pool on New Year's Eve and has been looking to play catch up after the holiday break.

"We had a really good training right before Christmas," said head coach Gary Conelly. "We've been trying to do a little catch up right here. As a matter of fact, that's going to affect the swim meet in a sense that we're going to kind of swim through it. We're not going to back down at all."

After getting back in the swing of things over the last few days, Conelly is seeing who made the best strides over the break. Some of his athletes have been eye openers in the early goings of 2013.

"Some of the kids look really good," said Conelly. "Like (Christina Bechtel), for example, really did a great job of training over the break. Chris Lott and some of the guys I'm really excited about."

The team has a long trip ahead of them. UK will bus to Louisville, fly to New Orleans, La., and then bus to Baton Rouge from there. The travel combined with the meet on Saturday will be a grind for the Wildcats.

"The whole trip is going to be a real test of their endurance and their conditioning," said Conelly. "If they're not in very good shape, not very good condition, they're going to get real tired."

While every meet is important, the dual meet with LSU on Saturday will give Conelly and his team an indication of how much further they need to go the rest of the season.

Though UK is looking for a victorious result against the Tigers, the Wildcats have had their eyes focused on preparing for the postseason.

"It's going to be an important meet to see where we're at," said Conelly. "This whole season has been focused on how we're going to do at SECs and how we're going to do at NCAAs. We're not really worrying about dual meet records."

The LSU meet will be the first of three dual meets for Kentucky, followed by Senior Day when UK hosts Louisville on Jan. 26, and a trip to Cincinnati to face the Bearcats on Feb. 2 in their final regular season tune-up before the SEC Championships.