Swimming and Diving Opens New Year at Vandy, Virginia Tech

Jan. 8, 2015

Video: Kierns, Higgins and Hamperian Preview the Weekend

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky swimming and diving team begins the new year with a split-meet weekend at Vanderbilt and at Virginia Tech.

The UK women face Vandy Friday at 2 p.m. ET, while the men travel to Virginia Tech for an 11 a.m. meeting with the Hokies. The divers, who opened 2015 at the Tennessee Diving Invitational last weekend, will also travel to Blacksburg, Va.

“It’s nice to be able to get back to competing after a long break,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “On the women’s side, to compete against another really good SEC team is great, and I know the team looks forward to that. The biggest thing is we are continuing to prepare for the end of the season. We want to see how we did in training over the break. For the men, we are swimming against a really good Virginia Tech team, the defending ACC champions. We’re going to have our hands full, but it will be nice to get on the road and travel before the start of the spring semester. It will be a great opportunity to get better.”

Live results from Nashville, Tenn., can be found on VUcommodores.com, while Swimmeet.christiansburg.org will have live results from Blacksburg. HokieSports.com will also have live video of Saturday’s meet. Additional updates and behind-the-scenes news and notes can be found on Twitter at @UKSwimDive.

Four UK swimmers have posted times that rank among the top 25 nationally. Senior Christina Bechtel’s 1:52.36 in the 200 butterfly is the fastest time in the country, while her 51.11 in the 100 butterfly is second in the nation and first in the Southeastern Conference. Sophomore Danielle Galyer has posted three top-25 times led by a 1:53.28 in the 200 backstroke, 14th in the nation and third in the SEC. Galyer is also 21st in the 100 backstroke with a 52.75 and 24th in the 400 IM with a 4:12.34. Sophomore Kendal Casey owns the 21st-fastest time in the 1,650 freestyle with a 16:15.91.

Kentucky senior diver Christa Cabot was named the Southeastern Conference Women’s Diver of the Week on Oct. 21 after winning both diving events with season-best scores vs. Florida.

The SEC Diver of the Week award is the first of Cabot’s career. A native of The Woodlands, Texas, Cabot claimed her first victory of the season with a 327.83 in the 3-meter event. The senior bested Florida’s Kahlia Warner by just over four points. In the 1-meter event, Cabot tallied a 327.45, also a season-best to win by over 20 points over Warner.

The Kentucky diving team opened the new year at the Tennessee Diving Invitational, where all three UK women's divers advanced to the finals and placed in the top nine in each event.

Redshirt sophomore Rebecca Hamperian opened with a second-place finish on 3-meter with a career-best 332.10 in the finals. On 1-meter, senior Christa Cabot led the Wildcats to finish third overall with a 301.15. Hamperian also placed fifth on platform with a 235.05 Monday for a team-best score.

Cabot finished sixth on platform with a 231.45, while fellow senior Lindsay Keahey earned a 228.30 to finish eighth. Keahey posted another eighth-place finish with a 292.30 on 3-meter, while Cabot earned a 279.10 to place ninth on the first day of competition. On 1-meter, along with Cabot placing third, Keahey was seventh with a 276.10 and Hamperian eighth with a 258.25.

For the UK men, freshman Levi Lindsey placed 14th in the on 1-meter and on platform with a 251.10 and 246.95, respectively, along with a 204.55 to place 22nd on 3-meter. Senior Noah Richter scored a team-high 238.80 on 3-meter to finish 18th, along with a 230.00 on platform to finish 15th and a 223.65 on 1-meter to place 21st. Freshman Stephen Jou was 19th on platform with a 150.30 and on 1-meter with a 230.60 and 24th on 3-meter with a 194.90.

The Wildcats return home for an in-state clash with Louisville on Jan. 24. The Senior Day contest begins at Noon, ET with diving, while swimming commences at 1 p.m.

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.