Kentucky Hosts Alabama in First Home Meet of 2011

Jan. 14, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky swimming and diving teams will compete in their first home meet of the spring portion of the 2010-11 season against fellow Southeastern Conference member Alabama at the Lancaster Aquatic Center Saturday.

The Wildcats will return home after a grueling six-day road trip that saw them compete in the three-day Tennessee Diving Invitational, along with three double-dual meets in Savannah, Ga., Columbia, S.C., and Chapel Hill, N.C.

“This will be a very challenging meet for us,” UK head coach Gary Conelly said. “Alabama's men are very good. They knocked off Auburn last fall so we will have to swim our best if we are going to upset them. Alabama's women are ranked ahead of us but I think the two teams are evenly matched. It should be a meet full of fast times and close races. I would look for it to come down to the last relay.”

The Kentucky women’s squad went 5-1 during last week’s trip, which included a victory over South Carolina. The Cats have been led this year by seniors Kayla Sergesketter, Chatham Penrod, Lindsey Graessle, and junior Claire Archibald. Senior Lisa Faulkner leads the UK women in diving.

The men’s team went 3-3 on the road trip, and saw many strong performances from freshman diver Greg Ferrucci, among others. Despite his freshman standing, Ferrucci has been a star for the men’s team at UK. With his score of 312.00 on the platform earlier this month at the Tennessee Diving Invitational, Ferrucci holds the second best score in UK history. His score of 385.90 puts him in third place in the men’s three-meter board in UK history, and his score of 355.25 on the one-meter board is the fourth best in school history.

The Cats will be going up against a strong Alabama squad Saturday. The Crimson Tide’s men’s team comes in at No. 17 in the latest CollegeSwimming.com/CSCAA Division I poll with wins over SEC rivals Auburn and LSU. Senior Catalin Cosma leads Alabama’s middle and distance freestyle events, ranking inside the top six in the conference in the 200, 500, 1,000 and 1,650 freestyle races.

The women’s team at Alabama is slotted just outside of the top 25. Senior Kate Shannon Gray has the second fastest time in the SEC in the 200 IM, the third fastest time in the 400 IM, and the fourth fastest time in the 200 breaststroke. Junior Suzanne Schwee has the third fastest time in the SEC in the 200 butterfly.

“Looking at the season as a whole, this is a very important meet,” Conelly said. “We will be tapering and resting soon for the SEC Championships in late February. This competition should give us a good read on where we are heading for the SEC meet.”

Saturday’s meet will feature live scoring updates for the first time at the Lancaster Aquatic Center. Fans can get race results as they come in by visiting: http://www.ukathletics.com/sports/c-swim/spec-rel/meets/.

For fans and media coming to see Kentucky and Alabama compete, parking structure No. 7 will be open and free of charge on Saturday.

Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for complete results from Saturday’s meet against Alabama and all Kentucky swimming and diving news.