Cats Begin SEC Swimming Championships Wednesday

Feb. 15, 2011

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - After months of hard work, training and preparation, the Kentucky men's and women's swimming teams have arrived in Gainesville, Fla., to compete in the Southeastern Conference Swimming Championships.

Kentucky's men's and women's divers competed in the SEC Diving Championships from Feb. 11-13 with freshman Greg Ferrucci finishing in the top seven on all three boards and senior Lisa Faulkner finishing in the top nine on all three boards. Ferrucci was named the SEC Male Freshman Diver of the Year after the championships.

Now it's the swimmers turn to compete. Arriving in Gainesville Monday evening, the Cats swam briefly in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, the home of the championships, to get loose after the long trip. The Cats then practiced twice more Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday's opening races, the 200-medley relay and 800-freestyle relay.

The 200-medley relay and 800-freestyle relay time trials will begin Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET in the O'Connell Center. Finals competition for the two relays will begin at 6 p.m.

"The team is excited and looks great in the water," UK head coach Gary Conelly said. "This is the best time of the year."

The Kentucky women's top 200-medley relay team heading into the championships is paced by Chatham Penrod, Lindsey Graessle, Mandy Myers and Kayla Sergesketter. The quartet's fastest time came at the Tennessee Invitational when they earned an NCAA (B) provisional time of 1:39.82.

The men's top 200-medley relay team entering the championships is led by Ramon Walton, Matt Russell, Jonathan Keltner and Chip Aplin. Like the women's team, the men's 200-medley relay group earned their fastest time at the Tennessee Invitational with a time of 1:29.99.

The top women's 800-free relay quartet is led by Myers, Kristen Wilson, Chelsea Peterson and Sergesketter.

The men's top 800-free relay team this season was swam by William Heidler, Reinhardt Strijdom, John Bullock and Stephen Wimmer. The quartet swam a 6:35.00 at the Tennessee Invitational, earning an NCAA (B) provisional.

The coaches have not finalized the relay lineups they will go with Wednesday for the finals. Wednesday morning's preliminaries will allow the coaches to hold time trials for individual events for swimmers who have close times. Following the trials, the coaches will then determine the lineup they see best fit for the finals later that evening.

Along with updated stats throughout the week, the SEC Swimming Championships will be broadcast on a live stream on the Internet at: http://www.gatorzone.com

Check out UKathletics.com for results from the SEC Swimming Championships throughout the week and for all Kentucky swimming and diving news.