UK Women Set for NCAA Championships

March 18, 2009

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The University of Kentucky women's swimming and diving team will take to the pool for the 2009 NCAA Championships hosted by Texas A&M Thursday-Saturday. The UK women are looking to finish in the top-20 nationally for the fifth straight season.

This season's NCAA squad features a returning All-American in Megan Pulskamp along with NCAA Championship-veteran sophomore Chatham Penrod. Sophomore Lindsey Graessle and freshman Kelsi Hall will make their first appearances this week on the national stage.

Pulskamp was a member of last season's school-best fifth-place finish in the 200-freestyle relay. She also earned honorable mention All-America status as a member of the 15th-place 400-relay squad.

The junior had an incredible season anchoring UK's lineup. She tapped in a school-record time for her runner-up finish at the SEC Championships in the 100-butterfly. That finish earned her All-SEC second team honors. Additionally, she was a part of two new school relay records at the 2009 conference meet. She is the butterfly leg of the record setting 200- and 400-medley relays that feature her NCAA Championship teammates. She also qualified to swim individually in the 50-freestyle.

Penrod is responsible for the opening backstroke leg of the medley relays. After earning a spot on the 2007 NCAA Championship team as a freshman, she was a medical redshirt in 2008 as she recovered from off-season shoulder surgery. Since her return, she has been a dominant force for UK in the backstroke events. In addition to her medley relay duties, she earned an NCAA `B' cut in the 100-back with a school-record time at the SEC Championships and will be among that individual field.

Graessle will take the second leg of the medley relays in the breaststroke leg. The sophomore earned top-two all-time times in both breaststroke events and earned NCAA `B' qualifying times in the process. So, in addition to the two medley relays, Graessle will be among the contenders in the breaststroke events after top-16 finishes at the SEC Championships.

Hall will anchor the medley relays with the freestyle leg. The freshman came on strong at the end of the season earning career-best clips at the SEC Championships. She will join Pulskamp in the 50-free field after earning an NCAA `B' qualifying mark during the season.

Kentucky head coach Gary Conelly has earned seven top-20 finishes at the national meet during his tenure at UK--including four consecutive seasons.

Complete coverage of the Kentucky women's swimming and diving team at the NCAA Championships can be found by visiting UKathletics.com. For complete information regarding the national meet please visit www.aggieathletics.com/ncaa2009/swimming/women/