UK Earns Three of Seven SEC Swimming and Diving Awards
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky swimming and diving team was recognized with three Southeastern Conference Athlete or Coach of the Year accolades, the league announced today. Rebecca Hamperian was named the Female Diver of the Year, Ted Hautau was named the Women's Diving Coach of the Year and Danielle Galyer earned SEC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year accolades.
Kentucky claimed three of the seven women's SEC awards, as voted on by the league's coaches. Galyer and Christina Bechtel also earned All-SEC First Team honors, Hamperian was named to the All-SEC Second Team and Bridgette Alexander and Levi Lindsey were named to the All-Freshman Team.
"It was a great year overall, and I couldn't be happier for Rebecca, Danielle and Ted," UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. "To earn awards voted on by the coaches and be recognized on an All-SEC team in this conference is amazing. Rebecca, Danielle, Christina, Bridgette and Levi all had fantastic seasons, and Ted continues to lead our diving team to consistent success every year. They are all deserving of this recognition and we are proud of them."
The three athlete and coach of the year awards are tied for the most in a single season in program history. UK was also honored with three yearly awards in 2003, though two were men's awards and one women's. Galyer becomes the first Wildcat to be named the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Galyer, Hamperian and Hautau earned SEC awards for the first time in their careers, while Alexander, Galyer and Lindsey also were named to All-SEC teams for the first time. Bechtel was named to the All-SEC First Team after she earned All-SEC Second Team accolades in 2014, while Hamperian's Second Team honors come after she was named to the All-Freshman Team in 2013.
Hamperian, the ninth SEC Diver of the Year in program history, was a two-time All-America honoree and won a silver medal on 1-meter at the SEC Championships. The redshirt sophomore placed fourth on 1-meter and sixth on platform at the NCAA Championships after earning a pair of top-eight finishes at the conference championships. A Lexington native, Hamperian's breakout season came after she missed the 2013-14 season with an injury.
"We're all really proud of Becca," Hautau said. "She did a great job this year after an injury last year. Having to learn new dives on 3-meter and a new platform set, she had a lot on her plate. It was a mentally challenging year and she really grew a lot. She earned it and put in a lot of hard work and mental effort. I'm most proud of the growth she's made. We are looking forward to more growth the next 2 years."
Hautau led Kentucky's divers to another impressive campaign. UK was one of two schools to send at least two divers to the finals in all three women's events at the SEC Championships. Senior Christa Cabot was one of three divers to make the finals in every event. At the NCAA Championships, Hamperian was joined by Cabot, who earned a pair of Honorable Mention All-America accolades.
In his sixth season as head diving coach with the Wildcats, Hautau earned UK's seventh SEC Diving Coach of the Year honor in program history after Mike Lyden received the award six times.
"Thanks to the athletes for working so hard," Hautau said. "This honor is definitely a reflection of them and their hard work day in and day out. Thanks to UK, the administration and Lars for providing us with the resources and the opportunity to work hard and represent the University."
"We are so proud of Ted and the hard work the diving team put in this year," Jorgensen said. "The consistency that his team has shown in his tenure is incredible. There's no better diving coach in the country and I know he will continue to make our diving team excel."
Galyer was voted as UK's first Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The sophomore won the SEC title in the 200 backstroke and placed fourth overall in the event at the NCAA Championships. Galyer earned four All-America honors in 2015, placing in the top 15 in every race she competed in at the NCAA Championships. A Greenville, S.C., native, she owns a 4.0 GPA in psychology.
"Danielle had a great year, and this is a culmination of an outstanding season and hard work in the classroom," Jorgensen said. "For her to be an SEC Champion and maintain a 4.0 GPA is a testament to her work ethic and dedication."
Bechtel and Galyer earned All-SEC First Team honors after winning the SEC title in the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke, respectively. Bechtel also placed second in the 100 butterfly and earned a total of four All-America accolades at the NCAA Championships. The senior placed second in the 200 butterfly, UK's best NCAA finish in program history.
Hamperian's silver medal at the SEC Championships earned her All-SEC Second Team honors. Lindsey was named to the All-Freshman team with a fourth-place finish on platform, the best finish by a first-year diver in the event. Alexander's All-Freshman team accolades came after a seventh-place finish in the 200 backstroke at the SEC Championships. Both Lindsey and Alexander qualified for the NCAA Championships, and Alexander was named an Honorable Mention All-American in the 200 backstroke.
For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Swimming and Diving program, go to UKathletics.com/SwimmingDiving. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates and more can be found on Twitter at @UKSwimDive and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKSwimDive.