Swimming and Diving Rings in New Year by Hosting Tri Meet


When (All times ET):
Friday, Jan. 8, 2016

1-mtr/3-mtr diving: 2 p.m.
1650 free: 2:45 p.m.
Swim session 1: 5 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016
Swim session 2: 9 a.m.
10-mtr diving: 12 p.m.
Swim session 3: 3 p.m.
Where: Lancaster Aquatic Center, Lexington, Ky.
Tickets: Free Admission
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Meet Recap: Galyer Posts Nation-Leading Swim in the 200 Back at OSU Invitational

Performance List: Men
Performance List: Women

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky’s swimming and diving team is set to open up the new year by hosting Southeastern Conference foe LSU and Atlantic Coast Conference member Virginia Tech in a two-day tri meet on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 8-9.  

Friday’s schedule will feature the 1- and 3-meter springboards beginning at 2 p.m. ET.  At 2:45, the 1650 free will take place, with the bulk of the action in between the lane lines beginning at 5 p.m.   The evening session will include the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay.

On Saturday, a swimming session is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. that includes the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 800 free relay.  At noon, the divers will compete on the 10-meter platform, and the meet will close with the final session starting at 3 p.m. with the 200 free relay, 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and 400 medley relay.

The captains for the meet will be Kendal Casey, Danielle Galyer and Rebecca Hamperian on the women’s side, while Andrew Aviotti, Kyle Higgins and Noah Richter will captain the men.

Parking on Friday is available in Structure No. 7, located at 721 Sports Center Drive, at the corner of Sports Center Drive and Complex Drive.  On Saturday, fans are invited to park in Structure No. 1, located at the corner of University and Cooper.  The parking structures are located just a short walk from the Lancaster Aquatic Center.  More information about parking can be found at http://www.uky.edu/pts/

With the announcement of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) NCAA Division I Team Rankings for both the men and the women, which was last released on Dec. 9, 2015, Kentucky’s women have cracked the top-25 for the first time this season.  UK had been receiving votes in previous polls, but currently sits at No. 23 and is one-of-nine SEC teams on the list. 

Freshman Seb Masterton and Hamperian both garnered the honor of SEC Diver of the Week on Dec. 8, 2015, marking the first time in program history that both the men and the women have earned the acclaim on the same week.  Masterton had three UK top-10 performances at the Miami Open, winning the 1-meter with 378.10 points and taking second on the 3-meterwith 384.90 points, which both rank fifth all-time.  He also had the fourth-best score in program history on platform with 335.80 points.  

Hamperian, who was in the process of bouncing back from an injury in early December, was the top collegiate finisher on the platform with 200.85 points and the second collegiate finisher on the 1- and 3-meter springboards with scores of 283.35 points in the 1-meter dive and a career-best 3-meter score of 282.65 points.

Kentucky’s women currently boast eight times that rank in the top-25 nationally for the season, with an additional eight in the top-25.  Topping the list is USA National Team member Galyer, who has posted the No. 3 time in the country in the 200 back at 1:51.52, which additionally punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships with an NCAA A cut.  The Wildcats have another swimmer in the top-25 in the event, with Bridgette Alexander ranking 20th in 1:53.91.  Galyer also holds the No. 18 time in the 100 back (52.45), and leads off on both the 800 free (7:11.62) and 400 medley (3:34.85) relays, which are both the 12th-fastest lineups in the NCAA.  In the distance swim, Casey holds two top-25 times with a 16:15.53 in the 1650 free, good for 18th, and her school record time of 4:42.58 in the 500 free for the 22nd-fastest time in the nation.  Kathryn Painter rounds out the women’s top times with a 4:11.45 in the 400 IM, just off the school record to rank 23rd.  

For the men, Aviotti has recorded the lone top-25 time with his time of 15:05.24 in the 1650 free, good for 23rd.  Additionally, his time of 9:14.17 in the 1000 ranks in the top-50 at No. 32.  Brandon Flynn also sits just outside the top-25 with a 3:47.70 in the 400 IM, and anchored the 31st-fastest 800 free relay in the nation along with Sean Gunn, Scott Crosthwaite and Higgins to record a 6:33.42.

The Tiger women come in as the No. 24 ranked team in the latest CSCAA poll, and have compiled a 6-0 record in dual action but have yet to compete in an SEC dual.  LSU features nine swims that rank in the top-25 nationally for the season, with an additional five in the top-50.  Headlining the Tigers are juniors Kara Kopcso and Leah Troskot.  Kopcso has proven to be an All-American contender in the butterfly and individual medley, with the No. 7 time in the nation in the 200 fly at 1:55.50 as well as the No. 9 200 IM mark at 1:56.55.  Additionally, she holds the 15th-fastest time in the NCAA in the 100 fly at 52.47 seconds and is the leadoff swimmer on the No. 17 800 free relay (7:12.72) as well as the butterfly leg of the No. 15 200 and 400 medley relays (1:38.98/3:37.79).  Troskot’s discipline lies primarily in the freestyle sprints, with the No. 21 time in the 100 free at 48.64 seconds as well as a top-50 time in the 50 free in 22.57 seconds. She anchors the 200 and 400 medley relays while also leading off on the 200 and 400 free relays, the latter of which has the 12th-best time in the nation in 3:16.74.  Also recording a top-25 time for the Tigers is Danielle Stirrat, whose 200 free time of 1:45.72 is good for 20th among NCAA competitors.  

Kentucky holds a 9-8 record against the LSU women in the all-time series, with the last win coming in the 2005-06 season.  The last time the two teams met on Jan. 5, 2013, UK suffered a 176-83 setback to the Tigers.

The men of LSU have had limited dual meet action, with a 1-2 record on the season.  The Tigers have had six swims that rank in the top-25 plus an additional eight in the top-50.  Recording the highest ranked swims for LSU is junior Logan Rysemus, who has the No. 13 in the 100 fly at 46.41 seconds and the No. 16 mark in the 100 back in 46.61 seconds.  Rysemus also appears on the 200 and 400 medley relay lineups, leading off on the No. 18 200 medley relay team (1:27.07) and swimming the butterfly leg of the No. 15 400 medley relay team (3:11.01).  The Tigers have additional strength in the 200 back with Thomas Smith, who holds the 21st-fastest time in the NCAA in the event in 1:42.77.  Rounding out the top-25 swims is the 200 free relay, which is the No. 20 lineup in 1:19.41.  

UK has met up with LSU 18 times on the men’s side, with LSU holding the all-time advantage, 12-6.  The two teams also had their last meeting when the women did, with the Wildcats falling 155-107 to the Tigers.

Virginia Tech’s women, who took third at the 2015 ACC Championships, enter the weekend with a 7-1 record, boasting three times that rank in the NCAA’s top-25 and an additional nine in the top-50.  Sophomore Klaudia Nazielbo holds the highest ranked swim for the team with the No. 5 200 fly mark in 1:55.30.  Jessica Hespeler headlines the distance group for the Hokies, with the 20th-fastest 500 free in 4:42.45, and also appears on the No. 19 800 free relay (7:14.84).

Kentucky’s women have squared off against Virginia Tech three times and have yet to secure a dual victory against the Hokies.  The last time they met, Virginia Tech came away with a 159-135 victory on Jan. 29, 2011.  

The men of Virginia Tech, who also placed third at their conference meet, have an unblemished 7-0 record.  Just one swim ranks in the top-25 of NCAA times, which is a 9:12.65 in the 1000 free by senior Michal Szuba that ranks 25th.  The Hokies have an additional 11 times in the top-50, concentrated in the mid-distance stroke events and distance freestyles.

The Wildcats have yet to record a win against the men’s team as well in four meetings.  The two teams met last season, when UK opened up the new year with a 186-114 loss to the then-reigning ACC championship Hokies.

The Wildcats will make the short trip to Louisville, Ky., for the annual rivalry meet with the No. 7/11 (men/women) Cardinals on Jan. 23.  The meet is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

After swimming for the Junior National Team in 2014-15, Galyer has been invited to be a member of the USA Swimming National Team for 2015-16.  Galyer notched the second-fastest time in the 200-meter backstroke at the Phillips 66 Nationals, touching in at 2:09.75, and also placed eighth in the 100m back in 1:01.23.  Also representing the United States is recent UK alum Bechtel, who finished third in both the 100m and 200m fly (58.74/2:09.20) at the Phillips 66 Nationals.  Bechtel is no stranger to Team USA after competing in the 50m and 100m fly in 2014-15.  

The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be held from June 26-July 3, 2016 in Omaha, Neb.

For the latest on the Kentucky swimming and diving program, follow @UKSwimDive on Twitter, on Facebook at Facebook.com/UKSwimDive, and on the web at ukathletics.com.