Two Records Fall on Opening Day of Ohio State Invitational

Prelims Results (LCM)
Finals Results (SCY)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Kentucky swimming and diving team had a strong start to the Ohio State Invitational on Friday, as two UK records fell, 13 NCAA B cuts were recorded, and five swimmers came away with Olympic Trials cuts in the morning portion of the meet.  At the end of the first day of the invitational, both team sit in third.  The men have 163 points and trail Florida (425) and OSU (369), while the women have 198 points and also trail the Gators (345.5) and the Buckeyes (285.5).  

The highlight of the morning session was undoubtedly Ann Davies’ school record swim in the 200 long course meters (LCM) individual medley.  Davies recorded her first Olympic Trials cut in the event with the fastest finish in 2:18.09.  Danielle Galyer also recorded an OT cut with the third seed in 2:18.61.  Both went on to notch NCAA B cuts in the finals, as Galyer finished fourth in 2:00.12 and Davies took fifth in a personal-best 2:00.73.  Additionally, Kendra Crew won the B final in 2:01.59, hitting the NCAA B standard precisely to be the third Wildcat to accomplish the feat in the event.  With their swims, Davies moved up to fourth on UK’s all-time list, while Crew earned the seventh spot and Galyer retains her title as the UK record holder. 

Another Kentucky record fell in the 500 freestyle, with Kendal Casey finishing second overall in 4:42.58 to break the 20-year-old record previously held by Kelly Heath.  Geena Freriks and Kelly Berger finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in 4:44.35 and 4:45.68.  The trio of Wildcats all earned NCAA B cuts with their respective swims, with Freriks earning the fourth spot on UK’s all-time list and Berger notching the fifth-fastest time in program laurels.  Meredith Whisenhunt also made her way onto the all-time list with the seventh-fastest swim in 4:48.38.  Casey, Freriks and Berger also made Olympic Trials cuts in the 400 LCM freestyle.  Casey finished with the fourth seed in 4:16.33, while Freriks finished in 4:16.94 and Berger touched in at 4:17.02.

The final B cuts for the women came in the 400 medley relay.  The lineup of Galyer, Crew, Haley McInerny and Freriks touched in at 3:34.85 for second overall, less than one second off the school record of 3:33.94 set last year.  Galyer also notched a B cut in her leadoff, swimming a season-best 52.45, and Bridgette Alexander led off for the B relay team, which finished in 3:44.27, with a B cut of 54.11 seconds.  

The women also saw strong showings in the 50 free and 200 free relay.  Meghan Taylor paced the team in the 50 free, winning the C final in a personal-best 23.97 seconds.  Taylor also led off for the 200 free relay, teaming up with Alexander, McInerny and Erin Hart for an eighth-place finish in 1:34.80. The mark is nearly two seconds faster than the 200 free relay time posted at the Mizzou Quad two weeks prior.

The men saw four NCAA B cuts and one Wildcat enter the all-time top-10 list.  Brandon Flynn, who had already qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 200 IM, earned the third seed into the finals after finishing the LCM portion in 2:05.59.  He went on to finish fourth in a personal-best 1:48.38, breaking the 1:50.00 barrier for the first time in his career.  Flynn’s time is his second NCAA B cut of the season, as he accomplished the feat in the 400 IM at the Mizzou Quad, and it ranks fifth on UK’s all-time list.

 Distance freestyle proved to be a strength for both the men’s and women’s teams, as three Wildcats recorded NCAA B cuts in the 500 free.  Kyle Higgins led the team as the only swimmer donning the Blue and White in the A final after recording a personal-best 4:01.18 in the 400 LCM free earlier in the day.  Higgins finished ninth 4:24.24, and the B final saw a 4-5 finish out of Andrew Aviotti and Scott Crosthwaite in 4:24.51 and 4:24.51, respectively.  All three earned NCAA B cuts in the event, and were just shy of Olympic Trials cuts in the morning 400-meter swim.

Coming up just short of an NCAA B cut was the 400 medley relay team of Walker Thaning, Mike Summe, Higgins and Sean Gunn.  The quartet touched in sixth overall in 3:17.64, just five hundredths of a second off the consideration standard.  The 200 free relay team had a stronger showing in the field, placing third behind Matt Roman, Gunn, Cobe Garcia and Josh Swart, but also missed out on a cut in the event.  Gunn paced the team in the 50 free, swimming a season-best 20.42 to finish seventh in an A final that saw two sub-20-second performances.  

At the House of Champions meet in Indianapolis, Ind., the Wildcats picked up a victory on the platform.  Courtney Clark won for the women with 216.60 points, while Kailey Francetic finished second with 168.05 points and Rebecca Hamperian in third with 151.10 points.  For the men, Seb Masterton placed second with 283.70 points, followed by Stephen Jou in third with 242.65 points and Noah Ricther in fourth with 226.20 points.

The Wildcats will hit the water again tomorrow morning, repeating the same format in which the prelims are in LCM and the finals are in short course yards.  The prelims for the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back will begin at 10 a.m. ET.  At 6 p.m. ET, the finals for the events, along with the 200 medley and 800 free relays, will kick off.

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