Wildcats End Dual Season with Ohio State and Cincinnati

When (All times ET):
Friday, Jan. 29:
5 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30: 1 p.m.

McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, Columbus, Ohio
Saturday Lancaster Aquatic Center, Lexington, Ky.

Tickets: Free Admission
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Meet Recap: Kentucky Drops Pair of Duals to Cardinals

Performance List: Men
Performance List: Women

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky’s swimming and diving team will wrap up the 2015-16 dual season this weekend, first traveling to No. 15/25 Ohio State on Friday before hosting Senior Day against Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon.

The dual against the Buckeyes is slated for a 5 p.m. ET start time inside McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, while the Wildcats will host the Bearcats at 1 p.m. at Lancaster Aquatic Center, where Kentucky will honor its 2016 senior class.  This year, UK’s roster features four seniors in  Scott Crosthwaite, George Greenhalgh, Frida Jakobsson and Matt Roman.

“We’re really proud of all of them.  They’re all going to graduate; they’ve all had outstanding careers as student-athletes here and they’ve been very impactful in terms of helping change the direction of the program and they’re all really good kids, so we’re going to miss them,” commented head coach Lars Jorgensen on the senior class.  “We’re looking forward to celebrating them this weekend against a really good Cincinnati team and then watch them continue to grow as people over the next couple years as they leave our program.”

Since the start of the 2015-16 campaign, Kentucky has been posting times that rank highly among national competition.  Currently, the Wildats have 11 marks that rank in the top-25 of NCAA Division I competitors, with an additional 13 in the top-50.  

Headlining the women’s team is Galyer, who holds the No. 3 time in the 200 back in 1:51.52, a time that has already punched Galyer’s ticket to the NCAA Championships in March. Alexander joins Galyer in the top-25 in the event with a 1:53.41, which ranks 21st nationally. Galyer also holds the 18th-fastest 100 back time in 52.45 seconds, along with a top-50 time in the 200 free.

Kendal Casey also has two top-25 swims to her name, ranking 18th in the 1650 free in 16:15.53 and 22nd in the 500 free in a UK record 4:42.58.  Just six-hundredths of a second off claiming a school record of her own in the 400 IM, Kathryn Painter holds the No. 23 time in the event in 4:11.45.  

In the relays, the women have the No. 12 times in both the 800 free and 400 medley relays, with Galyer, Geena Freriks, Haley McInerny and Casey posting a 7:11.62 in the 800 free relay while Galyer, Kendra Crew, McInerny and Freriks combined for a 3:34.85 in the 400 medley relay.  Additionally, the women have eight other marks in the top-50, including swims in the 200, 500 and 1650 free, the 100 back, the 200 breast, and the 400 free and 200 medley relays.

For the men, Andrew Aviotti and Brandon Flynn have posted the only individual top-25 times.  Flynn has posted the No. 21 time in the 400 IM in 3:47.70, while Aviotti currently holds the 22nd-fastest 1650 free mark in the nation in 15:05.24 and is 37th in the 1000 free in 9:14.17. Higgins sits just outside the top-25 in the 200 fly with a 1:45.30, good for 32nd.  

The 800 free relay has been the fastest for the Wildcats, with Gunn, Scott Crosthwaite, Higgins and Flynn combining for a 6:53.42, good for 24th in the NCAA.  Kentucky also has two top-50 relay lineups on the men’s side in the 200 free relay of Matt Roman, Gunn, Cobe Garcia and Josh Swart in 1:21.76 as well as the 400 medley relay of Walker Thaning, Mike Summe, Higgins and Gunn in 3:17.64.

The Ohio State men are currently ranked 15th according to the latest College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) poll, while the women come in as the No. 25 team in the nation.  For the Buckeye men, the team has posted seven times that rank in the top-25 of NCAA Division I times, with an additional 12 times that rank in the top-50.  

The strength for the Buckeyes lies within their relays, all five of which hold a top-25 time.  The highest ranked relay for OSU is the 800 free relay, headlined by Steffen Hillmer, Ching Lim, Joey Long and Brayden Seal in 6:29.62, the No. 13 time in the NCAA.  Coming in at No. 14 is the 200 medley relay behind Matt McHugh, DJ MacDonald, Lim and Mossimo Chaves in 1:26.47, while Hillner swaps with Chavez in the freestyle leg of the 400 medley relay for the No. 18 time in the nation in 3:12.10.  OSU has also had success in the sprint freestyle relays, with McHugh, Chavez, Nathan Christian and Andrew Appleby combining for a 1:19.34 in the 200 free relay for a time that ranks 19th, while McHugh, Lim, Hillmer and Christian have posted a 2:56.31 in the 400 free relay, good for 23rd in the nation.

Individually, McHugh and Lim hold the only two marks that rank within the top-25 for the Buckeyes.  McHugh holds the No. 19 time in the 100 fly at 46.81 seconds, while Lim is the 20th-fastest 200 IM swimmer in the NCAA in 1:45.40.  As is indicative of the success in the 800 free relay, the Buckeyes are stacked in the mid-distance and distance freestyles, with Hillmer, Long and Seal posting a combined six times that rank in the top-50 in the 200 through 1650 freestyle.  

The Ohio State women have six top-25 times as well as 11 additional top-50 marks, highlighted by distance specialist Lindsey Clary.  Clary has posted the No.9 time in the 1000 free at 9:46.44 and the No. 11 time in the 1650 free at 16:11.09, and has also swum the eighth-fastest time in the nation in the 400 IM after clocking in at 4:07.95.  The highest ranked time belongs to Liz Li, who is just one-hundredth of a second off the top 50 free in the nation in the NCAA with a 21.83, good for an NCAA A cut. The Buckeyes have a solid lineup in the stroke events, with at least one swimmer ranked in the top-50 between each sprint or mid-distance stroke and medley race.  

In the relays, Ohio State has the highest ranked times in the 200 free relay and the 400 medley relay.  The 200 free relay of Annie Jongekrijg, Cheyenne Meek, Rachael Dzierzak and Li have swum a 1:30.20, good for 16th in the nation.  In the 400 medley relay, Camey Rabold, Taylor Vargo, Li and Jongekrijg have combined for a 3:36.92, the No. 17 time in the nation.  The Buckeyes also sit just outside the top-25 in the 400 and 800 free relays as well as the 200 medley relay.   

The two teams last met on Oct. 11, 2013, with the men falling in a 176-122 decision while the women suffered a 195-104 setback in the first meet of the Lars Jorgensen era.  Between the men’s and women’s programs, the Wildcats won five events in between the lane lines and swept the events on the springboards.

Cincinnati does not have a team ranked in the CSCAA polls, but both the men and the women are in the top-15 of CollegeSwimming.com’s Division I Mid-Major power rankings.  The men are ranked as the No. 12 mid-major school in the nation, while the women come in at No. 14.  Cincinnati’s men have not posted any times that rank within the top-25 of NCAA competitors, but do have four swims in the top-50 courtesy of sophomores Chris Bready and Ryan Depietro.  Bready headlines the distance group for the Bearcats, with the No. 32 time in the nation in the 1650 free in 15:10.99, while his mark of 9:14.81 in the 1000 free is good for 44th.  Depietro’s best-ranked time is in the 400 IM, in which he has notched a 3:50.64 for 38th in the NCAA, and has also swum the 45th-fastest time in the 200 fly at 1:46.05.

On the women’s side, All-American Jacqueline Keire has been the standout swimmer for the Bearcats, with the second-fastest 200 free in the nation in 1:43.58 and the No. 6 time in the 100 free in 48.35 seconds.  Keire also appears on the Cincinnati’s fastest times in all three freestyle relays and the 400 medley relay.  The freestyle relays rank just outside the top-50, with the highest ranking being a 7:24.76 in the 800 free relay for 55th in the NCAA behind the lineup of Caroline Sheehan, Sydney King, Taylor Myszki and Keire.  

The Cats traveled to Cincinnati last year to close out the 2014-15 dual season on Jan. 30, 2015, with both the men and the women posting a 216-84 victory over the Bearcats.  The Wildcats won all but five events, with 19 different athletes claiming victories throughout 24 event wins.  Five different athletes had two victories, including returning Wildcats Bridgette Alexander (100 and 200 back), Isaac Jones (200 fly and 400 IM) and Levi Lindsey (3-meter and platform).

After four months of competition, the Wildcats’ conference season will culminate in the SEC Championships, hosted by Missouri in Columbia, Mo., on Feb. 15-20.  Prior to the Championships, a group will also go to Ohio State for the OSU Winter Invite on Feb. 13-14.  

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 Christina 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 Wildcats still have more opportunities to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which 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.