Wildcats Lead in Three of Five Duals After First Day of Mizzou Quad
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Kentucky’s swimming and diving teams finished up the first portion of the Mizzou Quad on Friday against Southeastern Conference foe Missouri along with Southern Illinois, while the men also took on Northwestern. At the conclusion of the day’s events, the men’s team holds a 111-52 advantage over SIU and a 109-53 edge over Northwestern, while it trails Missouri, 110-53. The women also lead SIU, 111-52, and trail Mizzou by a 113-50 tally.
The Blue and White was able to secure a number of victories over its opponents, including three overall victories. Against Mizzou, the men won two events while the women had one victory. When matched up against the Salukis, the Wildcats posted seven wins on both the men’s and women’s sides. In the men’s dual between the two Wildcat programs, UK claimed victories over NU in eight events.
The first victory for the men came by way of Isaac Jones posting a 4:29.02 in the 500 free, shaving nearly three seconds off his previous season best. The team not only had an overall victory, but also went 1-2 against both SIU and NU after Andrew Aviotti posted a time of 4:31.72, finishing third overall and against Mizzou.
A similar finish was seen in the 200 fly, in which Kyle Higgins had a season-best mark of 1:47.71 to win the overall title. Matthew Beach’s time of 1:51.04 was good for runner-up against Northwestern and also put him at third in the SIU and MU duals.
Two other events were marked by the Wildcats finishing first and second against one of their opponents. In the 200 back, Walker Thaning and Josh Swart delivered the 1-2 punch against SIU in 1:50.30 and 1:51.46, respectively, while also finishing first and third against Northwestern. In the 100 free race that saw the featured the fastest swim in the NCAA this year by Mizzou’s Michael Chadwick, Sean Gunn finished second behind the Tiger in 45.48 seconds and also finished second behind SIU. However, he and Scott Crosthwaite, who finished in 46.26 seconds, were the victor and runner-up against Northwestern.
Kentucky’s men also posted victories against both SIU and NU in the 200 IM, 1-meter dive, and 200 free and 400 medley relays. The 200 IM was led by Brandon Flynn in 1:51.36, cutting nearly a second off his season-best mark. In the 1-meter dive, Seb Masterton also made improvement on the best score of his young UK career, winning against SIU and NU with 323.45 points and taking second to MU. Against SIU, the Wildcats had a sweep on the 1-meter springboard over Southern Illinois with Noah Richter and Levi Lindsey both scoring 271.05 points.
The 200 free relay of Gunn, Cobe Garcia, Matt Roman and Swart recorded a win over both the Salukis and the Wildcats in 1:22.70, finishing behind only Mizzou’s A team. The men wrapped up the meet with another victory over their non-SEC opponents behind Thaning, Tanner Anderson, Higgins and Gunn in the 400 medley relay in 3:22.24.
The women’s lone overall victory was churned out by Danielle Galyer, who fended off Mizzou’s Nadine Laemmler in the 200 back to clinch the win in 1:57.26. Not only did the Wildcats have the top overall finisher in the event, but the women swept against the Salukis with season bests from Bridgette Alexander in 2:00.10 and Kristen Keifer in 2:04.29.
Kentucky also swept Southern Illinois in the 200 IM and the 100 breast. Galyer led the pack once again with a season best in 2:03.15, finishing second in the Mizzou dual. Ann Davies and Kendra Crew completed the sweep against SIU in 2:06.19 and 2:06.39, respectively. Crew and Davies were also part of the 100 breast trifecta, with Crew leading the Wildcats in 1:05.08 and Davies not far behind in 1:06.01, followed by a season-best 1:06.85 from Allyson Dupay.
The Wildcats claimed the top-two spots against Southern Illinois while going 2-4 against MU in the 200 fly, led by Haley McInerny in 2:01.97 while Meredith Whisenhunt touched in at 2:04.21. The final individual swim victory came from Geena Freriks in the 100 free, who missed out on an overall victory by less than a tenth of a second. The freshman finished in 51.30 seconds behind Mizzou’s lead swimmer but was a clear victor in the SIU dual, while Kendal Casey took third against the Salukis in 52.82 seconds.
Freriks and Casey were featured in the 500 free as well. Though it was the only swimming event that did not result in a win over SIU, the 500 free was one of the most solid performances as a team for the Wildcats. Kelly Berger led the team in 4:53.61 for a three-second improvement from last week to finish second behind both SIU and MU. Casey and Freriks finished 3-4 against Mizzou with a pair of marks under 4:55.00, as Casey recorded a time of 4:54.34 and Freriks touched in at 4:54.45.
On the 3-meter springboard, Courtney Clark led the team with 249.45 points, good for second against Southern Illinois and fourth against Missouri.
In the relays, Kentucky finished behind Missouri and ahead of Southern Illinois in both the 200 free and 400 medley relay. The 200 free relay of McInerny, Alexander, Meghan Taylor and Olivia Treski posted a mark of 1:36.33, and the 400 medley lineup of Galyer, Crew, McInerny and Freriks finished in 3:46.73.
The Wildcats will wrap up the Mizzou Quad meet tomorrow, Nov. 7, starting at 11 a.m. ET inside the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
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