Wildcats Post Multiple Dual Season Bests in Setback to Ohio State


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Kentucky swimming and diving team posted multiple dual season bests on Friday evening, but ultimately dropped a pair of duals to Ohio State.  The men fell in a 203-97 decision to the No. 15 Buckeyes, while the women suffered a 193-107 setback to No. 25 OSU.

Overall, the men and the women each won four events against the Buckeyes.

The men’s dual featured two thrilling finishes in the 1000 free and the 200 fly, in which a Wildcat swimmer out-touched an OSU athlete by one-hundredth of a second.  Drew Aviotti picked up another win in a dual-best time of 9:11.03 over Ohio State’s Brayden Seal, a mark that shattered the pool record by three seconds.  Higgins also got the better of a Buckeye in the 200 fly, winning in 1:46.37 for a dual season best and an NCAA B cut over Ching Lim. Lim would retaliate with a win over Higgins in the 100 fly, in which he finished runner-up in 48.77 seconds.

Kentucky saw two more winning times in the freestyle races.  In the 200 free, Scott Crosthwaite and Isaac Jones delivered a 1-2 punch in 1:39.19 and 1:39.68, respectively.  Crosthwaite went on to swim a 4:30.31 to take third in the 500 free, while Jones finished runner-up in the 200 IM in 1:52.56.  The final victory came by way of Cobe Garcia in the 50 free, with the freshman picking up his first collegiate win in a personal-best 20.21 seconds.  Rounding out the free sprints, Sean Gunn tied for second in the 100 free in 45.29 seconds.

Walker Thaning continued to lead the backstroke corps, touching in third in both the 100 and 200 back in 49.53 and 1:48.46, a dual season best in the mid-distance race.  In the breaststroke races, George Greenhalgh paced the Blue and White in both distances.  Greenhalgh dropped a tight race in the 200 breast, finishing third in 2:03.03, while he placed fourth in the 100 breast in 56.22 seconds.

In the diving events, Noah Richter paced the team on the 3-meter springboard, finishing third with a career-best 316.65 points while Seb Masterton took fourth with 310.58 points.  Masterton went on to finish fourth in the platform to lead the Wildcats, notching 321.00 points.

Both UK relays finished runner-up to OSU. The 200 medley relay of Thaning, Greenhalgh, Higgins and Garcia touched in at 1:30.09, the fastest of the season by nearly .40 seconds.  The men then notched another season-best to cap the meet, with Gunn, Crosthwaite, Higgins and Garcia combining for a 3:01.40, marking just the second time this season that the men have dipped below the 3:02.00 barrier.

On the women’s side, Danielle Galyer swept her events with NCAA B cuts in the 100 and 200 back.  Galyer and Bridgette Alexander went 1-3 in both races, going 54.56 and 55.31 in the 100 back before touching in at 1:56.36 and 1:59.50 in the 200 back.  Galyer finished up her individual events with a victory in the 200 IM in 2:03.60, while Alexander led the team in the 50 free in 24.23 seconds for a sixth-place finish.

The final victory for the women came from Geena Freriks in the 500 free.  After picking up her first collegiate win in the event last week, Freriks followed it up with another victory in 4:53.93.  The freshman also paced the team in the 200 free, placing runner-up in 1:49.90.  

Haley McInerny picked up a runner-up finish in the 100 fly, just four-hundredths of a second off a win in 55.43 seconds.  She also finished third in the 200 fly in 2:01.27, and led the team in the 100 free with a 51.94 for fourth, besting her previous personal best by a hundredth of a second.  In the breaststroke races, Kendra Crew finished third in the 200 breast in 2:16.86 and fourth in the 100 breast in 1:04.34, with Ann Davies right behind her in 2:20.30 and 1:04.43.

Ohio State took the top two times in the 1000 free, with Kathryn Painter and Kelly Berger placing third and fourth in 10:05.45 and 10:05.78.  

In the diving events, Kailey Francetic placed third in the 3-meter springboard with 271.50 points, while Courtney Clark took runner-up in the platform dive.

The UK relays nabbed a runner-up finish in the 400 free relay while placing third in the 200 medley relay.  In the 400 free relay, Freriks teamed up with Olivia Treski, Kendal Casey and Meredith Whisenhunt to post a 3:33.78, while the 200 medley relay team of Galyer, Crew, McInerny and Freriks clocked in at 1:42.61.

Kentucky will return to Lexington tomorrow for Senior Day.  The Wildcats will honor their four seniors, Crosthwaite, Greenhalgh, Frida Jakobsson and Matt Roman, while the team takes on the Cincinnati Bearcats at 1 p.m. inside Lancaster Aquatic Center.

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.