Wildcats Set to Wrap Up Season at NCAA Championships
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky’s men’s swimming and diving is ready to start the 2016 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships this week, heading to Atlanta for the season’s culmination of work to get to the national stage. The Wildcats will be competing on Thursday through Saturday, March 24-26, with two swimmers and two divers representing Kentucky.
Senior George Greenhalgh, junior Kyle Higgins and sophomore Levi Lindsey will make their second career appearances on the national stage, while rookie diver Seb Masterton will be making his first trip to the NCAA Championships.
The fastest breaststroker in Kentucky history, Greenhalgh garnered All-America honorable mention in 2014, swimming on Kentucky’s record-breaking 200 medley relay lineup. The senior bounced back from a redshirt season in 2014-15 season to earn his first bid to the NCAA Championships as an individual, qualifying with a UK record time of 52.51 in the 100 breast that ranks 20th in the nation. He also broke his own record in the 200 breast in 1:55.98, and will compete as the 35th-seeded athlete in the event.
Higgins qualified in his specialty event, the 200 fly, and will also compete in the 100 fly and 500 free after notching NCAA B cuts in both. Higgins nabbed the 30th invitation in the 200 fly with his season-best time of 1:43.65, which is three-tenths of a second off her career-best time that ranks second on Kentucky’s all-time list. He enters the 100 fly with a seed time of 47.63, less than half a second off his career mark of 47.21, which is good for fourth all-time. Additionally, Higgins made his way into UK’s top swims in the 500 free this season after swimming a 4:20.36, which is the fourth-fastest in school history.
Levi and Masterton qualified for all three diving disciplines with their performances at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships. They are two of just seven divers from the zone who will compete in all three dives, while Masterton is one of three divers to put up an automatic qualifying mark in all three dives. Masterton had one of the most successful freshman campaigns in Kentucky diving history, taking home the silver medal in both the 3-meter and platform dives at the 2016 Southeastern Conference Championships.
The prelims section each day will begin at 10 a.m. ET, with the finals at 6 p.m. Thursday’s schedule will see Higgins in the 500 free and the divers on the 1-meter springboard. Moving into Friday, Greenhalgh and Higgins will both compete in their respective 100-yard stroke races, while Lindsey and Masterton will compete in the 3-meter dive. The final day will see the 200 breast and 200 fly in addition to the platform dive. ESPN3.com will live stream the finals sessions of the NCAA Championships on Friday and Saturday. Wednesday’s evening session, Thursday’s sessions, along with the morning sessions on Friday and Saturday, will be streamed live on NCAA.com.
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.