Wildcats Split for OSU Invitational and House of Champions


When: Friday-Sunday, Nov. 20-22
Where: McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, Columbus, Ohio
IUPUI Natatorium, Indianapolis, Ind.
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Signing Day: Swimming and Diving Adds 17 Wildcats in 2016 Recruiting Class

Performance List: Women
Performance List: Men

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky’s swimming and diving team will split up for the weekend, with the swimmers making the trip to Columbus, Ohio, for the Ohio State Invitational while the divers will head to Indianapolis, Ind., for the House of Champions, hosted by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.  Both meets will run Friday through Sunday, Nov. 20-22.  

In addition to host school Ohio State, which is ranked No. 21 on the men’s side and is receiving votes for the women, Kentucky will also see Southeastern Conference foe Florida.  The Gators are currently No. 5 for the men’s team and No. 14 for the women.  The women’s meet will also feature Washington State and Miami (FL).  

The meet will be a unique format, as the morning prelims will be long course meters (LCM), while the finals will be in short course yards (SCY).  The format allows swimmers to contend for qualifying marks to both the Olympic Trials and the NCAA Championships, as LCM is the official distance for the Olympic Games while SCY is the standard for collegiate swimming.  

Friday’s prelims will begin at 11 a.m. ET and will feature the 500 free (changed to 400 meters for LCM format), 200 IM and 50 free.  The finals will begin at 6 p.m. ET and will add the 200 free relay and 400 medley relay to the events from prelims.  

Saturday will start at 10 a.m. ET with the preliminary heats in the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back.  The finals at 6 p.m. ET will feature all the swims from the prelims plus the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay.

The final day of competition will begin at 9 a.m. ET with the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast and 200 fly.  The finals are slated to start at 3 p.m. ET, with the addition of the 1650 free and 400 free relay.

The diving squad will compete in the House of Champions, which starts at 10:30 a.m. ET on all three days.  The finals on Friday and Saturday will both begin at 6 p.m. ET, while Sunday’s finals will start at 5 p.m. ET.  

Last year, both the swimmers and the divers went to the Ohio State Invitational on Nov. 21-23.  The women’s team finished second overall with 934 points behind Purdue, while the men recorded 512.5 points to take third behind OSU and Wisconsin.  

The first day saw the women post seven swims that ranked among UK’s top-10 swims, along with four NCAA B cuts, two victories, and one school record by Danielle Galyer in the 200 IM that still stands today.  Galyer notched a win in the event, while Kendal Casey also won the 500 free.  Seven more top-10 swims were seen by the women on the second day, along with four B cuts and two A cuts by way of four victories.  Christina Bechtel set a then-school record in the 100 fly to win with an A cut, and the 800 free relay team of Bechtel, Galyer, Abby Myers and Casey won with another A cut and school record that would be broken at the NCAA Championships.  Also winning for the women were Galyer in the 400 IM and Bridgette Alexander in the 100 back.  The women posted eight top-10 swims on the final day of the invitational, with five B cuts and one A cut, along with two victories and two then-school records.  Bechtel won the 200 fly with an A cut and record, while Galyer’s win in the 200 back was also good for a program standard at the time.

For the men, the second day saw two top-10 swims, including a win and a B cut in the 400 IM by Brandon Flynn.  The final day had another two top-10 swims from Kyle Higgins in the 200 fly and Andrew Aviotti in the 1650 free, both of which recorded B cuts with their finishes.

With the release of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) NCAA Division I Team Rankings for both the men and the women, which alternate on a biweekly basis, Kentucky has proven to be on the rise as a program as both teams are receiving votes for the second consecutive series of polls.  The men had eight votes in the Nov. 12 poll, while the women received three votes in the Nov. 18 poll.

A handful of Wildcats and former UK swimmers will head to Federal Way, Wash., for the USA Swimming National Championships on Dec. 2-5.  The divers will also compete that weekend at the Miami Open, Dec. 3-5 in Oxford, Ohio.

Since the beginning of the 2015-16 campaign, Kentucky has posted three times that rank in the top-20 nationally, with an additional 12 sitting in the top 50.  

For the women, Galyer holds two top-20 swims to her name as her 200 back time of 1:56.12 is good for eighth and her 100 back mark of 53.67 seconds stands at 19th in the nation.  Also ranking among the nation’s 50 fastest swims on the women’s side are Kendal Casey and Kathryn Painter in the 1000 free (10:03.72/10:05.58), Kendra Crew in the 200 breast (2:15.83), Haley McInerny in the 200 fly (2:00.98), Painter in the 400 IM (4:21.88), and the 200 medley relay team of Galyer, Crew, McInerny and Geena Freriks (1:42.77).

Flynn holds the lone top-20 time for the men with a 3:53.52 in the 400 IM, which is good for the 11th-fastest among the NCAA’s elite swimmers.  The men have six more swims that rank in the top-50, including Isaac Jones in the 500 free (4:29.01), Andrew Aviotti in the 1000 free (9:14.17), Kyle Higgins in the 200 fly (1:47.71), the 400 free relay of Sean Gunn, Higgins, Walker Thaning and Scott Crosthwaite (3:02.47), the 200 medley relay of Thaning, Tanner Anderson, Matt Roman and Gunn (1:31.08), and the 400 medley relay of Thaning, Flynn, Higgins and Gunn (3:22.34).

After swimming for the Junior National Team in 2014-15, junior 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 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 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials 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.