Women's Swimming and Diving Drops Season Opener at Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Kentucky women’s swimming and diving team opened up the 2015-16 campaign on the road, falling in a 162-138 decision to Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas on Saturday.
“It’s great to be on the road for the first time, and it’s a really good test for our young team against a good Arkansas,” commented head coach Lars Jorgensen. “We came up a little bit short, which is disappointing, but we had some young people step up.”
The Wildcats won 9-of-16 events in the setback, with a trio of swimmers earning multiple victories. Danielle Galyer had an outstanding afternoon for the Blue and White, sweeping her individual events and anchoring the meet-closing 400 free relay that finished runner-up in 3:28.73. Galyer first notched a 53.67 seconds in the 100 back before going 1:56.12 in the 200 back for a pair of NCAA B qualifying times. Her victory in the 200 back was a clear winner for the junior, as she finished more than three seconds ahead of Arkansas’ Chloe Hannam. Galyer closed out her individual slate with a win in the 200 IM, touching in at 2:03.48. Bridgette Alexander had solid performances in the 100 and 200 back alongside Galyer, taking third in both in 55.72 seconds and 2:01.00, respectively.
“I was really happy with my individual performances,” noted Galyer. “They were way better than I’ve done in a dual meet since I’ve been in college. So I’m just happy to be moving in the right direction.”
Haley McInerny and Kendra Crew were the other Wildcats to notch multiple wins. In her collegiate debut, McInerny swept the butterfly races in 55.00 second and 2:00.98. The freshman also swam in the 100 free, finishing fourth in 51.97 seconds, as well as the butterfly leg of the runner-up 200 medley relay that just missed out on the victory in 1:43.35, less than three-hundredths of a second behind the winning Arkansas lineup. Crew was a stronghold for Kentucky in the breaststroke races, picking up a win in the 100 breast in 1:04.00 and notching her second victory of the day in the 200 breast in 2:16.48. Like Galyer, Crew dominated in the mid-distance breaststroke race, recording nearly a three-second advantage over Sydney Angell of Arkansas. Crew also competed in the 200 IM, taking fourth in 2:06.18, and swam the breaststroke portion of the 200 medley relay along with McInerny, Alexander, and Geena Freriks.
Freriks was the second freshman to record a win in her first appearance donning the Blue and White. After taking third in a close 50 free in 23.86 seconds, Freriks bounced back to win the 100 free in 51.17 seconds, edging out Maddie Monroe of UA by just under two-hundredths of a second.
The final victory came by way of Rebecca Hamperian on the 1-meter springboard. The redshirt-junior recorded 294.75 points to pick up her first title of the season, while freshman Maddie Gordon finished fourth in the event with 253.43 points. Hamperian also competed on the 3-meter springboard with a runner-up finish after scoring 278.40 points, followed by Kailey Francetic in fifth with 230.40 points.
In the 200 and 500 free, the Wildcats were led by Kendal Casey. The junior turned in a pair of runner-up performances, hitting the wall in 1:51.42 in the 200 free before recording a 4:57.18 in the 500 free. The distance group also saw success in the 1000 free, going 2-3-4 behind the racing of Meredith Whisenhunt, Kathryn Painter, and Kelly Berger. Whisenhunt was the first to touch in at 10:14.60 in her collegiate debut, followed by fellow freshman Painter in 10:15.05 while Berger swept in for fourth in 10:15.50.
The meet wrapped up with the 400 free relay, in which the lineup of Freriks, Casey, Olivia Treski, and Galyer touched in at 3:28.73 for second.
Kentucky will have a short break before hitting the water again, as the Wildcats will host Texas A&M in a co-ed SEC matchup on Wednesday, Oct. 14. The meet is slated to begin at 3 p.m. in Lancaster Aquatic Center.
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