Women’s Swimming and Diving Season Culminates in NCAA Championships

LEXINGTON, Ky. –Kentucky’s swimming and diving team has made leaps and bounds in the national scene since third-year head coach Lars Jorgensen took the helm, and will be returning all four individual qualifiers from the 2015 NCAA Championships in addition to four more who will be competing in the national meet and two relay teams. 

Rebecca Hamperian will be making her second consecutive trip to the national stage after taking home First Team All-America honors on both the 1-meter springboard and platform in 2015.  The SEC 1-meter silver medalist and platform finalist has qualified in all three disciplines and was one of just three divers who earned spots in the 1-meter, 3-meter and tower at last weekend’s NCAA Zone C Diving Championships.  Joining Hamperian will be first-year diver Courtney Clark.  Clark was a finalist in the SEC platform dive and secured a spot in both the 1-meter and platform for the national meet.

Kentucky had two automatic qualifying times, or NCAA A cuts, this season.  As an individual, Danielle Galyer holds the sixth-fastest seed in the nation in the 200 back in 1:50.73, which broke her own school record en route to a silver-medal finish at the SEC Championships.  Galyer also led off for the Kentucky record-breaking 800 free relay along with Geena Freriks, Kendal Casey and Haley McInerny, which notched an A cut in 7:05.68.

Swimming alongside Galyer in the 200 back will be Bridgette Alexander, who took home All-America honorable mention in the event last season and holds the 31st seed in 1:53.91.  The pair will also be swimming in the 100 back, with Galyer holding down the No. 16 seed in 51.77 seconds while Alexander is 42nd in 53.11 seconds, as well as the 200 IM.  Galyer holds the top time for the team in 1:59.76, while Alexander has a 2:00.19 and right behind her is Kendra Crew in 2:00.21.

Crew will be making the first NCAA Championships appearance of her career after qualifying for the national meet with a school record-breaking time of 2:10.31 in the 200 breast, good for the 30th seed.  She will also compete in the 100 breast with a seed time of 1:01.03.

Kentucky will look to a pair of distance swimmers to score in the 1650 free while a trio of Wildcats will compete in the 500 free. Casey headlines both events, with the No. 32 time in the nation in the mile and the second-fastest in program history at 16:15.53, followed by Kathryn Painter’s seed time of 16:19.42.  Casey took down what was the oldest school record in the 500 in November to qualify in the 500 free, clocking in at 4:42.58.  She will be joined by Freriks and Painter, with seed times of 4:43.46 and 4:46.35.

Freriks and Casey are also slated to swim in the 200 free, led by Freriks’ UK record time of 1:44.98, which was good for a bronze medal at the SEC Championships and the No. 20 time in the nation, while Casey has clocked in at 1:47.37.  In the final two individual events, Freriks will swim in the 100 free with a seed time of 49.49 seconds, while Painter is slated to swim her specialty, the 400 IM.  Painter most recently broke a 17-year-old record in the event, finishing in 4:10.92 at the SEC Championships.

Finally, the 400 medley relay team of Galyer, Crew, McInerny and Freriks has earned a spot with a provisional qualifying time of 3:34.85.   

The prelims section each day will begin at 10 a.m. ET, with the finals at 6 p.m.  Wednesday will consist of solely the 800 free relay in the evening.  Thursday’s schedule will consist of the 500 free, 200 IM, 1-meter dive and 400 medley relay.  Moving into Friday, the 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 3-meter dive will be contested.  The final day will see the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast and 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.  Additionally, ESPNU will air a two-hour broadcast via tape delay at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 29.

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.