Feb. 23, 2014
Complete Results | Video: Coach Jorgensen, Galyer and Greenhalgh Recap Day Five
ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Kentucky Swimming and Diving closed the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships the way they began it five days earlier, with a pair of school-record times set Saturday at Georgia's Gabrielsen Natatorium.
In total at the five day championship, nine school records were broken and UK won two medals in arguably the toughest swimming and diving conference in the NCAA. The UK men finished eighth with 522 points overall, while the women placed 10th with 426 points. The team championships were won by the Florida men and the Georgia women.
"It was a great meet," first-year head coach Lars Jorgensen said. "We broke a lot of school records, I think we put a few more swimmers into position to go to the NCAA Championships and I thought our divers dove well. The team really fought hard and improved a lot in the past year.
"The SEC is the best conference in the country, but that's what I like about it. It's a challenge to be great here, but to me, you're going against the best teams in the country. We're proud of the progress we've made, we broke a lot of personal best times and that's all we can do right now is get better."
Saturday in front of a capacity crowd of 1,430 at the University of Georgia, UK placed 11 swimmers and divers in the top 20 on eight events. The Wildcats' totals were fueled by two top-10 and three top-17 finishes in the men's 1,650 freestyle and a pair of 10th-place, UK record-breaking times in the women's 200 backstroke and the men's 200 breaststroke.
For the second consecutive day, UK placed two in the top 10 in one event, this time in the men's 1650 freestyle. freshman Brandon Flynn won one of four timed finals in 15:03.42 to place 8th overall, while fellow freshman Drew Aviotti also won his timed final, in 15:10.63 to finish 10th in a field of 26 swimmers. Hector Tricas added a 17th-place finish in 15:21.66 for UK's third NCAA B qualifying time in the event.
Danielle Galyer broke the eighth school record at this season's championships with a 1:54.88 in the 200 backstroke. One of the closest competitions of the week, the UK freshman finished second in the B Final by just 0.01 second to LSU's Caley Oquist.
Galyer was in sixth after the first 50 yards, but she climbed up to fourth by the halfway point and third with 50 yards to go. Her strong finish gave her the school record by 0.42 seconds.
Give George Greenhalgh credit for breaking the ninth school record at the 2014 Championships, his second individual UK record broken this week. Greenhalgh finished in 1:56.83 to break the all-time Kentucky mark by over a second. The senior placed second in the B Final and 10th overall for his second top-10 finish in Athens.
Greenhalgh broke the UK 100 breaststroke record Friday and was part of two program record relay teams. Galyer also helped two Wildcat relay records fall at the University of Georgia this week.
Freshman Kendal Casey notched an 11th-place finish in the 1650 freestyle in a career-best, NCAA B qualifying time of 16:22.34. Casey finished third in her timed final, nearly five seconds ahead of the fourth place finisher. Fellow freshman Kelly Berger was 14th in 16:24.50, while Mallory Mathias, also a freshman, placed 28th in 16:49.03. Both Casey and Berger earned NCAA B qualifying times.
In the women's platform dive competition, juniors Lindsay Keahey and Christa Cabot both placed in the top 13. Keahey scored a 251.85 in five dives, all from 10 meters, with a high score of 62.40 on her third dive. Cabot totaled a 248.20, with two scores over 60.00. Her second dive, from 10 meters, earned a score of 63.00, while her fifth and final dive, also from 10 meters, earned her a 62.40.
The Wildcats sent two swimmers to the C Final in the men's 200 backstroke. Senior Lucas Gerotto, in his final SEC Championship race, placed third with a time of 1:44.75, while junior Michael Christian touched the wall just behind his teammate in 1:44.86, good for fourth in the final and 20th overall. Both Gerotto and Christian earned NCAA B qualifying times.
In the C Final of the women's 200 breaststroke, Kendra Crew capped an impressive first championships with a sixth-place finish in 2:14.21. The freshman finished 22nd overall in the event with an NCAA B qualifying time.
Senior Chris Lott advanced to the C Final in the 100 yard freestyle, where he touched the wall in 44.22 to finish seventh in the final and 23rd overall.
The final event of the day was the 400 freestyle relay, where the UK men finished 10th overall in 2:56.81, while the women touched the wall in 3:21.91, also to place 10th.
In the prelims Saturday morning, junior Kristen Wilson posted UK's top finish in the women's 100 yard freestyle, with a 50.72, a season best. Blair Kuethe, also a junior, finished 46th overall with a 51.91.
On Tuesday, UK broke two school records, while Ferrucci and fellow diver Christa Cabot notched fourth-place finishes in the finals of the 3- and 1-meter, respectively. Wednesday, seven Wildcats advanced to the finals and two placed in the top nine.
Thursday, along with Bechtel's silver medal, eight UK swimmers advanced to the finals, five of them freshmen or sophomores. In addition to Ferrucci's bronze medal Friday, two UK swimmers advanced to the A Finals, four school records were broken and six placed in the top 15 on five events.
A full recap from Tuesday can be found here, while Wednesday's recap is available here and Thursday's here. Friday's recap can be found here.
For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Swimming and Diving program, go to UKathletics.com/SwimmingDiving. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates, photos and more can be found on Twitter at @UKSwimDive and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKSwimDive.