Feb. 25, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - With the season drawing to a close, the Kentucky men's and women's swimming and diving teams are coming down to their final opportunities to post NCAA qualifying times. On Friday, the men's and women's teams began competition in a last chance meet held in Knoxville, Tenn.
The last chance meet will be the final meet for the women's squad prior to the NCAA Championships held in Austin, Texas. For the men, the meet will be its second to last prior to the NCAA Championships held in Minneapolis, Minn. The last chance meet is hosting select Kentucky swimmers who are attempting to earn that elusive time so they can compete in the championships in late March.
"We are looking to pick up a few more NCAA qualifying times along with some personal bests for those team members who didn't travel to the conference championships last week," UK head coach Gary Conelly said. "I feel very good about our women picking up a qualifying time for the 200 free relay and our men in the 200 free relay and the 200 medley relay. It is a challenging task but I think our swimmers are up to it mentally and physically."
The Kentucky men's 200 free relay team of Chip Aplin, David Sanders, Stephen Wimmer and Colin Faris came through with a first place finish time of 1:20.28 to earn an NCAA (B) provisional time.
The women's 200 free relay team also tapped in first with Jenna Newsome, Megan Eppler, Kristen Wilson and Kayla Sergesketter leading the way. The women's time of 1:31.98 is also an NCAA B-cut time.
The men's 200 medley relay team earned a B-cut of 1:28.56 behind Ramon Walton, Aplin, Jonathan Keltner and Sanders.
Freshman Diana Norkus led UK in the women’s 200 butterfly, bettering her previous career best set just last week in the Southeastern Conference Swimming Championships, with a time of 2:01.55, the seventh fastest in UK history.
The Cats finished in first and second in the men's 100 free with Reinhardt Strijdom leading the way with a time of 44.43 and William Heidler finishing in 45.97.
Chelsea Peterson won the women's 100 free heat with a time of 50.48.
There will be 15 swimmers from each of the men's and women's teams. Competing for the women, in addition to Peterson, Newsome, Eppler, Wilson and Sergesketter, are Claire Archibald, Cassie Brueckbauer, Clark Cromer, Megan Haynes, Amanda Lehotan, Anna Mattox, Diana Norkus, Kelcy Perry, Carmen Pleasants and Jenna Willis.
Aplin, Sanders, Wimmer, Faris, Walton, Heidler, Strijdom and Keltner will be joined on the men's side by Ross Bundschuh, Nicholas Crosthwaite, John Eubanks, Blake Freeman, Luke Iannuzzi, Pat Kemme and Brendan McNamara.
Aplin, Sanders and Faris have already earned B-cut times for the Cats in the 50 freestyle. Travis Green has earned a B-cut in the 200, 500 and 1,650 freestyles. Walton has a B-cut in the 100 back and Aplin and Matt Russell have B-cuts in the 100 breast. Heilder has a B-cut in the 400 individual medley and the Cats have B-cut times in every relay.
For the women, Willis has a B-cut in the 100 freestyle and Archibald, Perry and Lindsay Lash have B-cut times in the 100 back. Archibald also has a B-cut in the 200 back and Perry has one in the 100 fly. Freshman Kelly Titus has a B-cut for UK in the 400 individual medley.
Chatham Penrod, Lindsey Graessle, Mandy Myers and Sergesketter have already earned their place in March's NCAA Championships. The quartette earned an automatic qualifying A-Cut in a 200 medley relay exhibition at the Southeastern Conference Swimming Championships, tapping in with a time of 1:37.68, demolishing the previous school record time of 1:39.12 set last year at the NCAA Championships.
Swimmers from the men's team will have one more last chance meet on March 5 in Columbus, Ohio. Saturday will be the final meet for the swimmers of the women's squad.
Check out UKathletics.com for results from Saturday's last chance meet and for all Kentucky swimming and diving news.
Ferrucci named to SEC All-Freshman Team
The accolades continue to pour in for freshman diver Greg Ferrucci. Having already been named the SEC Male Freshman Diver of the Year, the first such honor in program history, Ferrucci was named to the men's SEC All-Freshman Team, as announced by the league office Friday.
Ferrucci placed among the top three freshman divers on each of the three boards during the SEC Diving Championships and ranks in the top three in school history on all three boards as well. Ferrucci scored a 378.50 on the one-meter board, a 400.55 on the three-meter board, and a 336.00 on the platform.
Ferrucci will compete again March 10-12 in Diving Zones.