Relay Propels UK to Second Straight Top-20 Finish
March 28, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Behind the 400-freestyle relay that became the third relay to finish in the top-15 in the country, the Kentucky men's swimming and diving team scored a 17th place finish at the 2009 NCAA Championships.
Wrapping up competition at Texas A&M the Blue and White took 10th place overall in the 400-free relay with the quartet of juniors Eric McGinnis and Alex Forbes, sophomore Tyler Reed and junior Kyle Greene.
McGinnis took the first leg and tapped in with a 43.03 time with Forbes in the second leg scoring a split of 43.26. Reed served as the third leg and came in with a time of 43.48. Greene, who has enjoyed a magnificent Championship, anchored the top-10 relay with a final time of 42.49. They combined for a total time of 2:52.26 edging out Virginia for 10th place.
All four swimmers capture All-America honorable mention status with their finish tonight in helping propel UK to its second straight top-20 finish. The 2008 squad posted a 19th place finish overall. This season's 17th place finish is the best since the 2005 team placed 12th overall.
Head Coach Gary Conelly has now earned seven top-20 finishes nationally including this season.
McGinnis once again nearly missed a spot in the top-16 in an individual field. McGinnis placed 19th overall in the 100-free with a time of 42.89 just a mere shade off of his school record clip of 42.67 set at the SEC Championships. McGinnis scored a 21st place finish in the 50-free earlier in the week marking two incredible races in his first individual heats.
Greene scored his third top-30 finish of the week when he tapped in a time of 43.26 for a 27th place finish. The first-time NCAA participant also touched in 24th in the 200-free and 28th in the 50-free for an amazing three days.
Reed placed 39th overall in the 100-free with a time of 43.90 to round out UK's individual participants in today's races.
Today wraps up the 2009 season for the Kentucky Wildcats. The Blue and White will return all but one athlete from their NCAA Championship squad, as only senior Shane Eliason graduates this season. UK will also see the return of All-American Warren Grobbelaar to next season's squad.