Nov. 23, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Junior Christina Bechtel swam to a school-record 51.36 in the 100 yard butterfly final as the University of Kentucky swimming and diving team raced to eight individual event top-10 finishes in the second day of competition at the Ohio State Invitational at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
Bechtel’s 51.36 in the A Final is the best time in the 100 yard butterfly in UK history and gave her a second-place finish in the event and an NCAA A qualifying time. It came on the heels of a 52.06 in the prelims, which stood as both the school and OSU Invite record for a matter of hours before it was broken again. Prior to Saturday’s competition, a 52.10 set in 2009 by Megan Pulskamp was the fastest time in the event in Kentucky history.
“Christina was awesome,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “A school record, that was world-class swim from her. All around, today was a great day, I thought our freshman swam well, which is exciting. Our depth was good too. We had some good swims in the 400 individual medley and the 100 butterfly. Abby Myers continues to get better and swam really well, Lucas Gerotto had a really nice 100 fly for the guys. It really kept going from there. We made some nice strides and want to keep working to get better.”
Bechtel, who notched two top-six finishes and an 11th-place finish in the first day of competition, now owns the fastest two times and three of the top four times in school history in the women’s 100 yard butterfly event.
“I’m excited about it,” Bechtel said. “Going into finals I was really excited and pumped up. Setting the record was one of my goals this year, so it feels good to accomplish that. Hopefully I can continue to break the record this year, because I definitely want to keep getting faster.”
Three divers notched top-five finishes to go along with Bechtel’s runner-up finish. Senior Greg Ferrucci finished second in the men’s 3-meter springboard with a 355.40, while fellow senior John Fox placed fourth with a 338.75. In the women’s 1-meter competition, junior Christa Cabot placed fifth with a 285.85.
Through the second day at the Ohio State Invitational, the UK women have 275 points, behind No. 5 Virginia, No. 3 Florida, Purdue and No. 14 Ohio State. The Wildcat men have 341 points and trail No. 11 Ohio State, No. 1 Florida and No. 10 Virginia.
Saturday’s competition featured eight individual events, with prelims in the morning and the top 30 finishers advancing to A, B or C finals in the evening session. Four relay events and two diving events were also contested, though no prelims were held for the relays. The OSU Invite concludes Sunday, and live results can be found on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
In addition to Bechtel in the women’s 100 butterfly, junior Abby Myers placed sixth with a time of 53.69 and earned an NCAA B qualifying time. Myers finished 0.25 ahead of seventh place. Bechtel’s time of 51.36 was 0.23 shy of first place and over one second ahead the third-place finisher.
The Wildcats also placed sixth in the men’s 100 butterfly and women’s 200 freestyle. Senior Lucas Gerotto’s 47.89 in the 100 fly is an NCAA B qualifying time. The 47.89 sat just 0.08 out of the top five and 0.10 ahead of seventh place. In the 200 free, freshman Kendal Casey notched a 1:48.02, nearly a half second faster than her split time and 0.24 ahead of the seventh-place finisher.
Kentucky posted a trio of sixth-place finishes in relay competitions. In the men’s 200 medley relay, freshman Kyle Higgins, junior George Greenhalgh and seniors Lucas Gerotto and Eric Bruck touched the wall in 1:28.58, a time half a second faster than OSU’s relay in seventh place.
In the day’s final events, UK finished sixth in both the men’s and women’s 800 free relay. Myers, along with freshman Kendal Casey and juniors Blair Kuethe and Kristen Wilson finished in 7:16.75. In the men’s race, senior Will Heidler, freshmen Grimmett-Noris and Brandon Flynn and sophomore Scott Crosthwaite placed a time of 6:41.71.
Greenhalgh registered another B qualifying time and a top-10 finish in the men’s 100 yard breaststroke, with a 55.06 to finish eighth. His time was an improvement by 0.09 seconds over his prelim time and just 0.01 seconds shy of seventh place.
Rounding out UK’s top-10 finishes in individual events was Flynn. The freshman, who finished 13th in the 500 freestyle yesterday, placed 10th in the men’s 400 yard individual medley with a time of 3:52.53. His time earned him an NCAA B qualifier.
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