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Swimming and Diving Faces SEC Road Test in Tri-Meet at Alabama

UK opens 2014 against Alabama and Arkansas Saturday

UK opens 2014 against Alabama and Arkansas Saturday

Jan. 10, 2014

SWIMMING AND DIVING VS. ALABAMA AND ARKANSAS
When:
Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12 p.m. ET
Where: Alabama Aquatic Center, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Live Results: TBA
Additional Info: Twitter | Facebook
Video: Jorgensen, Myers and Fox Preview Alabama and Arkansas

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After a month and a half away from team competition, the University of Kentucky swimming and diving team returns to the water Saturday against Alabama and Arkansas in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The meet between the three Southeastern Conference opponents is scheduled to commence at 12 p.m. ET at the Alabama Aquatic Center.

“It’ll be nice to get back and compete against some SEC teams after nearly two months away from competition,” head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “Alabama and Arkansas are both really good programs. Alabama is an up-and-coming team, and Arkansas has done a really nice job, they’re a really good team. We are going to have our hands full in Tuscaloosa, but the team is excited to go down there, it’ll be nice to get on the road a little bit.”

The Wildcats last competed as a team at the Ohio State Invitational Nov. 22-24. In Columbus, UK junior Christina Bechtel set two school record times, while junior diver Christa Cabot won the platform event. During the break, select UK swimmers and divers have competed at individual events while the team has continued to practice.

Saturday’s meet begins the spring season for Kentucky, a slate that includes two more races before the SEC Championships Feb. 18-22 in Athens, Ga.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Alabama finished 10th at the SEC Championships last season in both the men’s and women’s competition and opened the season with men’s and women’s wins over Delta State. The Crimson Tide women then beat Florida State, while the men lost before both UA squads lost at Florida. Alabama closed the fall season at the Auburn Invitational with several season-high times and hosted the UA Diving Invitational. Along with the Wildcats, the Crimson Tide divers began spring competition last weekend at the Georgia Diving Invitational, where Paige McCleary won the 1-meter event.

Arkansas, who only has a women’s team, placed sixth in 2013 at the SEC Championships. The Razorbacks had a strong fall season, with wins in all four dual meets in addition to first-place finishes in two invitationals.

LAST TIME OUT: WINTER NATIONALS, GEORGIA DIVING INVITATIONAL
During the break between UK’s fall and spring competition, the Kentucky swimming and diving team had several representatives at both the swimming and diving USA Winter National Championships along with the Georgia Diving Invitational. Arkansas’ win total includes victories over LSU and Nebraska along with a win at the Missouri Invite.

At the AT&T Winter national Championships Dec. 5 in Knoxville, Tenn., UK senior Eric Bruck advanced to the C finals out of a field of 67 athletes to finish 21st with a time of 20.00 after a 19.96 in the prelims.

At the USA Diving Winter National Championships in Austin, Texas on Dec. 17 and 18, junior Christa Cabot placed 13th in the women’s 1-meter with a 241.05. Senior John Fox finished 17th in the 1-meter with a 287.20 and 27th in the 3-meter with a 295.70.

At the Georgia Diving Invitational, Jan. 3-5 in Athens, Ga., Fox and senior Greg Ferrucci and junior Lindsay Keahey advanced to the finals and finished in the top 12 on each event. Fox placed eighth on the 3-meter and ninth on the 1-meter and platform, while Keahey finished seventh on platform and 12th in the 1- and 3-meter finals. Ferrucci tallied UK’s highest finish with a fifth-place showing on platform after finishing 10th on the 1-meter and 12th on the 3-meter. UK returns to action on Jan. 11 against Alabama and Arkansas in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

UP NEXT: AT LOUISVILLE

The Wildcats travel to in-state rival Louisville on Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. ET. The meet comes a week before UK’s final home contest of the season, Feb. 1 against Cincinnati at the Lancaster Aquatics Center.

SEC HONORS BECHTEL, FERRUCCI AND FLYNN
The Wildcats have been honored with four Southeastern Conference Athlete of the Week honors this season. Freshman Brandon Flynn was named the Freshman of the Week on Oct. 29, while junior swimmer Christina Bechtel and senior diver Greg Ferrucci were honored with the season's first Athlete the Week awards on Oct. 15. Bechtel was honored again on Nov. 27 with Swimmer of the Week accolades.

Bechtel broke two school records, set two meet records and recorded three NCAA ‘A’ or ‘B’ qualifying times in seven events Nov. 22-24 at the Ohio State Invitational to earn her second SEC honor. Competing against four teams, three of them ranked in the top 14 nationally, Bechtel posted career best times in all individual events. 

Flynn was named the SEC’s Male Freshman Swimmer of the Week for the first time in his career after he won all four events he competed in against Missouri and Southern Illinois over two days. Flynn recorded his first collegiate win in the men’s 400 individual medley, and, eight events later, he returned to the water to win the men’s 500 freestyle. The next day, Flynn won the 1,000 yard freestyle in 9:21.94 before leading the way as the UK men finished one-two-three in the 500 yard freestyle.

Ferrucci, who has won all four diving events to open the year, was named the SEC's Male Diver of the Week for the eighth time in his career. Ferrucci recorded wins in all four competitions to start the season. At Georgia on Sept. 25, he notched victories in the 1- and 3-meter dives, while the senior swept the diving events again at home against Ohio State on Oct. 11. 

Bechtel earned her first career SEC Female Swimmer of the Week honor after a two-win performance Oct. 11 against Ohio State. On the strengths of two wins in the butterfly against Ohio State, Bechtel was ranked second nationally in the 100-yard butterfly after she finished first with a time of 54.34. Bechtel, an NCAA qualifier last year, also posted a win in the 200-yard butterfly against the Buckeyes.

THE JORGENSEN FILE
Lars Jorgensen is in his first season as head coach at Kentucky after serving as an associate head coach for the Wildcats last season. A 1988 Olympian and standout student-athlete at the University of Tennessee, Jorgensen served as interim head coach for his alma mater in 2011-12. He also spent time on the coaching staffs at Toledo and LSU.

As a student-athlete at UT, Jorgensen holds the school record in the 1,000 freestyle, set in 1992. He earned a silver medal at the 1993 SEC Championships in the 1,650 freestyle and helped the Volunteers to a third-place finish.

At the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Jorgensen placed ninth in the 1,500-meter freestyle. His brother Daniel also competed in 1988, making them the second pair of brothers to participate in an Olympics. Daniel returned to the Olympics in 1992 and won a bronze medal as part of the 800 freestyle team, while their father, Niels, was an Olympic wrestler for Denmark.

RETURNING STARPOWER
UK returns all four student-athletes that competed at the 2013 Men’s and Women’s NCAA Championships. Senior diver Greg Ferrucci is coming off fourth-place finishes in all three NCAA events and became the first diver to earn First-Team All-America honors in one season on the 1 meter, 3 meter and platform. Senior John Fox and juniors Christina Bechtel and Christa Cabot made their first NCAA appearance in 2013.

2013-14 CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED
Seniors John Fox and Maclin Simpson and junior Michael Christian were named captains of the UK men’s team, while juniors Christina Bechtel, Christa Cabot and Lindsay Hill were announced as captains of the women’s squad.

A LOOK AT THE 2013-14 SCHEDULE
The 2013-14 campaign features dual or tri meets with five SEC foes and two home competitions. In addition to Oct. 11's home opener against Ohio State, the Wildcats welcome Cincinnati to Lexington on Feb. 1 at noon at the Lancaster Aquatics Center on the UK campus.

The 2014 SEC Championships will be held Feb. 18-22 in Athens, Ga. The NCAA Women’s Championship will be in Minneapolis, Minn., March 20-23, while the men’s national championship will be March 27-30 in Austin, Texas.

The complete 2013-14 schedule 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.


 

 


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