Kentucky Overpowers Cincinnati in Regular Season Finale
Feb. 2, 2013
CINCINNATI, Ohio – Kentucky swimming and diving dominated Cincinnati in the final dual meet of the season in preparation for the Southeastern Conference Championships. Both the men’s and women’s teams came away with their second dual-meet victories of the season. The women finished 158-116, while the men earned a 152-115 win.
“It was a nice win for both teams,” said UK swimming head coach Gary Conelly. “We had some great swims from Chris Lott, Sam Shaheen, Jon Bullock and Laura Dawson. We did a good job racing enabling us to win all the men's event and only losing the 50 and 500-freestyle events.
“I would like to have seen a little more intensity from more of the team, but overall I'm pretty happy with where we are going heading into the SEC Championships.”
Due to the layout of Cincinnati’s facilities, each team completed all four diving events before any swimming took place. Despite what UK head coach Ted Hautau described as a tough venue due to many circumstances, the Kentucky divers continued their impressive season with four more individual victories.
Missing All-SEC diver Greg Ferrucci, the men got an impressive and career day from junior Zack Peterson. Senior Corey Cowger stole the show last week on senior day, but it was Peterson who stepped up in Ferrucci’s absence Saturday afternoon.
Peterson took first place on both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards against the Bearcats in his best meet as Wildcat. On the 1-meter, Peterson finished with a 300.37, and on the 3-meter board, he finished with a 328.87.
It was the first time that he had swept both diving events in his collegiate career.
“Zack Peterson had his best meet of the season in the most challenging pool we’ve dived in this year,” said Hautau. “Two well deserved wins for him.”
For the women, freshman Rebecca Hamperian and sophomore Sarah Chewning led the way on the 1-meter board. Hamperian’s score of 296.92 captured first place, while Chewning’s 272.92 was good for second. On the 3-meter, it was Hamperian victorious yet again with a winning score of 282.97, while sophomore Lindsay Keahey earned second with a 253.2.
As dominant as the divers were, the swimmers were every bit as impressive on both sides.
Combined, UK had 17 victories including 15 individual victories on the day after taking the first two 400-medley relay events to get the day started. Add the four diving victories and UK laid claim to 21 of the day’s 30 total events. The only individual events they lost on the day were the women’s 50-freestyle and both the men’s and women’s 500-freestyle events.
On the women’s side, Kentucky received huge contributions from sophomore Sam Shaheen and freshman Laura Dawson.
Shaheen earned multiple victories on the day. The breaststroke specialist helped UK start off the day with a victory in the 400-medley relay swimming the second leg and helping UK to the winning time of 3:50.60. She went on to win both the 100-breaststroke (1:04.58) and 200-breaststroke (2:22.73) for her second and third victories on the day.
After her career day against Louisville, Dawson carried her momentum into the pool against Cincinnati. Swimming almost exclusively in the backstroke this season, Dawson was put in the butterfly lineup on Saturday. The freshman didn’t disappoint and picked up two victories on the day. The first came in the 200-butterfly event where she finished with a 2:03.51. The second came in the 100-butterfly where she tapped in at 56.56.
UK’s women also picked up individual victories from four additional Wildcats. Megan Eppler won the 100-freestyle (51.15) and Abby Myers took the 200-freestyle (1:52.73). Kate Jones earned her first individual victory of the season with a win in the 100-backstroke (58.60) and Frida Jakobsson also picked up her first win when she touched the wall with a winning time of 2:06.06.
Kentucky men also got individual victories from six different Wildcats. Chris Lott was a freestyle ace for UK, first winning the 100-freestyle (46.19) and then took the 50-freestyle (20.92).
Lucas Gerotto picked up a win in the 100-backstroke (51.51). John Bullock earned first place in the 200-freestyle. George Greenhalgh earned a winning time of 57.39 in the 100-breaststroke. Matt Roman was victorious in the 200-butterfly (1:53.19). And Zachary Zandona picked up his first-career victory of the winning the 200-backstroke (1:52.42).
With the Wildcats concluding their regular-season slate, they will focus the next two weeks on preparing for the SEC Championships at College Station, Texas, on the campus of Texas A&M. The Championships are a five-day event that gets started Feb. 19. at the Texas A&M Student Rec Center Natatorium at 6:30 p.m ET.
INJURY REPORT: Sophomore diver Lindsay Keahey suffered a hand injury while competing in the 1-meter event. X-rays came back negative for broken bones. She was diagnosed with a bone bruise. Her training will be limited, but Hautau believes she should be able to return for the SEC Championships.