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Six Swimmers to Race at NCAA Last Chance Qualifier

Junior George Greenhalgh, who helped break four school records at the SEC Championships, will swim in the 100 breaststroke Saturday

Junior George Greenhalgh, who helped break four school records at the SEC Championships, will swim in the 100 breaststroke Saturday

Feb. 28, 2014

SWIMMING AT NCAA LAST CHANCE QUALIFIER
When:
March 1-2, 2014 | Prelims: 10 a.m. ET, Finals: March 1: 5 p.m., March 2: 4 p.m.
Where: Gabrielsen Natatorium, Athens, Ga.
Live Results: GeorgiaDogs.com
Additional Info: Twitter | Facebook

ATHENS, Ga. – Six University of Kentucky swimmers will compete at the NCAA Last Chance Qualifier in Athens, Ga., March 1-2 at Gabrielsen Natatorium.

Seniors Lucas Gerotto and Maclin Simpson, junior George Greenhalgh and freshmen Kelly Berger, K Casey and Kendra Crew will swim to improve their NCAA B qualifying times for a better chance at being selected to compete at the NCAA Championships.

The two-day competition begins Saturday at 10 a.m. ET with the prelims in 26 events, followed by the finals at 5 p.m. The meet concludes Sunday with prelims at 10 a.m. in the final 16 events and finals at 4 p.m.

Crew and Greenhalgh will swim in the 100 breaststroke on Saturday, while Crew will also race in the 200 breaststroke Sunday. Gerotto will race in the 100 backstroke, the final swimming event of the day on Saturday. Berger and Casey will swim in the 1,650 freestyle and Simpson in the 200 butterfly, both on Sunday.

Kentucky’s six swimmers, who have all earned NCAA B qualifying times in each event they will compete in this weekend, will look to improve on their times by either getting an NCAA A qualifying time, and therefore an automatic berth in the NCAA Championships, or a faster “B” time.

Fans can follow along with all the action from UGA’s Gabrielsen Natatorium with live results at GeorgiaDogs.com. Additional updates can be found at @UKSwimDive, the official Twitter account of the UK swimming and diving program.

LAST TIME OUT: SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS
The UK swimming and diving team won two medals and broke nine school records last week at the SEC Championships in Athens, Ga., Feb. 18-22. The UK men finished eighth with 522 points overall, while the women placed 10th with 426 points.

Junior Christina Bechtel claimed UK’s first swimming medal since 2012 with a runner-up finish in the women’s 100 yard butterfly Thursday. The first SEC medal of her career, Bechtel finished in 51.69 for UK’s first runner-up finish at the SEC Championships since 2010.

Senior Greg Ferrucci went out with a bang in his final SEC Championship appearance with a bronze medal-winning performance on platform Friday. It marked the sixth SEC medal of his career after he scored a 409.90 in an exciting, tightly-contested platform final.

In total, nine school record times were broken by UK, five individual records and four relay records. Junior George Greenhalgh broke the record in the 100 and 200 breaststroke along with helping to break the 200 and 400 medley relay records. Freshman Danielle Galyer helped topple three school marks, the 200 backstroke individually and as part of the 800 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay. Freshman Kendal Casey also broke an individual school record in the 200 freestyle.

UP NEXT: NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Postseason competition continues for UK at the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, for those that qualify. Divers will qualify at the NCAA Zone Diving Championships March 13-15 in Columbus, Ohio. The NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships will be held March 20-23 in Minneapolis, Minn., while the men’s championships are scheduled for March 27-30 in Austin, Texas.

WILDCATS EARN FIVE SEC ATHLETE OF THE WEEK HONORS
The Wildcats have been honored with five 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, while Ferrucci earned the season’s final Diver of the Week award on Feb. 4.

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 won all four diving events to open the year. 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.

Ferrucci earned his ninth career SEC weekly award on Feb. 4 after the senior won both the 1- and 3-meter competition with season-high scores against Cincinnati on Senior Day in Lexington. The Huntersville, N.C., native posted a 398.25 in the 1-meter event to shatter his previous season-best by more than 20 points. His score is the second-best in the SEC this season. In the 3-meter competition, Ferrucci tallied a 374.33, a season-best by nearly 30 points.

Abby Myers, Maclin Simpson NAMED TO SEC COMMUNITY SERVICE TEAM
Swimmers Maclin Simpson and Abby Myers were named to the 2014 men’s and women’s Swimming and Diving Community Service Team. Simpson, a senior, is named to the team for the second time in his career, while Myers, a junior, earned her first Community Service Team honor. The team highlights an athlete from each school who gives back to his or her community in superior service efforts.

Simpson, a Louisville, Ky., native, was also named to the Community Service Team in 2012. A three-time team captain, the senior participated in an Ethiopian Mission Trip in the summer of 2013 with several other UK student-athletes. He also volunteered with the UK Children’s Hospital Blanket Project, Back Pack Program packing and delivery, Back-to-School Picnic and Cats Cultivating Character. He was Inducted into Kentucky’s prestigious Frank G. Ham Society of Character in 2013. A marketing and management major, Simpson is also a two-time SEC All-Academic Team honoree.

From Cranberry Township, Pa., Myers was named to the Community Service Team for the first time in her career. The junior volunteered with the International Book Project, coached the Fintastics team for the Special Olympics YMCA and was a United Way collection drive volunteer. She also worked on the UK Children’s Hospital Blanket Project, Cats Cultivating Character and the Back Pack Program delivery. A 2014 nominee for the University of Kentucky’s prestigious Frank G. Ham Society of Character, Myers is a Kinesiology and Health Promotions Major with a Pre-Physical Therapy concentration.

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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