Day one of Kentucky’s first tri-meet of 2019, which features three CSCAA Top-25 swimming and diving programs, proved to be a tough test for the Wildcats, but the No. 13 Kentucky women’s swimming and diving team leads Ohio State in team standings ahead of the final day.
“We’re excited for tomorrow,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “It’s a good opportunity. It’s good for both programs to go back-to-back days because that’s what we do at the Southeastern Conference and NCAA Championships. We’re looking forward to being better tomorrow.”
The two-day tri-meet, highlighting host Florida, Kentucky and Ohio State, commenced Friday at 10 a.m. for divers and 1 p.m. for swimmers. It marked the first time the Kentucky program has seen competitive action since November 2018. Each program flaunts a top-25 women’s and men’s team, justifying a tough tri-meet in No. 13/25 Kentucky, No. 10/5 Florida and No. 22/14 Ohio State (women/men).
Following day one, the No. 13 Kentucky women’s squad is favored over Ohio State, 194-106. However, they are just 14 points shy of the No. 10 Gators, 159.50-140.50. While the No. 25 men hoped to feed off the momentum generated in the fall, they trail the No. 14 Buckeyes, 162-138, and No. 5 Florida, 198.50-101.50.
Notable performances were had by a handful of Wildcats. Ten first-place finishes were collected by Kentucky – seven by the women and three by the men.
Kentucky swept the 200-yard individual medley events, led by junior Asia Seidt for the women and junior Glen Brown for the men. Seidt captured a 1:58.61 to earn gold in the women’s division, while Brown claimed a 1:48.63 to top the men’s field. It’s no surprise, Seidt and Brown each own the program record in the 200-yard individual medley – Sedit (1:53.04) and Brown (1:44.16).
Seidt, of Louisville, Kentucky, also earned gold in the 100-yard butterfly with a 53.84.
Senior Geena Freriks found gold not once, but twice. Her first victory came early in the meet, posting a 1:47.74 in the 200-yard freestyle. The Norwalk, Ohio, native struck again in the 500-yard freestyle logging the top time of 4:46.99
Florida native and son of former head coach of the Florida swimming and diving program, Mason Wilby impressed spectators in the 200-yard butterfly, comfortably finishing victoriously with a 1:46.11.
“It was a good first day for the Wildcats,” Jorgensen said. “On the men’s side it is Mason Wilby’s homecoming as this is his hometown of Gainesville, Florida. I think he really stepped it up and was awesome in the 200 fly to get a victory. A 1:46 low is really a fantastic time for him midseason.”
Jorgensen also complimented junior Ali Galyer for a successful outing. She earned a first-place showing in the 200-yard backstroke with a 1:54.11, an event that she previously held the second-best time in the country and currently holds the second-best time in the Southeastern Conference (1:51.29).
Freshman Riley Gaines charted a winning finish in the 100-yard freestyle, posting a 49.81. Sophomore Bailey Bonnet, 2018 SEC Freshman Female Swimmer of the Year, collected her first-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a 1:01.50.
One-hundred miles south of Gainesville, the Wildcat divers competed on the springboards in Orlando, Florida. Freshman Kyndal Knight took second on the 3-meter board with a 293.85. After a slow morning on the 1-meter board, Masterton rallied a first-place finish in the second session, posting a 366.20 with his 3-meter dive.
The two-day tri-meet will resume Saturday at 10 a.m. for both swimming and diving. The 400-yard medley relay will kick off the second day of the swim meet in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Natatorium, while the divers will compete on the platform inside the YMCA Aquatic Center.
Fans who wish to keep up with live swim results can follow along on the smartphone app Meet Mobile. The app is free to download, but to retrieve the live results there is a $2 fee. The swim meet will be streamed on SEC Network+, which can also be viewed through WatchESPN and the ESPN app on computers, smartphones or tablets. Live results will be available for the dive meet on DiveMeets.com.
– GO CATS –
For more information contact: