Despite the Kentucky swimming and diving teams taking a break until January, swimmers Bridgette Alexander and Kendra Crew continued to make waves at the AT&T Winter National Championships in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend. Alexander snagged two first-place finishes in the meet, sweeping the 100 and 200 backstroke events, while Crew posted top-10 finishes in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke races.
“It was a good confidence builder for Bridgette,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “She’s done really well since trials last summer, so we wanted to be able to give her another chance to build upon that and give her some more opportunities to race. Bridgette and Kendra both swam better than they did at Ohio State, so it really was a victory for them.”
Alexander’s first appearance on the podium came Friday, as she touched in 52.53 in the 100-yard backstroke for the top overall finish. On Saturday, the junior kept the momentum alive, posting a 1:52.38 in the 200 back. Both times marked personal bests for the junior, who finished eighth overall in this summer’s U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 back.
“My goal was to just go in and race my hardest. I just went to get the racing opportunity and see what I could do,” said Alexander. “Lars and I really work hard on touching the wall first and getting my hand on the wall first, so it was nice to see that all that really came together for this meet.
“It’s definitely a good motivator,” added Alexander. “It makes you keep your eyes open. I think the biggest thing I’ll take back is to keep working hard, keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully it makes me improve a little bit more to get better for NCAAs.”
Crew earned her top finish of the meet on Friday, posting the fifth-fastest overall time in the 200 breaststroke with a 2:11.39 finish. The senior also finished tenth in the 100 breaststroke finals with a 1:01.23 mark.
A recap of the weekend’s meet will be broadcast nationally on NBC on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 5 p.m. ET and will feature Alexander’s backstroke races at the top of the hour.
For the latest on the Kentucky swimming and diving program, follow @UKSwimDive on Twitter, on Facebook at Facebook.com/UKSwimDive, and on the web at UKathletics.com.
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