Two University of Kentucky swimmers have been named to the 2019-20 USA Swimming National Junior Team roster, it was announced on Thursday. Freshmen Caitlin Brooks and Gillian Davey join 81 18-and-under athletes named to the National Junior Team – 46 women and 37 men.
Brooks was selected to join the roster in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke, while Davey was nominated in the 200m breaststroke field. It marks the first National Junior Team appearance for both athletes.
The newcomers joined Kentucky’s incoming class as top-tier additions to the No. 14 women’s team – Brooks was the No. 2 prospect out of Florida and No. 13 in the nation, and Davey was the No. 1 prospect out of Iowa and No. 36 in the nation. The addition of Brooks and Davey helped the UK women’s incoming class to a seventh-ranked recruiting class in the nation, according to SwimSwam.
The pair of swimmers made an early impression on the coaching staff in August, swimming for Kentucky at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Stanford, California. Brooks broke a two-year school record in the 100m backstroke in 1:00.46, her career best, to earn a silver medal.
Davey also had her share of ink in the record book, breaking the 200m breaststroke school record twice at the national meet – first in prelims (2:27.31), then in finals (2:26.80). In the final heat, her career-best time led her to a fifth-place finish and a school record.
Both rookies have established a promising future, recording 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trial times in meets this summer. Brooks qualified for the Olympic trials in the 100m backstroke (1:00.46) and 200m backstroke (2:11.32). Davey punched her ticket to the Olympic trials in the 100m breaststroke (1:10.18) and 200m breaststroke (2:26.80).
Fans can get a first look at Brooks and Davey, and the rest of the program, at the annual intrasquad meet on Sept. 3 at 3 p.m. at Lancaster Aquatic Center.
This season, the UK men will face a profound six teams who finished in the top 15 at the 2019 NCAA Championships in No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Indiana, No. 4 NC State, No. 5 Louisville, No. 9 Ohio State and No. 11 Missouri.
The UK women will face eight teams who finished in the top 25 at last season’s national meet – four of them finished in the top 10 – in No. 4 Louisville, No. 5 Texas, No. 7 NC State, No. 9 Indiana, No. 19 Arkansas, No. 21 South Carolina, No. 22 Missouri and No. 25 Ohio State.
The full schedule can be found here.
– GO CATS –
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