Kentucky beats Tennessee 152-148. Photo by Hannah Phillips | UK Athletics

The No. 10 University of Kentucky women’s swimming and diving team remains undefeated this season, earning a 24-point triumph over No. 11 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Friday, December 18, 206.5-182.5. Meanwhile, the Kentucky men’s swimming and diving team trailed the No. 14 Crimson Tide by just six points ahead of the final race, but dropped to the ranked team in rival field, 202-187. 

First-Place Finishes 

Women 

Kyndal Knight 1-meter springboard 320.78 
Kyndal Knight 3-meter springboard  355.58 
Bailey Bonnett 200 breaststroke 2:11.53 
Bailey Bonnett 200 IM 2:00.37 
Izzy Gati 200 butterfly 1:58.48 
Caitlin Brooks 100 backstroke 52.00 
Caitlin Brooks 100 butterfly 53.93 
Gillian Davey 100 breaststroke 1:02.34 
Lauren Poole 400 IM 4:15.30 
Beth McNeese 500 freestyle 4:49.60 
Riley Gaines 50 freestyle 22.79 
Caitlin Brooks Gillian Davey Izzy Gati Riley Gaines 400 medley-r 3:36.46 

Men 

Adam Rosipal 1,650 freestyle 15:32.42 
Kyle Barker 200 backstroke 1:46.17 
Kyle Barker 400 IM 3:54.44 
Kyle Barker 200 IM 1:47.73 
Mason Wilby 200 butterfly 1:46.22 
Mason Wilby 100 butterfly 48.13 
Danny Zhang 3-meter springboard 427.28 
Danny Zhang platform 417.08 
Max Berg Mason Wilby Jakob Clark Hank Siefert 800 freestyle-r 6:36.38 
Hank Siefert 200 freestyle 1:38.45 
Hank Siefert 500 freestyle 4:24.75 
Caitlin Brooks. Courtesy UK Athletics

Friday Highlights 

  • Caitlin Brooks, a sophomore from Gainesville, Florida, rallied a pair of top times on Friday, earning first place in the 100 backstroke (52.00) and the 100 butterfly (53.93), before she helped the 400 medley relay earn first place to secure the triumph. 
    • In the 100 backstroke, Brooks finished nine tenths of a second better than second place, the Crimson Tide’s Rhyan White, who currently owns the second-fastest time in the nation (50.45) in the event, earned at a midseason invitational.  
    • Brooks is undefeated in the 100 backstroke through three meets this season – two dual meets and one invitational.  
    • Brooks’ first-place finish in the 100 butterfly marked her first top time in that event this season, after competing in the event at each meet this season – three dual meets and one invitational.  
  • Danny Zhang, a junior from Cypress, California, rallied a triumph on platform for his second win of the dual meet, earning a mark of 417.08, his season high on the discipline and just 5.02 points off of his career best.  
    • Zhang is the defending conference champion on platform, earning the title at the 2020 Southeastern Conference Championship on 422.10 points, a career best, and the fourth-best score in program history. 
  • Beth McNeese, a sophomore from Katy, Texas, paced a group of distance swimmers to first-, second-, third-, and fourth-place finishes in the 500 freestyle. 
    • McNeese finished the race with the top time, touching the wall in 4:49.60. 
    • Freshman and former SEC Freshman of the Week, Kaylee Williams, earned second place in 4:50.84. 
    • Kaitlynn Wheeler, a sophomore from Loami, Illinois, finished in third place on a time of 4:57.60. 
    • Kelly Rodriguez, a junior from Madison, Wisconsin, took fourth place, touching the wall in 4:59.44. 
  • Hank Siefert, a senior from Xenia, Ohio, grabbed three first-place finishes on Friday – two individual events and one relay event. Most impressively, he led a group of five men to the finish line in the 500 freestyle, claiming the top time ahead of his teammates’ second- through fifth- place finishes. 
    • In the 500 freestyle, Siefert earned the top time in 4:24.75. 
    • Adam Rosipal, a transfer junior from the University of Indianapolis, finished in second place in 4:28.38. 
    • Jakob Clark, a sophomore from Allen, Texas, finished in third place on a time of 4:28.76. 
    • Daniel Blake, a junior from Campbell, California, took fourth place in 4:35.70. 
    • John Michael Gordon, a sophomore from Lynchburg, Virginia, rounded out the group in fifth place, earning a 4:35.86. 
  • Kyle Barker had a phenomenal meet, recording two strong triumphs down the stretch on Friday –  200 IM (1:47.73) and 400 IM (3:54.44) – helping the men’s team to trail No. 14 Alabama by just six points before the final relay. 
    • He was the only Kentucky swimmer or diver – male or female – to win as many as three individual events throughout the meet. 
      • Brooks and Siefert earned three wins, too, including two individual events and one relay event, respectively. 
  • Riley Gaines, a junior from Nashville, Tennessee, tied for first place in the 50 freestyle in 22.79. 
    • The time is just .02 from tying her career high, which she set at the Mizzou Invitational in November.  

Thursday Highlights 

  • Kyndal Knight, a junior diver from Stanley, North Carolina, dominated the 1- and 3-meter springboards, scoring a pair of personal records on first-place finishes. 
    • 1-meter springboard (320.78) 
      • Knight remains undefeated on the 1-meter springboard this year, earning wins against Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and now Alabama. 
      • Her score was more than 49 points better than second place. 
      • Her previous personal record was 313.60, which she earned at the at the 2020 SEC Championships, placing first place in the 1-meter springboard preliminaries. 
      • Her new personal record of 320.78 moves up one spot in the record book, ranking fifth in the program’s all-time top-10 performances list.  
    • 3-meter springboard (355.58) 
      • Her score was more than 66 points better than second place. 
      • Her previous personal record was 353.75 points, which she earned at the 2020 SEC Championships and helped her earn a gold medal. 
      • Both scores (353.75 and 355.58) ranked/rank second in the program’s all-time top-10 performances list.   
        • Her new personal record of 355.58 is just 7.42 off from the school record, which was set by Jessica Thompson in 2005. 
  • The men’s team took the 1,650 freestyle event by storm, earning first-, second-, third- and fourth-place finishes in that event.  
    • Adam Rosipal, a transfer junior from the University of Indianapolis, earned the top time in 15:32.42. 
    • Jakob Clark, the 2020 All-SEC Freshman Team selection, earned second place, touching the wall in 15:34.06. 
    • Daniel Blake, a junior from Campbell, California, filled third place, earning a time of 15:55.02. 
    • Zane Rosely, a freshman from White Lake, Michigan, rounded out the four-person sweep in 16:00.72. 
  • Kyle Barker, a junior from Aldie, Virginia, rallied a first-place finish on a personal record in the 200 backstroke, touching the wall in 1:46.17. 
    • It marks the second-best time anyone has recorded in this event on the men’s team this season. 
  • Bailey Bonnett paced a group of 200 breaststrokers to first-, second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes.  
    • Bonnett, a senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, touched the wall in 2:11.53 to lead the event. 
    • Gillian Davey, a sophomore from Urbandale, Iowa, finished in second place in 2:12.16. 
    • Jaclyn Hill, a senior from Canton, Georgia, took third place in 2:16.25. 
    • Lauren Poole, a sophomore from Crofton, Maryland, finished in fourth place, earning a time of 2:16.97. 
    • Finally, rounding out the five-person sweep, Anna Havens Rice, a freshman from Greenville, South Carolina, touched the wall in 2:18.08 to earn fifth place. 
  • Kentucky earned first place in both 200 butterfly events. 
    • Izzy Gati took the top time on the women’s side in 1:58.48. 
    • Mason Wilby took the top time on the men’s side in 1:46.22. 
  • Danny Zhang, a junior from Cypress, California, earned a season-best score on the 3-meter springboard with a score of 427.28 points to take first place.  

Head Coach Lars Jorgensen 

“There were a lot of highlights in this meet, and I thought both teams competed really well against a strong Alabama program. Caitlin Brooks was the swimmer of the meet; she just competed so well. I thought Riley Gaines’ 50 freestyle was a fantastic swim, and Lauren Poole had an outstanding meet. Danny Zhang won on platform this afternoon and did a nice job there, and I thought our distance swimmers did an awesome job, sweeping those events. Overall, Kyle Barker was one of our best guys in the meet. He was a good leader, and I’m proud of his efforts throughout the competition.” 

Head Diving Coach Ted Hautau 

“Danny Zhang did pretty good on platform today. His goal was to go over 400, and he was pretty consistent. He didn’t make any major mistakes and his dives were pretty nice and clean. Overall, it was a good meet for him. Rodrigo Romero had some good stuff on platform, too, coming in second place. I’m really pleased with how he is coming along. We definitely have some work to do to fully capitalize ahead of the spring meets. Cara Hudson was really good on platform today, too, and she has gotten her list back together and is pretty consistent. She had a good attitude and solid confidence today. Kyndal Knight did some good stuff on platform today, especially with a couple of new dives in her list.” 

Team Scores 

Women 

Kentucky 206.5 
Alabama 182.5 

Men 

Alabama 202 
Kentucky 187 

Next Up 

The RV/No. 10 University of Kentucky swimming and diving program will go back on the road to meet No. 11/5 Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, January 14 and January 15, 2021. The Wildcats have already met the Volunteers once this year, when Kentucky hosted Tennessee in October. The then-No. 12 Kentucky women’s team upset then-No. 7 Tennessee, 152-148, while the then-RV Kentucky men’s team fell to then-No. 14 Tennessee, 105.5-194.5. 

For the latest on the Kentucky swimming and diving program, follow @UKSwimDive on Twitter and on Instagram, on Facebook and on the web at UKathletics.com.  

– GO CATS – 

For more information contact: 

Cami Moore

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