Kentucky junior Geena Freriks made program history Thursday night at the 2018 Southeastern Conference Championships, becoming the second Wildcat to win the 500-yard freestyle and the first since Rachel Komisarz in 1999. Her crown came in record-setting fashion as she lowered her own Kentucky mark to 4:37.20.
The accomplishment marks Freriks’ second SEC title after she won the 200 free at last season’s championships. She becomes just the third Kentucky swimmer – male or female – to have won multiple SEC titles.
“I thought we swam really well tonight,” said Kentucky head coach Lars Jorgensen. “I was really pleased with all the performances, highlighted by Geena winning her second conference championship. She swam a really good race. Overall, it was a good day. Every single day that’s one of our goals is to get better, and hopefully we’ll be better tomorrow morning.”
Sophomore Asia Seidt picked up Kentucky’s second medal of the day, earning the bronze in the 200 individual medley with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:53.04. The time lowered her own school record in the event.
In the men’s 200 IM, sophomore Glen Brown made his first appearance in a championship final after resetting his own school record to 1:44.16 in the prelims. The Kokomo, Indiana, native finished eighth overall in the finals with a time of 1:44.41. Sophomore Connor Blandford also scored for the Wildcats in the event, winning the C final with a time of 1:45.29.
Junior captain Seb Masterton advanced to his second championship final in as many days, placing 1-meter diving. Freshman Chase Lane and sophomore Kevin Frebel also scored for the Wildcats in the event, as Lane finished 13th (321.50) and Frebel 19th (289.50) in prelims.
Freshman Hank Siefert made an appearance in his first conference final, winning the C final and finishing 14th overall in the 500 free with a time of 4:18.20.
Sophomore Peter Wetzlar also scored for Kentucky, posting a personal-best time of 19.79 in the 50 free to finish 12th overall.
In addition to Freriks, four Wildcats scored in the women’s 500 freestyle as Meredith Whisenhunt finished 11th in 4:43.18, Ali Galyer was 17th in 4:43.98, Haley McInerny 21st in 4:45.77 and Paige Kelly 23rd in 4:48.62.
In the final event of the night, the Kentucky women finished ninth in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:31.06, and the men finish seventh with a time of 1:19.20.
Day three of the SEC Championships will resume Friday morning at 11 a.m. ET. The schedule will include the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle and women’s 3-meter diving.
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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