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    SEC Swimming Recap: Sunday, November 24

    UK Wins Two, Bechtel Posts UK Record for Second Straight Day

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Junior Christina Bechtel registered a school-record time for the second consecutive day and junior Christa Cabot won the platform diving title as the University of Kentucky swimming and diving team competed in the final day of the Ohio State Invitational Sunday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

    Bechtel, who claimed a school-record 51.36 for a runner-up finish in the 100 yard butterfly yesterday, backed it up with a first place showing in the 200 yard butterfly Sunday. Her time of 1:54.21 is the fastest time in UK history by over four seconds and is the record time in the eight year history of the OSU Invite. Bechtel finished just ahead of teammate and fellow junior Abby Myers, who touched the wall in 1:56.59, 0.39 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.

    Cabot earned a first-place finish in the platform diving competition for UK’s second victory of the day. She posted a final score of 283.50 after finishing in the top five in both the 1- and 3-meter springboard events on the first two days of the Invite.

    “It was a really good day for us,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “Highlighted by a 1-2 finish in the women’s 200 butterfly and Christa’s win on the platform. Christina set another school record and Abby finished second, which was a fun race. Christina’s time is an NCAA A qualifying time, and Abby’s is a B time, which is awesome. Both those girls work so hard and work hard together and I couldn’t be more proud. Representing the Cats at NCAA will be fun. We had a lot of other good swims today and a few more top-10 times. I am really pleased with how we performed this weekend for both the men and women. We have a lot of work to do over the next few months as we prepare for the SEC Championships, but it was great to end the fall season on a great note.”

    Kentucky notched 11 additional top-10 times to go along with Bechtel, Cabot and Myers. In addition to Bechtel and Myers earning NCAA A and B qualifying times, four other Wildcats posted times that were B qualifiers.

    Freshman Kendal Casey finished 12th in 16:25.78 in the women’s 1,650 freestyle, freshman Brandon Flynn placed ninth in 15:22.51 and sophomore Hector Tricas 11th in 15:26.72 in the men’s 1,650 freestyle and freshman Danielle Galyer swam the women’s 200 backstroke in 1:57.65 for a seventh-place finish.

    In the final team totals, the UK women registered 418 points over the three days, behind No. 3 Florida, No. 5 Virginia, No. 14 Ohio State and Purdue. The Wildcat men racked up 476 points and were defeated by No. 11 Ohio State, No. 1 Florida and No. 10 Virginia. The UF women had 1,099 points, while the OSU men accumulated 1,137.

    Sunday’s third day of competition featured 12 individual events and two relays. Prelims were held in the morning and the top 30 finishers advanced to A, B or C finals in the afternoon session. No prelims were held for the relay and diving events in addition to the men’s and women’s 1,650 freestyle race.

    In the men’s platform diving, senior Greg Ferrucci scored a 341.15 to finish third, which capped a weekend that saw him place third twice and second once in three events. Fellow seniors John Fox and Zachary Peterson placed sixth and seventh, respectively, with scores of 288.10 and 286.65.

    After Cabot on the women’s platform, junior Lindsay Keahey placed fifth with a score of 236.90.

    UK recorded a seventh-place finish in the women’s 400 freestyle relay. The team, which included Bechtel, Casey, juniors Kristen Wilson and Blair Kuethe, posted a 3:22.06 to finish over 1.5 seconds ahead of Virginia’s eighth-place team.

    Senior Eric Bruck, who finished third in the men’s 50 freestyle on Friday, placed ninth overall in the 100 yard freestyle Sunday with a time of 45.12. He finished just 0.07 out of eighth place but 0.72 ahead of the 10th-place finisher.

    In the very next event finals, freshman Kendra Crew continued a strong showing from the Wildcat first year swimmers with a 2:19.51 in the women’s 200 breaststroke to place ninth. She finished over 2.5 seconds ahead of 10th place. In the men’s 200 butterfly, fellow freshman Chris Grimmett-Norris placed 10th in 1:49.68.

    The relay team of seniors Eric Bruck, Chris Lott and Will Heidler and sophomore Scott Crosthwaite finished in 3:01.95 to secure a top-10 finish by nearly 1.5 seconds in the men’s 400 freestyle relay.

    For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Swimming and Diving program, go to UKathletics.com/SwimmingDiving. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates, photos and more can be found on Twitter at @UKSwimDive and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKSwimDive.





    Alabama Swimming and Diving Closes Strong on the Final Day of the Auburn Invitational

    AUBURN, Ala. -- The Alabama swimming and diving teams closed its stint at the Auburn Invitational with a strong final day, highlighted by a pair of freshmen who put up times that rank them in Alabama’s all-time top 10.

    In the women’s 200 butterfly, rookie Leah Bird took third overall, clocking a time of 1:57.66, which ranks her second all-time for the Tide, just .11 of a second off Suzanne Schwee’s school record set in 2010.

    In the men’s 200 breaststroke, Anton Mckee ripped off a 1:56.07, good for second place at the meet and third place all-time at Alabama, behind Olympian and two-time NCAA Champion Vlad Polyakov and Olympian Hunor Maté. Mckee’s time ranks him third in the nation at this point in the season.

    In the men’s 200 butterfly, freshman Connor Oslin took seventh with a 1:49.69, the Tide’s fastest time of the season so far. Senior Luke Zippi turned in a top-10 finish off the platform, scoring 319.15 points over six dives, taking ninth place.

    In the women’s 200 breaststroke, freshman Bridget Blood took eighth and junior Kaylin Burchell took 10th. In the coincidence department, three Alabama swimmers have posted a time of 2:16.57 in the 200 breaststroke this season, Blood in the prelims and Burchell in the finals of the Auburn Invitational and sophomore Stephanie Klotz posted the same time at Delta State to open the season.

    In the women’s platform event, senior Paige McCleary tallied 197.60 points over five dives to take eighth place while freshman Sarah Musselman was 10th with 180.00 points.





    Lady Bulldogs, Bulldogs Second As Auburn Fall Invite Concludes

    AUBURN, Ala. -- Georgia's swimming and diving teams wrapped up the Auburn Fall Invitational with two more individual NCAA automatic qualifying times and eight victories.

    The No. 2 Lady Bulldogs rolled up 1,469 points, with Auburn in second with 881.5. The No. 7 Bulldogs narrowly were the runners-up to Auburn 1,037-1,033.5.

    "This ranks as one of the top invites we've ever had," Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. "I could not have been prouder of everyone's efforts. We knew we had been training hard, and it's nice to see it pay off with the times we put up."

    Melanie Margalis secured another A cut as she won the 200 breaststroke in 2:08.10. The Lady Bulldogs claimed the top five spots as Annie Zhu, Olivia Boggs, Shannon O'Malley and Emily Cameron followed with NCAA provisional times.

    Ann-Perry Blank claimed the women's platform title as she recorded 267.90 points. Olivia Smoliga won the 100 freestyle with a B cut of 48.35, and Shannon Vreeland, Chantal Van Landeghem and Maddie Locus added provisional times. Hali Flickinger claimed the 200 butterfly with a B-cut time of 1:55.54, followed by B cuts from Courtney Peters and Vreeland. Jordan Mattern, Rachel Zilinskas and Brittany MacLean had B cuts in the 200 backstroke.

    The 400 freestyle relay of Smoliga, Vreeland, Margalis and Van Landeghem won with an A-cut time of 3:20.17.

    Ty Stewart won twice for the Bulldogs. He took the 200 backstroke with an A-cut time of 1:40.92 and the 200 butterfly with a B-cut time of 1:43.88. Jared Markham, Taylor Dale and Garrett Powell added B cuts in the 200 backstroke and Pace Clark posted a B-cut time in the 200 butterfly.

    Nicolas Fink won the 200 breaststroke with a B-cut time of 1:55.09. Doug Reynolds registered a provisional time in the 100 freestyle. The 400 freestyle relay of Reynolds, Nicolas Fink, Michael Trice and Matias Koski earned a provisional time as well.

    Georgia emerged from the meet with the nation's fastest times in the 500 freestyle (Amber McDermott and Koski) the 1,650 freestyle (MacLean and Koski), the 200 backstroke (Stewart), the 200 breaststroke (Fink), the 200 individual medley (Kalisz) and the 400 individual medley (Kalisz). Kalisz already held the country's top effort in the 200 butterfly.

    Georgia's teams will return to action Jan. 3-5 in the Georgia Diving Invitational and Jan. 4 in a home swimming meet against North Carolina State.





    Florida Swimming and Diving Excel in All Strokes and Distances at Ohio State Invite

    Columbus, Ohio -- The Florida Swimming and Diving teams wanted to use the Ohio State Invitational as a midseason gauge. After the three day meet, it's safe to say that these Gators are focused on the big meets in February and March.

    Over the course of the weekend, the Orange and Blue registered 22 NCAA Championship automatic qualifying times, qualified eight of 10 relays to the NCAA Championships and broke five school records. With a less than an end-of-season rest cycle, the Gators still were able to tally up an array of personal bests.

    On the final day of competition, senior Alicia Mathieu (Marlborough, Conn.) shattered Florida's 25-year old record in the 1650 freestyle, winning the event in an NCAA 'A' cut mark of 15:46.17, sophomore Natalie Hinds broke her school record in the 100 freestyle, winning in an NCAA 'A' cut time of 47.67 and senior Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland) defeated Florida's 10 year-old 200 breaststroke record (2:08.37).

    The Gators received 'A' cuts from redshirt senior Sebastien Rousseau in the 200 butterfly (1:42.88) and sophomore Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) in the 200 backstroke (1:51.44). Florida's distance groups stood out, as seven Gators, including senior Elizabeth Beisel's (North Kingstown, R.I.) NCAA 'A' cut swim of 15:56.55, delivered swims that would have made last year's NCAA Championships.

    The women's meet came down to the final relay, and Florida emerged victorious, winning the meet with 1,099 points to Virginia's 1095. UF men placed second with 1090.5 behind Ohio State's 1,137. Florida won nine of 10 relays during the meet.