Sidelines with John Clay

Kentucky swimmers hope to continue momentum at SEC championships

Kentucky freshman Asia Seidt, shown here in a file photo, was part of two school records set at the 2017 SEC Championships on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Kentucky freshman Asia Seidt, shown here in a file photo, was part of two school records set at the 2017 SEC Championships on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 in Knoxville, Tenn. Lexington Herald-Leader

Tuesday was a big day for the University of Kentucky’s swimming and diving team at the 2017 SEC Championships in Knoxville.

The Cats posted three school records at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center and are fifth in the women’s standings and eighth in the men’s standings.

“It was a fantastic day. I’m really pleased overall,” head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “It’s a long meet, but we couldn’t get off to a much better start than tonight. It’s always nice to get a good start, but every day is new, so we’re going to come out tomorrow morning fighting.”

Here are some of Tuesday’s highlights:

▪ Senior diver Becca Hamperian advanced to the 3-meter springboard finals after finishing eighth in prelims with a score of 318.00. Hamperian improved her score by more than 30 points to finish fourth overall, with a career-best score of 348.60.

▪ Danielle Galyer, Madison Winstead, Asia Seidt and Geena Freriks teamed up to post a fourth-place finish in the 200 medley relay with a school-record time of 1:36.76. That time qualified Kentucky for the NCAA Championships next month.

▪ UK set a second school record and NCAA qualifying time as Ali Galyer, Seidt, Danielle Galyer and Freriks won the silver medal in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 6:59.33. It’s the first time in school history that UK has posted a time under seven minutes, and it's the seventh-fastest time in the country in the race this season.

▪ In men’s competition, Walker Thaning, Wyatt Amdor, David Dingess and Cobe Garcia picked up eighth place in the 200 medley relay, touching in at 1:25.78.

▪ Sean Gunn, Isaac Jones, Glen Brown and Kyle Higgins joined forces to earn the third school-record time of the night. The group finished sixth in the 800 free relay with a B-cut time of 6:23.51.

Competition continues at 10 a.m. Wednesday with the prelims for the 500 free, 200 IM and 50 free. Women’s 1-meter prelims will begin at 1 p.m., and swimming finals will begin at 6 p.m., with the addition of the 200 free relay.

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