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Kentucky swimming earns two more medals at SEC Championships

Kentucky’s Rebecca Hamperian posted a new school record score of 354.90 on the 1-meter springboard to take the silver medal at the 2017 SEC Championships on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Kentucky’s Rebecca Hamperian posted a new school record score of 354.90 on the 1-meter springboard to take the silver medal at the 2017 SEC Championships on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 in Knoxville, Tenn. UK Athletics

The University of Kentucky swimming teams picked up a couple of medals Wednesday during the second day of the 2017 SEC Championships at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center.

After Wednesday’s competition, the UK women are in sixth place. The men are in ninth place.

“It was a great night for us,” head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “I thought we did really well. Kendal Casey stole the show really. I’m so proud of her. … Both the girls and guys were really good tonight. Becca – awesome – her consistency is amazing to me. Hopefully be better in the morning tomorrow, but we were really good tonight and look forward to the rest of the meet.”

Here are the UK highlights:

▪ Rebecca Hamperian won silver on the 1-meter springboard. It was the third time the senior finished as the runner-up on the 1-meter springboard. She accomplished the feat at the meet in both her sophomore and junior campaigns. This time, Hamperian crushed a decade-old record by tallying a score of 354.90, surpassing Taryn Ignacio’s 337.60, set in 2007.

“It was a really good competition and everyone was diving really well and it was just a lot of good energy at the pool,” Hamperian said. “I went out there and tried to have fun and stay loose.”

▪ Kendal Casey earned bronze in the 500 freestyle. In the first race of the night, she swam a career-best time of 4:40.81 in the 500 free to earn her way to the SEC podium for the first time in her career. The senior barely out-touched teammate Geena Freriks, who finished fourth with a B cut time of 4:40.85. Sophomores Paige Kelly and Meredith Whisenhunt also scored for UK in the event, both posting personal records in the C final.

▪ Asia Seidt swam her second NCAA automatic qualifying time of the season in the 200 individual medley, breaking the freshman’s own school record to finish fourth with a 1:55.02 mark.

▪ On the men’s side, junior Isaac Jones finished seventh in the 500 free A final in 4:17.57, lowering his own school-record time from 2015.

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▪ Two school records were broken in the men’s 200 IM as Connor Blandford first posted a 1:47.05 in the prelims. In the finals, freshman Glen Brown countered that by touching in 1:46.57.

▪ Three Wildcats made their way to the C final of the 50 free, led by Cobe Garcia with a time of 19.83. Senior Sean Gunn followed with a personal best 19.96, marking the first time he’s gone under 20 seconds in the event. Freshman Peter Wetzlar rounded out the scorers, finishing 22nd overall.

The meet will follow the same schedule Thursday, with prelims beginning at 10 a.m., diving prelims at 1 p.m. and finals set for 6 p.m. Thursday’s events will include the 400 IM, 100 fly, men’s 3-meter and the 200 free.

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