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Kentucky swimming’s Geena Freriks wins gold at SEC Championships

Kentucky’s Geena Freriks captured the gold medal at the 2017 SEC Swimming and Diving championships with a record time of 1:44.26 in the 200 free.
Kentucky’s Geena Freriks captured the gold medal at the 2017 SEC Swimming and Diving championships with a record time of 1:44.26 in the 200 free. UK Athletics

The University of Kentucky swimming and diving team celebrated a gold medal in Thursday’s competition at the 2017 SEC Championships at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville.

After taking a bronze medal last season, Kentucky’s Geena Freriks became the first Wildcat woman to win the 200 free at the meet since Kelly Heath in 1995. Freriks’ time of 1:44.26 bested her own school record of 1:44.98, a mark she set earlier this season.

“It was a great night,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “Obviously Geena was the highlight tonight, just a fantastic swim. Really showed her heart that she possesses to finish. Really close. The girls were all coming, but she fought so hard. You know, that’s the way she trains. I couldn’t be more proud of her. She’s deserving of a championship and she’s a championship swimmer.”

Heading into Friday, the Kentucky women are in sixth with 406 points and the men have dropped to 10th with a 248.5 tally.

Other Thursday highlights:

▪ Also in the 200 free final, UK senior Kendal Casey finished fifth overall with a personal-record time of 1:46.50 and freshman Ali Galyer touched eighth with a 1:47.34.

▪ Seb Masterton advanced to the finals of the 3-meter springboard where the sophomore diver posted a personal-best score of 428.15 to finish fifth. His finals score showed a 40.05-point improvement from his prelims score, and bested his previous scoring record in the event by 20.05.

SEC Swimming and Diving Championships recap

▪ In the women’s 400 individual medley, freshman Kierston Farley-Sepe finished 19th overall with a personal record time of 4:12.49. The time moved her to fifth on Kentucky’s all-time performance list.

▪ For the men, both Brandon Flynn and Connor Blandford qualified for the C final, where Flynn placed second in the heat for 18th overall and Blandford finished 23rd.

▪ Haley McInerny finished 16th in the 100 fly with a time of 53.28, a personal best for the sophomore. In the same event, senior Kyle Higgins tied for 21st overall, touching the wall in 47.36.

▪ In the men’s 200 free, Isaac Jones swam a 1:35.72 to come in 19th. The mark was a personal best for the junior, who now owns the fifth-fastest time in UK history.

▪ Friday’s prelims begin at 10 a.m. ET. Events include the 200 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, women’s platform and 400 medley relay.

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