KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Kentucky’s Rebecca Hamperian won silver on the 1-meter springboard and Kendal Casey earned bronze in the 500 freestyle to highlight day two of the 2017 Southeastern Conference Championships at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center on Wednesday evening.
With eight school records busted through two days of competition, the Kentucky women are in sixth place with 310 points, while the men sit in ninth with 196 points.
“It was a great night for us,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “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.”
In the first race of the night, Casey 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 just barely out-touched fellow Wildcat 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.
Hamperian finished runner-up on the 1-meter springboard for the third time in her career, as the senior had accomplished the feat at the meet in both her sophomore and junior campaigns. But 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,” said Hamperian. “I went out there and tried to have fun and stay loose.”
Freshman Asia Seidt swam her second NCAA automatic qualifying time of the season in the 200 individual medley, breaking her 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.
Two school records were broken in the men’s 200 IM on Wednesday 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 time schedule tomorrow, with prelims beginning and 10 a.m. ET, diving prelims and 1 p.m. and finals set for 6 p.m. Tomorrow’s events will include the 400 IM, 100 fly, men’s 3-meter and the 200 free.