No. 13 Women’s Swimming and Diving Team Collects First Win of 2019
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Kentucky swimming and diving program concluded its first tri-meet of 2019 Saturday, which advertised three CSCAA Top-25 programs. The No. 13 Kentucky women’s team led No. 22 Ohio State in back-to-back sessions to earn the Wildcats’ only win of the two-day tri-meet.
“I thought the men’s team raced consistent, but they still need to step up against good competition like Florida and Ohio State,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “The women fought hard, but came up short versus Florida. I thought our women’s team put in a valid effort, but Florida was the better team and hats off to them. Hopefully we can be a little better at the end of the season.”
The No. 13 Kentucky women cruised past No. 22 Ohio State, 375-206, but dropped to No. 10 Florida by only 20 points, 300.50-280.50. The No. 25 men displayed notable performances in the pool and on the diving board, but it was not enough to top No. 14 Ohio State, 336-245, nor No. 5 Florida, 389.50-191.50.
Senior Geena Freriks disrupted the freestyle events. The program record holder in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle, Freriks collected wins in five of six of her individual events – twice in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.74 and 1:48.44), twice in the 500-yard freestyle (4:46.83 and 4:46.99) and in the 1000-yard freestyle (9:49.15).
The Southeastern Conference titleholder in the 500-yard freestyle, Freriks also helped the Wildcats to a silver showing in the 400-yard freestyle relay, swimming the anchor leg with a 50.76.
“I loved the toughness that Geena Freriks demonstrated,” Jorgensen said. “Our team is gritty and she is a captain. Credit to her in what she did all week. A phenomenal job.”
Junior Asia Seidt matched Freriks’ success, also earning five individual wins in six races – twice in the 100-yard butterfly (53.81 and 53.84), the 100-yard backstroke (53.76), the 200-yard butterfly (1:58.99) and the 200-yard individual medley (1:58.61).
Seidt competed in the 200- and 400-yard medley relays, helping the women to second-place finishes in each of those events.
Also generating momentum for the Wildcats was junior Ali Galyer who stepped up in the 200-yard backstroke not once, but twice. Galyer swept both of the 200-yard backstroke events posting times of 1:54.11 and 1:55.80. In addition, the upperclassman capped the 1-2 sweep in the 200-yard freestyle posting a 1:48.67 behind Freriks.
Senior Courtney Clark made her imprint on the final day, taking the platform discipline by storm. Clark led a 1-2 sweep on the tower, finishing victoriously with a 273.85. Freshman Kyndal Knight filled the second-best slot delivering a 242.35.
Florida native, freshman Mason Wilby earned low marks for the Kentucky men. Son of former Florida swimming and diving head coach, Wilby ran away with a victory in the 200-yard butterfly on day one of the tri meet, recording a 1:46.11. He came up short in the second-day event, but rallied a second-place showing with a 1:47.25.
Junior Peter Wetzlar forced a victorious finish in the 50-yard freestyle, posting a 20.18 Saturday. The Zimbabwean native also took charge in the 200-yard medley relay, swimming the anchor leg with a 19.65 to help Kentucky to second.
In the Wildcats’ next outing, the program will host Louisville on January 26 at 1 p.m. for senior day inside the Lancaster Aquatic Center. The program will celebrate 19 seniors, including two managers.
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