Swimming & Diving

Kentucky Set for Swimming and Diving Conference Championship

by Cami Moore

ATHENS, Ga. – The stage is set for the 2019 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championship, and Kentucky is primed for the occasion. The meet will run Tuesday through Saturday at Gabrielsen Natatorium on the Georgia campus in Athens, Georgia.
 
Fourteen ranked teams will headline the meet, which is one of only two Division I conference championships in the nation that hosts a coed championship.
 
“We’re really excited to be going to the SEC Championship,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “It is a fantastic meet. Our goal this week is to compete extremely well every day, and we’d really like to see that more people earn qualifying marks for the NCAA Championship.”
 
Twelve league schools will be represented in the meet, with seven women’s teams ranked in the CSCAA Top 25 – including No. 14 Kentucky – and seven men’s teams ranked in the CSCAA Top 25.
 
In pursuit of a successful week for both Kentucky squads, the women will compete with 20 athletes, while the men will travel with 21 athletes. Each roster includes three divers.
 
Competition will officially begin Tuesday with a unique schedule. The men’s 1-meter preliminaries and finals and the women’s 3-meter preliminaries and finals will inaugurate the diving competition Tuesday. The swimming division will also commence with two relays – the men’s and women’s 200 Medley Relay and the 800 Free Relay.
 
Wednesday through Saturday will follow a similar format, with preliminary swim events hosted at 10 a.m. each day, and finals swimming and diving events slated for 6 p.m. each day. Diving preliminaries are sandwiched in between, at 12:30 p.m. throughout the week.
 
Tuesday is the only day that that the diving competition will feature both male and female events. Thereafter, Wednesday and Friday are reserved for women, while Thursday and Saturday will highlight the men.
 
A full schedule of the championship is on Meet Central.
 
Spectators can enjoy two free options to keep up with the meet. Each day, SEC Network Plus will air preliminary and finals events, with the exception of preliminary bouts on Friday and Saturday. The programming is also available on the Watch ESPN app. A complete list of the TV programming schedule is on Meet Central.  
 
Live results is also an available option.
 
The No. 14 Kentucky women, who reached as high as No. 10 in the CSCAA Top 25 in January, formed a 6-3 record in the regular season. The troop has found recent success in the SEC Championship, earning third in 2017 and fourth in 2018. The bronze showing two years ago tied the highest rank Kentucky has earned in the league meet, finishing third one other time in 1999. While the squad hopes to match the success they have found in the past two years, their priority will be to collect more NCAA consideration and qualifying times.
 
In the process of crafting two historic seasons at the SEC Championship in the last two years, two returning Wildcats racked up a combined five individual championships.
 
Kentucky junior Asia Seidt, a native of Louisville, has three crowns. She is the two-time defending SEC Champion in the 200 Backstroke reporting wins in 2017 and 2018. Seidt added the 100 Backstroke to her resume claiming the title in 2018.  Senior Geena Freriks won the 200 Freestyle in 2017 and the 500 Freestyle in 2018. Each of Freriks’ championship swims hold the school record.
 
While Seidt holds the school records in the 100 Backstroke and 200 Backstroke, only the 100 Backstroke record came from her swim in the 2018 SEC Championship.
 
The men have found unmatched success this season than any other team in the Jorgensen era. Crafting a 5-3 record, it was the fewest losses the Wildcats’ allowed since their 7-3 mark in 2005-06. The Kentucky men earned victories over Notre Dame, LSU, Missouri, Louisville and Cincinnati, with their most praised win coming over No. 8 UofL. It was the first time the Kentucky men defeated the Cardinals in 12 years, since fall 2007.
 
In the midst of an improving season, the UK men also entered the CSCAA Top 25 for the first time in Jorgensen’s era, claiming No. 23 and No. 25 for most of November through January. After straight wins over Louisville and Cincinnati to end the season, Kentucky is currently receiving the most votes by the CSCAA.
 
This week, swimmers can compete in three individual races and four relays. For the swimming division, only the top 24 swimmers from the preliminary competition will advance to finals, for three heats of eight swimmers. Seed times decide lane assignments for the preliminary bout, while preliminary times decide lane assignments for finals.
 
For the diving division, only the top eight divers will advance to finals.
 
PARKING
Spectator may park in the East Campus Parking Deck, which is located in front of the Ramsey Center. The daily fee to park is $5.00 with in and out privileges.
 
TICKETS
All seats to the championship will be reserved. Tickets can be purchased by calling the UGA Ticket Office at (877) 542-1231. Ticket prices are as follows:
 
All-session pass (good for all sessions each day) $110 (adult) $50 (student)
Preliminary pass (good for one morning session) $10 (adult) $5 (student)
Finals pass (good for one evening session) $15 (adult) $10 (student)
 
CLEAR BAG POLICY
University of Georgia Athletics Association has adopted a clear bag policy for the safety of all in attendance. This will not apply to working with the need for bags and team personnel. Those bags may not be subject to search. All fans will be held to the clear bag policy. A complete list of prohibited items is available at GeorgiaDogs.com.
 
For the latest on the Kentucky swimming and diving program, follow @UKSwimDive on Twitter and on Instagram, on Facebook and on the web at UKathletics.com
 
 

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