Freriks Collected Bronze and Reset Her Own School Record
ATHENS, Ga. – Another school record snapped Wednesday at the 2019 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championship in Athens, Georgia, and the UK men capped the night earning an NCAA “A” cut time in the 200 freestyle relay.
Former titleholder in the 500 freestyle, senior Geena Freriks set the standard for Kentucky early in day two when she earned a podium finish in the first individual finals event of the meet.
Senior Freriks, a native of Norwalk, Ohio, finished third in the conference in the 500 freestyle with a 4:37.04, which reset the school record that she set at the 2018 conference championship (4:37.20) to earn gold.
Sophomore Bailey Bonnett and junior Asia Seidt both had impressive swims in the 200 IM. Bonnett swam in the “C” final, posting a 1:57.22. The swim reset her personal best and moved up one spot to place second in UK’s all-time performance list.
Meanwhile, Seidt won the “B” final by over one full second, posting a remarkable 1:54.39. The junior is the school-record holder in the 200 IM, logging a 1:53.04 in the 2018 conference meet.
Junior Glen Brown, who also holds the school record in the 200 IM, earned the eighth seed in the “A” finals after his preliminary swim, but finished in the sixth overall spot with a stunning 1:44.35. It was only .19 shy of his school record.
The men’s troop rallied rewarding swims in the 50 freestyle, both in the preliminary bout and the final bout. Three Wildcats set career bests in the preliminary heats to move on to finals – junior Peter Wetzlar and junior John Mitchell in the “B” final and junior Jason Head in the “C” final.
Wetzlar, who before the meet was the only current member to hold a 50 freestyle time on the program’s top-10 all-time performance list, touched the pad with a 19.49 to become the fourth fastest Wildcat in the event in school history. Mitchell posted a 19.62 in the preliminary round, while Head recorded a 19.92.
However, Mitchell and Head reset their career bests once more during finals Wednesday. Mitchell posted a 19.55 that is the fifth fastest on the performance list to find 12th place. Head rallied a 19.81 to earn 20th overall and is only .02 away from becoming the 10th fastest Wildcat in the event. Wetzlar, a native of Zimbabwe, posted a 19.53 in the finals to top the Wildcats for 11th place.
The UK women did not have competitors in the 50 freestyle finals.
The men’s troop capped the day on a high note, forcing a 1:17.41 in the 200 freestyle relay, an NCAA “A” cut time. The charge was led by Mitchell (19.65), then Wetzlar in the second leg (19.11), followed by senior David Dingess (19.43) and anchored by Head (19.22). It is the men’s first “A” cut of the meet, but Kentucky’s second after the UK women saw one Tuesday in the 800 freestyle relay.
In the diving division, Kentucky earned two of the eight spots in the 1M finals. Freshman Kyndal Knight reset her career best this morning, posting a 310.00 to claim third. In addition, Kailey Francetic earned seventh place with a 283.80. In finals, Knight ultimately collected sixth place with a score of 305.20, while Francetic remained seventh on a 282.95 mark. Both Wildcats provided valuable points to the women’s team total.
While it is Knight’s first conference meet, the finals showing marked a first for both Knight and Francetic in the SEC Championship.
The meet will resume Thursday with the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle and men’s 3M. The swimming preliminary division will begin at 10 a.m., while the preliminary diving division will start at 12:30 p.m. The swimming and diving finals will commence at 6 p.m.
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.
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.
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.
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.