No. 25/13 Kentucky Swimming & Diving Set for Southeastern Conference Championships
AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 25/13 University of Kentucky men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are primed for the 2020 Southeastern Conference Championships in Auburn, Alabama, Feb. 18-22. The pair of teams bring a decorated list of athletes to the league meet, including six returning medalists and seven athletes ranked in the nation’s top 10 in one or more of their respected events.
“We are excited for the SEC Championships in Auburn, Alabama,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “It marks the first meet of championship season. It’s always a fun event for our entire team, and we look forward to starting the meet on a good note this Tuesday.”
One of the nation’s fastest swimmers and the most decorated athlete in program laurels will compete at the conference meet for the last time in her career, as four-time gold medalist Asia Seidt hopes to build on her accomplished track record at the conference meet.
The Louisville, Kentucky, native has rattled the national rankings this season. She currently holds the third-fastest time in the nation in the 200-yard backstroke (1:50.85), the eighth-fastest time in the nation in the 100-yard backstroke (51.58) and the eighth-fastest time in the nation in the 200-yard individual medley (1:55.62).
The backstroke expert is the three-time defending conference champion in the 200-yard backstroke (2017-19), also owning a gold medal in the 100-yard backstroke (2018). She will compete in both of those individual events again this season, alongside the 200-yard individual medley and three team relays.
“Going into the SEC Championships, I think I’m most excited for our relay teams,” Seidt said. “We have a good shot of winning a couple, and to be with my teammates and win a gold medal would be really cool.
“It’s my last SEC Championships, and I think I’m looking forward to going into my individual events and seeing what I can do. I am probably most excited for the 200-yard backstroke because Backstroke U has been training incredibly well. To see what we can do in the A final is going to be awesome.”
While Kentucky has a rich history of winning individual gold medals at the SEC Championships, its never had a relay team finish in first place. Two women’s relays have a chance of filling that void this week, boasting a pair of relay times that rank in the nation’s top-10 performances this season.
Checking in at sixth in the nation, Caitlin Brooks, Bailey Bonnett, Asia Seidt and Ali Galyer recorded a time of 3:31.67 in the 400-yard medley relay last November. Also ranked sixth in the nation, Seidt, Beth McNeese, Riley Gaines and Galyer reported a time of 7:01.40 in the 800-yard freestyle, also recorded last November.
The UK women’s team earned bronze finishes in each of those events at the conference championships in 2019.
The men will return two medalists to the meet, both divers, including Chase Lane and Danny Zhang.
Lane forced a silver medal on platform last season, earning a career score of 424.65. Still to this date, it is the second-best score recorded on platform in program history. Zhang was rewarded a bronze medal for his performance on the 3-meter springboard, scoring a career score of 439.50, also the second-best score on that discipline in program history.
Both squads have had unmatched team success at the league meet in recent years. The women’s team have earned third place in two of the last three years (2017, 2019), including last season, which featured nine medal performances. En route to third place last season, the team collected 927.5 points, the second-best score in point performance in program records.
The men’s team have improved in points and finish in each of its last three appearances at the league meet. That trend began in 2017, as the men’s team earned 481.5 points for 10th place. In 2018, the men’s team earned 575.5 points for ninth place. It was last season when the squad made its largest improvement, collecting 672 points for seventh place.
Live scoring will be available on the Meet Mobile app and on DiveMeets.com. The full schedule can be found here.
The format is a common-site men’s and women’s event, with each meet scored separately. Each institution may enter one relay team per relay event. For preliminaries and finals, all eight lanes will be used. During finals there shall be three heats of eight swimmers each swum in the following order; C-B-A. In diving, only the top-eight divers from preliminaries will advance to the finals. Places nine through 24 will be determined based upon the results of the preliminaries. The NCAA 24-place scoring system shall be used.
XOS will be on site for the SEC Swimming & Diving Championships. Below is their information in which media can access SEC footage. The SEC will provide highlights and interviews for the 2020 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships.
Support number: (407) 404-5653 (Dave Wilson)
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.