Gaines Resets School Record, Leads No. 10 Kentucky Women’s Swimming & Diving Past No. 19 Louisville
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the fourth straight year, the Kentucky women’s swimming and diving program posted a dominant performance over a ranked Louisville camp, as No. 10 Kentucky defeated No. 19 Louisville at the Lancaster Aquatic Center on Saturday afternoon, 200.5-99.5. The final score marked UK’s largest triumph over UofL in the Lars Jorgensen era, as the team won 13 of 16 possible events.
The RV Kentucky men’s team lost to a dominant No. 8 Louisville men’s team, 188-111, winning five of 16 possible events.
Riley Gaines paced the women’s team in the pool on Saturday afternoon, winning all four of her events – one relay event (200 med-r) and three individual events (50, 100, 200 fr).
In the process, the junior reset the school record in the 100 freestyle race, touching the wall in a swift 48.42, which also ranks as the eighth-fastest time in the nation to date. Her time in the event is .04 faster than her previous career best and school record (48.46), which she recorded at the Mizzou Invitational in mid-November.
Gaines, a Nashville, Tennessee, native, also recorded a personal best in the 50 freestyle, earning a mark of 22.52. It beats her previous personal record by more than two-tenths of a second, which allowed her to advance five spots in the women’s all-time top-10 performance list, sitting in fourth.
First Place Finishes
|Beth McNeese||1,000 Freestyle||9:45.79|
|Jakob Clark||500 Freestyle||4:24.32|
|Riley Gaines||50 Freestyle||22.52|
|Caitlin Brooks||100 Backstroke||51.99|
|Izzy Gati||200 Butterfly||1:54.25|
|Kyndal Knight||1-Meter Springboard||310.35|
|Chase Lane||1-Meter Springboard||348.68|
|Danny Zhang||3-Meter Springboard||414.45|
|Sophie Sorenson||200 Backstroke||1:52.63|
|Gillian Davey||200 Breaststroke||2:07.67|
|Kaylee Williams||500 Freestyle||4:44.77|
|Lauren Poole||200 Individual Medley||1:57.01|
|Mason Wilby||200 Individual Medley||1:46.80|
The diving squad dominated the dual meet, earning the top score in each event – men’s and women’s 1- and 3-meter springboard.
Kyndal Knight, the reigning SEC Champion on 3m, swept the women’s events, winning both springboards. On 1m, Knight scored 310.35 points, less than four points off her career high and sixth-best score in school records (313.60). On 3m, the junior rallied 333.60 points, her third-best score on the board this season, but still more than 20 points off her personal record (355.58), which she recorded at then-No. 11 Alabama in mid-December.
Knight has won first place 10 out of 12 times this season, and she has earned first or second place 11 out of 12 times this season. The North Carolina native has won four of five appearances on the 1- and 3-meter springboards, respectively, and she has won two of two appearances on platform, meanwhile, she has competed against top talent in the nation including Alabama, Louisville, Missouri and Tennessee. Knight concluded the regular season having reset her career best on every discipline this season.
Jakob Clark had a phenomenal meet, beginning with the first individual race. The sophomore earned a career best in the 1,000 freestyle for the second straight meet, this time touching the wall in 9:01.99. He came into No. 11 Tennessee last week with a career best of 9:11.94, but snapped the personal record in 9:10.20 in Knoxville. This time, Clark rallied a time of 9:01.99, nearly ten full seconds faster than he has ever swum the event.
In the process of earning first place with his time, Clark also recorded the 13th-fastest time in the nation.
Proving their depth and versatility, the women’s team had six different swimmers earn first place on a time that was either a season best or career best that also ranks in the nation’s top-12 times to date. Those Wildcats and events include:
Beth McNeese (1,000 freestyle, 9:45.79, 3rd in the nation)
Izzy Gati (200 butterfly, 1:54.25, seventh in the nation)
Riley Gaines (100 freestyle, 48.42, eighth in the nation)
Sophie Sorenson (200 backstroke, 1:52.63, ninth in the nation)
Gillian Davey (200 breaststroke, 2:07.67, 10th in the nation)
Lauren Poole (200 IM, 1:57.01, 12th in the nation)
Once again, Chase Lane and Danny Zhang went tit-for-tat on the springboards, splitting the top finishes. Lane finished victoriously on the 1-meter springboard with 348.68 points, while Zhang finished victoriously on the 3-meter spring with 414.45.
To conclude the regular season, Lane has earned first or second place seven times in nine total events, while Zhang has earned first or second place 10 times in 12 total events. Meanwhile, the diving group has competed against Alabama, Louisville, Missouri and Tennessee on the boards this season.
Kentucky swimming and diving won’t take the pool again until mid-February, when the women’s team and the diving squad compete in the 2021 Southeastern Conference Championship in Athens, Georgia, and Columbia, Missouri, respectively, February 17-20. Following that, the men’s team will compete in Columbia, Missouri, February 24-27.
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.