Kentucky Hauls in 13 All-Southeastern Conference Team Honors
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Bolstered by its first women’s conference championship in program history, the Kentucky men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams had 13 athletes and two coaches recognized on All-Southeastern Conference teams.
Head coach Lars Jorgensen was honored as the women’s swimming coach of the year after directing the women to the title, while head diving coach Ted Hautau captured men’s diving coach of the year accolades. It is the first such honor of Jorgensen’s career, while Hautau claimed his second honor but first on the men’s side. He was the women’s diving coach of the year in 2015.
For the women, juniors Riley Gaines, Izzy Gati and Sophie Sorenson and sophomores Lauren Poole and Kaitlynn Wheeler were tabbed first-team selections. Senior Bailey Bonnett, sophomores Caitlin Brooks and Gillian Davey and junior Kyndal Knight were named to the second team and Torie Buerger was an All-SEC Freshman team honoree.
Junior Danny Zhang earned second-team recognition and Sam Duncan and Zane Rosely logged freshman team honors on the men’s side.
The first team is comprised of the top finisher in each event at the SEC Championships, while the second team consists of the second- and third-place finishers in each event. The All-Freshman Team is awarded to any redshirt or true freshman who finished either in the top eight or is the highest-scoring freshman of each event, excluding relay events.
“This is a reflection on our entire staff and our entire team. I’m excited to share this award with them,” Jorgensen said. “We are fortunate to have such a hard-working and together squad. I want to also congratulate Ted because he does a phenomenal job, and this is a well-deserved honor because our men really dove well this year. I’m really happy for all of our athletes who have been recognized and I’m excited for next season which should be even better than this one.”
Gaines, Gati, Sorenson and Wheeler teamed up for a win in the 800-freestyle relay in a time of 6:58.58 to earn first-team selection. It was the first ever win for the Wildcats in that event. At the time it was the fastest time in the nation and was an automatic NCAA qualifying time. Gati led the foursome at 1:45.22, followed by Gaines in 1:42.44 and Wheeler in 1:45.15. Sorenson anchored in a time of 1:45.78.
Bonnett and Brooks joined Gati and Gaines for a bronze finish in the 200-medley relay. The quartet finished in a time of 1:35.87 which broke a school record and also earned qualification to the NCAA Championships. Brooks took the backstroke leg in 23.92, followed by Bonnett in the breaststroke at 27.26. Gati swam the butterfly leg in 23.11 and Gaines anchored the freestyle portion in 21.58. The same group also earned bronze in the 400-medley relay.
Gaines won a gold medal as an individual. She earned a podium finish in the 200 freestyle with a 1:42.70 time. It topped her own school record, was the second-fastest time in the country and an NCAA Championship “A” cut standard.
Poole captured the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:03.90. At the time it was the second-fastest time in the nation, a school record and an NCAA qualifier. Davey tapped in second right behind Poole with a clip of 4:05.96. Her time was the sixth-fastest mark in the country.
Sorenson and Brooks combined for a 2-3 finish in the 200 backstroke. Sorenson logged a 1:50.94 in her second-place finish in the event which ranked as the fourth-fastest time in program history. Brooks followed her pace and earned bronze with 1:51.96 time. Brooks also claimed bronze in the 100 backstroke. She earned a time of 51.63 in that event.
Davey broke the school record in the 200 breaststroke on a time of 2:05.59. With that mark, she earned a silver medal and an NCAA “A” time standard.
Gati placed third in the 100 butterfly for an individual podium finish. She tapped in with a clip of 51.74.
Knight finished in third place for a bronze in the platform diving event. She logged an overall score of 275.65.
Buerger was the top freshman finisher in the 200 backstroke. She placed 13th overall with a time of 1:56.23.
Zhang claimed silver on the platform and bronze on the 3-meter springboard. He notched a 403.20 score on the platform and a 415.05 on springboard.
Rosely placed ninth in the 400-individual medley with a time of 3:44.84 as the league’s top-performing freshman in the event. Duncan finished 11th on the 3-meter springboard with a mark 302.20.
The list of the Kentucky swimmers and divers receiving conference awards are as follows:
SEC Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year: Lars Jorgensen
SEC Men’s Diving Coach of the Year: Ted Hautau
Women’s All-SEC Honors
Gold: 800 freestyle relay; 200 freestyle
Bronze: 400 medley relay
Gold: 800 freestyle relay
Bronze: 200 medley relay; 100 butterfly; 400 medley relay
Gold: 400 individual medley
Gold: 800 freestyle relay
Silver: 200 backstroke
Gold: 800 freestyle relay
Bronze: 200 medley relay; 400 medley relay
Bronze: 200 medley relay; 400 medley relay; 100 backstroke; 200 backstroke
Silver: 400 individual medley; 200 breaststroke
Bronze: Platform diving
Men’s All-SEC Honors
Silver: Platform diving
Bronze: 3-Meter springboard
400 individual medley
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