Swimming & Diving Begins 2023 SEC Championships on Tuesday
COLLEGE STATION, Texas. – Kentucky swimming & diving joins the rest of the SEC conference for the 2023 SEC Championships, Feb. 14-18 at the Rec Center Natatorium on the Campus of Texas A&M University.
Schedules, streaming, results, spectator info and more can be found here on the 2023 SEC Swimming & Diving meet central page.
The Kentucky women enter the meet ranked 10th in the nation by the CSCAA, the fourth highest ranking in the SEC, while the men are looking to improve upon their eighth-place finish at the 2022 Championships.
Last season, Kentucky earned 15 medals collectively at SECs (three gold, three silver and nine bronze), while setting 10 school records, one conference record and 10 NCAA A-cut times.
On the women’s side, Kentucky brings back 15 of its 21 point earners and 534 of 807 individual points from last season’s squad. The Wildcats roster features five past SEC Champions including, Gillian Davey (2022, 200 breast), Kyndal Knight (2020, 3-meter diving), Lauren Poole (2021, 400 IM), Izzy Gati (2021, 800 free relay) and Kaitlynn Wheeler (2021, 800 free relay). Seniors Caitlin Brooks and Beth McNeese also have SEC medals already to their names and will look to add to their count at this season’s championship.
For the men, 2022 All-American Mason Wilby leads the charge, back for his final SECs after setting a team-high three school records at last season’s championships and earning two bronze medals (200 fly, 800 free relay). Junior Max Berg and sophomore Victor Martin Roig were also a part of last year’s medal-winning relay and join Wilby as past men’s medalists to swim at this year’s meet. Overall, the UK men bring back 219 of 394 individual points, paced by Berg and Zane Rosely, who tied for the team lead a season ago with 43 points apiece.
Thus far this season, the Kentucky women have gone 3-3 in dual meets, winning three-straight after starting the year 0-3, including a pair of wins against top-10 opponents in Georgia and Louisville. The UK women also posted a third-place finish at the Ohio State Invitational in the fall. Knight has won three SEC Diver of the Week awards, while Davey earned Swimmer of the Week in early December and Lydia Hanlon was dubbed Freshman of the Week back on Jan. 24.
The UK men finished the dual meet season at 1-5, their lone victory coming it its final dual meet of the year at Cincinnati. The Cats placed fifth among 11 teams at the Ohio State Invitational and have earned two SEC Freshman of the Week awards – one by Levi Sandidge and one by Ryan Merani. Diver Sam Duncan also was tabbed SEC Diver of the Week for the first time in his collegiate career on Jan. 31.
Kentucky boasts a myriad of swimmers ranked inside the top-ten in the SEC in their respective events heading into this year’s championships.
On the women’s side Kaitlynn Wheeler (seventh) and Izzy Gati (ninth) are both amongst the tops in the conference in the 200 free, while Wheeler (third), Beth McNeese (seventh) and Gati (tenth) are all in the top-ten in the 500 free. In backstroke, Caitlin Brooks ranks sixth and fourth in the 100 and 200 back respectively, while Hanlon is third in the 200 back. Among breaststrokers, Denise Phelan (eighth) and Bridget Engel (tenth) represent UK in the 100 breast, while Davey (fourth) and Engel (sixth) are among the leaders in the 200 breast. Poole comes in at second in the conference in both the 200 and 400 IMs, while Davey holds the third-fastest time in the conference in the 400 IM. Kentucky’s 800 freestyle relay also ranks second in the SEC this season with a top-time of 7:06.18.
For the men, Sandidge holds the SEC’s fourth fastest 1650 free time this season, while Wilby is second in the 200 butterfly.