Men's Swimming & Diving
Poole Adds Silver Medal, Merani Breaks School Record on Night Three in College Station

Poole Adds Silver Medal, Merani Breaks School Record on Night Three in College Station

by Greg Welsh

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 10 ranked Kentucky women surged into third place, while the UK men picked up ground on the field, as UK Swimming & Diving concluded night three at the 2023 SEC Championships on Thursday at the Rec Center Natatorium.

Aided by senior Lauren Poole’s second medal in as many nights, the Kentucky women climbed from sixth to third in the women’s competition with a score of 452. The men sit in ninth at 162, just four and a half points out of eighth.

The women’s 400 IM was first on the docket, an event which featured six Wildcats in the top-two final heats. For the third straight-year, Poole found herself on the podium in the 400 IM, securing silver with a time of 4:04.62. Also swimming in the “A-Final”, senior Gillian Davey delivered a 4:09.21 to take sixth for the Wildcats. Anna Havens Rice (11th), Denise Phelan (14th) and Caroline Benda (15th) picked up valuable points for Kentucky in the “B-Final”, giving the Cats five swimmers in the top-15.

In the opening men’s event of the night, freshman Ryan Merani continued his impressive meet with a program record swim of 3:42.19, winning the “B final” of the 400 IM. Zane Rosely was UK’s lone “A-final” participant and placed eighth, while Levi Sandidge managed a personal best of 3:46.79 to move into eighth on the UK all-time top 10.

Caitlin Brooks and Lydia Hanlon represented the Cats in the 100-fly “C-final”, combining to score 12 points. Hanlon’s time of 52.94 was a new personal-best for the freshman in what was her first individual event at SECs.

The women’s 200 freestyle “A-final”, saw teammates Izzy Gati and Kaitlynn Wheeler place seventh and eighth, respectively. Gati posted a swim of 1:44.97, while Kaitlynn Wheeler finished with a personal-best 1:45.18 in her second “A-final” in as many nights.

In the first SEC “A-final” of his career, Max Berg raced to a 1:33.00 in the men’s 200 freestyle, good for fourth place. In the “C-final” Victor Martin Roig clocked a new PR at 1:34.68, bringing the sophomore into fifth all-time in the event at Kentucky.

The 2023 SEC Championships resume tomorrow for the penultimate day of competition. Events to be contested include the 200 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, women’s platform diving and the 400 MR.

Medal Count: 2

Bronze (1)

  • Lauren Poole, Women’s 200 IM (1:55.12)

Silver (1)

  • Lauren Poole, Women’s 400 IM (4:04.62)

 UK School Record Count: 2

  • Max Berg, Men’s 200 Free (1:32.67)
  • Ryan Merani, Men’s 400 IM (3:42.19)

Personal Best Count: 44

For the latest on UK Swim & Dive, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKSwimDive, and on Facebook at Kentucky Swimming and Diving.

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