Men's Swimming & Diving
Kentucky Set to Host No. 18/19 Alabama for Two-Day Dual

Kentucky Set to Host No. 18/19 Alabama for Two-Day Dual

by Greg Welsh

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky swimming & diving kicks off the 2024 calendar year with a two-day dual meet against No. 18/19 Alabama this Friday and Saturday at the Lancaster Aquatic Center.

The meet will be broken into three parts, the first of which will start Friday at 10 a.m. This will be followed by a Friday evening session at 5 p.m. and a Saturday morning finale at 9 a.m.

Admission to the Lancaster Aquatic Center will be free to the public. Fans can park for free in the green lot at Kroger Field or pay to access parking structure seven. Live results will be available on the Meet Mobile app.

With the 2024 SEC Championships just over a month away, the Wildcats begin their runup to the postseason by hosting the Crimson Tide for what will be the first dual matchup between the two schools since December of 2020.

Sophomore Ryan Merani has been one of Kentucky’s top swimmers this season. Merani currently ranks second in the SEC, and 22nd in the nation, in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:43.28. He is also inside the top 50 in the 400 IM, ranking 45th at 3:47.17. Merani leads the team with three NCAA “B-Cuts” this season.

On the women’s side, three Wildcats own top-50 times in the nation this season. Grace Frericks holds the 33rd fastest 200 backstroke time in the country at 1:54.73, placing the sophomore 10th among SEC swimmers. She is joined by senior Torie Buerger, who is 48th overall in the 100 backstroke (52.79), and junior Caroline Benda, who ranks 50th in the 1650 freestyle (16:26.55).

Making his return from injury, 2023 SEC Champion Levi Sandidge is slated to compete for the Wildcats this weekend for the first time since their dual meet against Indiana back on Oct. 4.

UK enters the meet with 16 NCAA “B-Cuts” on the season thus far, 10 from the women and six from the men, and 10 NCAA zone standards in diving.

Alabama returns eight All-Americans from the 2022-23 season, five women and three men. Diana Petkova, Emily Jones, Kailyn Winter, Avery Wiseman and Louisville transfer, Liberty Williams comprise the group of past women to earn All-American honors, while Kaique Alves, Charlie Hawke (2023 SEC 200 Freestyle Champion) and Tim Korstanje represent the men.

The complete event schedule for the weekend can be seen below.


Session 1 – Friday @ 10 a.m.

  • 200 Medley Relay
  • 500 Freestyle
  • 200 IM
  • 50 Freestyle

Session 2 – Friday @ 5 p.m.

  • Men’s 1-meter diving
  • Women’s 3-meter diving
  • 400 IM
  • 100 Butterfly
  • 200 Freestyle
  • 100 Breaststroke
  • 100 Backstroke

Session 3 – Saturday @ 9 a.m.

  • Men’s 3-meter diving
  • Women’s 1-meter diving
  • 1650 Freestyle
  • 200 Backstroke
  • 100 Freestyle
  • 200 Breaststroke
  • 200 Butterfly
  • 400 Freestyle Relay

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

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