Swimming & Diving
Swim & Dive Rearranges Record Book in Dual Loss at Louisville

Swim & Dive Rearranges Record Book in Dual Loss at Louisville

by Greg Welsh

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky swimming & diving posted five program top-ten times and won four events as the Wildcats dropped a Saturday dual meet to No. 8/15 Louisville at the Ralph Wright Natatorium on Saturday. Final scores finished in favor of the Cardinals, 210-90 on the women’s side and 209.5-88.5 for the men.

Ryan Merani, the Co-SEC Swimmer of the Week earlier this month, continued his impressive sophomore season winning the 200 butterfly and 200 IM, while also posting new program top-ten swims in the 100 and 200 fly. Merani, who previously sat at fourth in program history in the 200 butterfly, surged to second all-time by clocking a blistering 1:42.50. He now trails only Mason Wilby in the event at UK. In his other individual events, Merani placed first in the 200 IM and second in the 100 fly. The Lutherville Timonium, Maryland native came from behind in the 200 IM’s final leg to edge Louisville’s Jackson Millard, before also throwing down the eighth fastest 100 fly in program history at 47.27. Merani’s 22 points scored were the most of the day for the Wildcats, and matched Louisville’s Millard and Christiana Regenauer for the most at the meet overall.

Freshman Carson Hick was another notable performer, becoming just the third Wildcat ever to go sub-nine minutes in the 1000 freestyle with his swim of 8:58.01. Fellow freshman Lance Johnson continued to improve his breaststroke marks, climbing to eighth on the program’s all-time list with a time of 1:58.24 in the 200 breast.

For the women, Grace Frericks was UK’s high scorer, notching 12 points behind her victory in the 200 backstroke. It marked the second-straight dual in which Frericks has won the event, after the sophomore also finished first in the race against Alabama. Caroline Benda improved her career-best in the 1000 freestyle, taking first in the event at 9:45.40, good for fourth in program history. Teammate Megan Drumm touched second, securing the only one-two finish of the day for the Cats with her time of 9:53.81.

In the women’s 200 butterfly, senior Anna Havens Rice clocked a new NCAA B-Standard at 1:57.60, placing her second in the event.

On the boards, Sam Duncan continued his winning ways on the men’s 1-meter springboard with a score of 3:18.83, while Abby Devereaux was second on both springboards for the women with scores of 301.88 (3-meter) and 290.63 (1-meter).

UK will host Cincinnati for its final dual meet of the 2023-24 season next Friday, February 2 at 4 p.m. The meet will serve as Senior Day for the Wildcats at the Lancaster Aquatic Center with a senior ceremony to precede the competition.

Kentucky Event Winners:

  • Caroline Benda: 1000 Free (9:45.40)
  • Ryan Merani: 200 Fly (1:42.50), 200 IM
  • Grace Frericks: 200 Back (1:53.77)
  • Sam Duncan: 1-Meter Diving (318.83)

New NCAA B-Standards:

  • Anna Havens Rice: 200 Fly (1:57.60)

Top-10 Times in Program History:

  • 2nd – Ryan Merani: 200 Butterfly (1:42.50)
  • 3rd – Carson Hick: 1000 Freestyle (8:58.01)
  • 4th – Caroline Benda: 1000 Freestyle (9:45.40)
  • 8th – Lance Johnson: 200 Breast (1:58.24)
  • 8th – Ryan Merani: 100 Butterfly (47.27)

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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