Swimming & Diving
Riley Gaines - Swimming & Diving - University of Kentucky Athletics

RileyGaines

  • position Freestyle/butterfly
  • class Senior
  • Hometown Gallatin, Tenn.
  • Major Health Sciences
  • High school Station Camp High School

Top Times (SCY):
50 Freestyle: 22.52 (Kentucky vs. Louisville, 1/23/21)
100 Freestyle: 47.88 (2022 SEC Championships, 2/19/22)
200 Freestyle: 1:42.62 (2022 SEC Championships, 2/17/22)
200 Butterfly: 1:51.51 (2022 SEC Championships, 2/18/22)

Top Time (LCM):
50 Freestyle: 26.48 (Knoxville Pro Swim Series, 1/18/20)
100 Freestyle: 55.91 (Mizuno Atlanta Classic, 5/16/21)
200 Freestyle: 2:02.54 (2019 Phillips 66 National Championships, 8/1/19)
200 Butterfly: 2:14.18 (Mizuno Atlanta Classic, 5/15/21)
 
Career Notes:

  • 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier
  • 2020*, 2021, 2022 NCAA qualifier
  • 2022 SEC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
  • SEC meet and conference record holder in 200 fly (1:51.51, 2022)
  • 2022 All-America in 200 free; All-America Honorable Mention in 200 fly, 400 medley relay, 800 free relay
  • 2021 All-America in 200 free, 800 free relay; All-America Honorable Mention in 400 medley relay
  • ^2020 All-America in 200 free, 200 fly, 800 free relay
  • 2019 All-America Honorable Mention in 400 medley relay, 400 free relay
  • 2021 NCAA silver medalist in 800 free relay
  • 2022 SEC champion in 200 free, 200 fly; silver medalist in 800 free relay; bronze medalist in 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay
  • 2021 SEC champion in 200 free, 800 free relay; bronze medalist in 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay
  • 2020 SEC silver medalist in 800 free relay
  • 2019 SEC bronze medalist in 800 free relay
  • 2021, 2022 All-SEC First Team
  • 2019, 2020 All-SEC Second Team
  • 2019 SEC All-Freshman Team
  • 2019, 2020, 2021 CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team
  • 2020, 2021, 2022 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll
  • 2019 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll
  • 2021-22 CoSIDA Academic All-District Women’s At-Large Team
  • 2022 Frank G. Ham Society of Character inductee
  • 2022 Sullivan Award recipient
  • 2022 SEC Brad Davis Community Service Award winner
  • 2022 SEC Brad Davis Community Service Leader of the Year

In the Record Book:

  • No. 1 in 100 free (2022), 200 free (2022), 200 fly (2022), 200 medley relay (2021), 400 medley relay (2022), 400 free relay (2019), 800 free relay (2019)
  • No. 4 in 50 free (2021)

2021-22 (Senior): Ended her Wildcat career as one of the most decorated swimmers in program history … Named to the All-SEC First Team … Broke the SEC meet and conference record in the 200 fly (1:51.51) at the SEC Championships en route to earning gold … Successfully defended her gold medal in the 200 free (1:42.62) and also took fourth in the 100 free (47.88) … All three of her individual events at SECs were school records … Earned silver in the 800 free relay with a split of 1:41.92, the fastest in the field … Split 21.67 on the free leg and 51.31 on the fly leg of the bronze-medal 200 and 400 medley relays at SECs … Tied for fifth at the NCAA Championships in the 200 free (1:43.40), also taking 13th in the 200 fly (1:53.67) … Split 41.39 on the third leg of the 13th-place 400 medley relay that broke the school record and 1:42.18 on the ninth-place 800 free relay at NCAAs … Won the 200 free (1:43.81) and 200 fly (1:54.84) at the midseason Ohio State Invitational, also taking second in the 100 free (48.43) … Had 20 individual top-3 finishes during the dual meet season, including 15 wins … Broke the Louisville pool record in the 200 free (1:43.93) during the UK-UofL dual meet … Swept the 50 free (23.06) and 100 free (49.77) in the season-opening tri-meet with Indiana and Indiana State … Won four events in the tri-meet with Auburn and NC State … Took first in the 100 free (49.83) and 200 free (1:46.60) against Tennessee … Named SEC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year … Named SEC Female Co-Swimmer of the Week on Jan. 18 … Concluded the season ranked No. 5 in the 200 fly (1:51.51) and No. 9 in the 200 free (1:42.62) nationally … Owns the 16th-fastest 200 fly time in U.S. history … Named team co-captain for the second year in a row … Won the prestigious Sullivan Award, UK’s highest honor for humanitarian efforts … Kentucky’s female winner for the SEC Brad Davis Community Service Award … Went on to be named the SEC Brad Davis Female Community Service Leader of the Year … Won the Captain’s Award and the Wildcat of the Year Award at the program’s annual award banquet … Named Miss Wildcat at the 2022 CATSPY Awards, also earning an Elite Performance Award for winning two events at SECs … Selected to the 2021-22 CoSIDA Academic All-District Women’s At-Large Team.

2020-21 (Junior): Named to the All-SEC First Team … Won the 200 free in 1:42.70 en route to lowering her own school record at the SEC Championships while also placing fourth in the 200 fly (1:55.10) and sixth in the 100 free (48.21) … Split 1:42.44 on the winning 800 freestyle relay that won UK’s first-ever SEC relay title, anchored the third-place 200 medley relay in 21.58 and the 400 medley relay in 47.30, and split 21.70 on the 200 free relay that took seventh as UK won their first team title in program history … Placed seventh in the 200 free at the NCAA Championships in 1:44.67 and also competed in the 100 free and 200 fly … Split 1:42.81 on the 800 free relay that was the national runner-up at NCAAs, also anchoring the 10th-place 400 medley relay in 48.09 and the 17th-place 200 medley relay in 21.88 … Won the 100 free (48.46), 200 free (1:43.68), and 200 fly (1:56.10) at the Missouri Invitational … Placed first in nine different events throughout the dual meet season, including three wins against Louisville and two versus Tennessee … Earned the Wildcat of the Year of the Award and the Captain’s Award at the program’s annual awards banquet … Named SEC Swimmer of the Week on January 26 … Named to SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll … Named to the CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team.

2019-20 (Sophomore): Named to the All-SEC Second Team … Responsible for 44 individual points at the 2020 SEC Championships … Finished in 10th place in the 200 butterfly in 1:55.53, a career best, at the SEC Championships … Finished in 11th place in the 200 freestyle in 1:44.76, a career best, at the SEC Championships … Finished in 16th place in the 100 freestyle in 49.11 at the SEC Championships, after earning a career-best 49.07 in preliminaries … She also helped the 800 freestyle relay to a silver finish and NCAA “A” cut, swimming the anchor leg in 1:43.47 … She also set a career best while swimming the lead leg in the 200 freestyle relay, touching the wall in 22.87 … Qualified for the 2020 NCAA Championships in the 200 freestyle and the 200 butterfly … Earned the Most Improved Swimmer award at the program’s annual awards banquet … Named to the 2020 CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team … Named to the 2020 SEC Academic Honor Roll.
 

2018-19 (Freshman): Named to the All-SEC Second Team and SEC All-Freshman Team … Earned a bronze medal in the 800 free relay at the SEC Championships on a time of 6:56.23 … Helped score points in the 200 free relay at the SEC Championships (11th, 1:30.81), swimming the lead leg on a split time of 23.12 … Joined the NCAA Championships team as a relay alternate … Became a two-time All-America Honorable Mention in the 400 medley relay (15th, 3:32.24) and the 400 free relay (15th, 3:14.59) … Received the Freshman Award at the end of year banquet … Named to CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team … Named to SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll.

Prior to UK: No. 98 recruit in the class of 2018 … No. 2 recruit out of Tennessee … Seven-time Tennessee State Champion, including a four-year sweep of the 100-yard fly and three titles in the 100 free … 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100 free … All-American and Scholastic All-American … Also swam for Excel Aquatics Club Team … Played softball and won the Little League World Series.

Personal: 
Parents are Brad and Telisha Gaines … Mother played softball at Austin Peay and father played football at Vanderbilt … Has three siblings – Taylor, Bradford and Neely.

*The NCAA Championships were canceled because of the COVID-19 public-health threat.
^The CSCAA board adjusted the All-America selection criteria to recognize a group of individuals who would have had the opportunity to compete for All-America status at the canceled 2020 NCAA Championships.

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