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Wildcats to Represent UK at NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships

uk swim dive3 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (3/19/14) — Four University of Kentucky swimmers and divers will compete at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis, Minn., March 20 - 22.

Junior diver Christa Cabot and junior swimmer Christina Bechtel will make their second NCAA appearance, while junior Abby Myers and freshman Danielle Galyer are swimming at the NCAA Championships for the first time.

Bechtel will race in the 100 and 200 yard butterfly event. Myers will join Bechtel in the 200 butterfly, while Galyer will compete in the 200 backstroke. Cabot will compete in all three diving events, the 1- and 3-meter springboard and the platform.

“This is a great opportunity for Christina, Christa, Abby and Danielle to represent UK,” Kentucky head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “I’m really proud of how much all of them have improved throughout the year and I think all four have a chance of scoring, which is our goal. Last year Christina and Christa were our only NCAA qualifiers, so it’s nice to have more of a contingent this year representing the Wildcats. We are excited about going and competing well against the nation’s best.”

Bechtel enters the championships seeded fifth nationally in the 100 fly and eighth in the 200. She broke the school record in both events this year, with a 51.36 in the 100 and a 1:54.21 in the 200. Myers, seeded 36th in the 200, is second in the UK record books with a 1:56.59.

Galyer is seeded 35th in the 200 backstroke. Her time of 1:54.88, set at the SEC Championships in February, is a UK record.

Last year, Bechtel and Cabot were UK’s lone representatives, in the 100 butterfly and all three diving events, respectively.

The three-day competition begins Thursday. Each day, prelims will begin at noon ET, while the finals, which will feature the top 16 finishers in the prelims, commence at 8 p.m. Cabot will compete each day, with the 1-meter Thursday, followed by the 3-meter Friday and the platform Saturday. Bechtel will race in the 100 butterfly Thursday and join Myers in the 200 butterfly Friday. Galyer will conclude UK’s weekend Saturday in the 200 backstroke.

Fans can follow along with all the action from the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center with live results and video, all available at GopherSports.com. Additional updates can be found at @UKSwimDive, the official Twitter account of the UK swimming and diving program.

The UK swimming and diving team won two medals and broke nine school records last week at the SEC Championships in Athens, Ga., Feb. 18 - 22. The UK men finished eighth with 522 points overall, while the women placed 10th with 426 points.

Junior Christina Bechtel claimed UK’s first swimming medal since 2012 with a runner-up finish in the women’s 100 yard butterfly Thursday. The first SEC medal of her career, Bechtel finished in 51.69 for UK’s first runner-up finish at the SEC Championships since 2010.

Senior Greg Ferrucci went out with a bang in his final SEC Championship appearance with a bronze medal-winning performance on platform Friday. It marked the sixth SEC medal of his career after he scored a 409.90 in an exciting, tightly-contested platform final.

In total, nine school record times were broken by UK, five individual records and four relay records. Junior George Greenhalgh broke the record in the 100 and 200 breaststroke along with helping to break the 200 and 400 medley relay records. Freshman Danielle Galyer helped topple three school marks, the 200 backstroke individually and as part of the 800 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay. Freshman Kendal Casey also broke an individual school record in the 200 freestyle.

Postseason competition concludes for UK at the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, March 27 - 30 in Austin, Texas. The men will be represented by senior diver Greg Ferrucci, making his fourth NCAA appearance, and freshman swimmer Brandon Flynn, along with UK’s 200 medley relay team of senior Lucas Gerotto, junior George Greenhalgh and seniors Eric Bruck and Chris Lott.

Ferrucci is coming off a fourth-place finish in all three diving events at last year’s championship. He earned all of Kentucky’s points to put the Wildcats in 22nd place overall.

The Wildcats have been honored with five Southeastern Conference Athlete of the Week honors this season. Freshman Brandon Flynn was named the Freshman of the Week Oct. 29, while junior swimmer Christina Bechtel and senior diver Greg Ferrucci were honored with the season's first Athlete the Week awards Oct. 15. Bechtel was honored again Nov. 27 with Swimmer of the Week accolades, while Ferrucci earned the season’s final Diver of the Week award Feb. 4.

Bechtel broke two school records, set two meet records and recorded three NCAA qualifying times in seven events Nov. 22 - 24 at the Ohio State Invitational to earn her second SEC honor. Competing against four teams, three of them ranked in the top 14 nationally, Bechtel posted career best times in all individual events.

Flynn was named the SEC’s Male Freshman Swimmer of the Week for the first time in his career after he won all four events he competed in against Missouri and Southern Illinois over two days. Flynn recorded his first collegiate win in the men’s 400 individual medley, and, eight events later, he returned to the water to win the men’s 500 freestyle. The next day, Flynn won the 1,000 yard freestyle in 9:21.94 before leading the way as the UK men finished one-two-three in the 500 yard freestyle.

Ferrucci won all four diving events to open the year. At Georgia Sept. 25, he notched victories in the 1- and 3-meter dives, while the senior swept the diving events again at home against Ohio State Oct. 11.

Bechtel earned her first career SEC Female Swimmer of the Week honor after a two-win performance Oct. 11 against Ohio State. On the strengths of two wins in the butterfly against Ohio State, Bechtel was ranked second nationally in the 100-yard butterfly after she finished first with a time of 54.34. Bechtel, an NCAA qualifier last year, also posted a win in the 200-yard butterfly against the Buckeyes.

Ferrucci earned his ninth career SEC weekly award Feb. 4 after the senior won both the 1- and 3-meter competition with season-high scores against Cincinnati on Senior Day in Lexington. The Huntersville, N.C., native posted a 398.25 in the 1-meter event to shatter his previous season best by more than 20 points. His score is the second-best in the SEC this season. In the 3-meter competition, Ferrucci tallied a 374.33, a season-best by nearly 30 points.

Swimmers Maclin Simpson and Abby Myers were named to the 2014 men’s and women’s Swimming and Diving Community Service Team. Simpson, a senior, is named to the team for the second time in his career, while Myers, a junior, earned her first Community Service Team honor. The team highlights an athlete from each school who gives back to his or her community in superior service efforts.

Simpson, a Louisville, Ky., native, was also named to the Community Service Team in 2012. A three-time team captain, the senior participated in an Ethiopian Mission Trip in the summer of 2013 with several other UK student athletes. He also volunteered with the UK Children’s Hospital Blanket Project, Back Pack Program packing and delivery, Back-to-School Picnic and Cats Cultivating Character. He was Inducted into Kentucky’s prestigious Frank G. Ham Society of Character in 2013. A marketing and management major, Simpson is also a two-time SEC All-Academic Team honoree.

From Cranberry Township, Pa., Myers was named to the Community Service Team for the first time in her career. The junior volunteered with the International Book Project, coached the Fintastics team for the Special Olympics YMCA and was a United Way collection drive volunteer. She also worked on the UK Children’s Hospital Blanket Project, Cats Cultivating Character and the Back Pack Program delivery. A 2014 nominee for the University of Kentucky’s prestigious Frank G. Ham Society of Character, Myers is a Kinesiology and Health Promotions Major with a Pre-Physical Therapy concentration.

For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Swimming and Diving program, go to UKathletics.com/SwimmingDiving.

SurfKY News
Information provided by UK Athletics

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

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