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Swimming and Diving Hosts Ohio State in Home Opener Friday

UK diving 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (10/9/13) – In the first of just two home meets in the 2013-14 campaign, the University of Kentucky swimming and diving program hosts Ohio State Friday at 5 p.m. in the Lancaster Aquatics Center.

In addition to being the home opener, the contest between UK and OSU marks Lars Jorgensen’s first meet in Lexington as head coach. He takes over for Gary Conelly, who retired after 22 seasons at the helm. Jorgensen was named Kentucky’s head coach in May after serving as associate head coach last season.

“We’re excited to host Ohio State at home Friday,” Jorgensen said. “They’re an outstanding program and a perennial Big Ten powerhouse, it’ll be a great way to open up our home season at the Lancaster Aquatics Center. Since we only have two home meets, it’s going to be great to compete at home. We’re looking forward to taking advantage of a great home pool advantage against a very good OSU team.”

Admission to all UK home meets is free to the public. Friday’s meet will begin at 5 p.m. with the playing of “Call to the Posts” from a member of the UK Marching Band. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness, the team will be wearing pink swim caps, and all fans who wear pink to the meet will be entered into a raffle to win a UK prize. Several other things are planned as part of a new and improved meet experience for fans.

Parking is available at Structure #7, located at 721 Sports Center Drive, at the corner of Sports Center Drive and Complex Drive. The parking structure is located just a short walk from the Lancaster Aquatics Center. More information about parking can be found at http://www.uky.edu/pts/.

After opening the season against perennial powerhouse Georgia, Kentucky faces another tough opponent in Ohio State. The OSU men finished 12th at last year’s NCAA Championships with 20 individual All-America honors. The Buckeye women finished 28th nationally last season.

The UK men are coming off a 22nd-place national finish in 2013. Senior diver Greg Ferrucci placed fourth in all three NCAA diving events and became the first UK diver to earn First Team All-America honors in one season in all three diving events. The women, who sent then-sophomores Christina Bechtel and Christa Cabot to the NCAA Championships, did not place in 2013.

Fans unable to attend Friday’s meet at the Lancaster Aquatics Center can follow along with all the action with live results at UKathletics.com. Additional updates and behind-the-scenes notes and photos can be found at @UKSwimDive, the official Twitter account of the UK swimming and diving program.

Ohio State has a storied tradition of success in both men’s and women’s swimming and diving. The men have claimed 11 NCAA team titles, the second most of any school, all between 1943-1962.

Last season, the OSU men finished 12th at the NCAA Championships and a third-place Big Ten finish. The Buckeye women posted a 28th-place finish nationally and placed fourth at the conference championship.

The men have won 13 Big Ten titles and have earned 458 All-American honors, while the women own five league titles and 100 All-Americans.

Bill Wadley is in his 24th season as head coach of the Buckeye’s men’s squad. The OSU women are under the direction of sixth-year head coach Bill Dorenkott.

Divers Greg Ferrucci and Christa Cabot claimed three of the four diving titles and swimmer Maclin Simpson won the men’s 150-butterfly as Kentucky opened its season Sept. 25 with a loss at Georgia, the defending women’s national champion.

The Kentucky men fell to Georgia 162-110 in the season-opener, while the UK women, competing against the SEC and NCAA champions from 2013, fell by a final score of 165-98.

Ferrucci and fellow senior John Fox finished first and second, respectively, on the one and three meter springboard to sweep the men’s diving events. Cabot, a junior, won the women’s 1-meter event and finished second in the 3-meter diving competition. In the men’s 150 yard butterfly, Simpson finished in 1:21.51, just 0.80 seconds ahead of Georgia’s Will Freeman.

A full recap from the season-opener at Georgia can be found here.

UK returns to the road Oct. 24 and 25 when it travels to Carbondale, Ill., to face Southern Illinois and fellow SEC foe Missouri. The competition will get underway at 5 p.m. ET on Oct. 24 and resume at 10 a.m. on the 25th.

Lars Jorgensen is in his first season as head coach at Kentucky after serving as an associate head coach for the Wildcats last season. A 1988 Olympian and standout student-athlete at the University of Tennessee, Jorgensen served as interim head coach for his alma mater in 2011-12. He also spent time on the coaching staffs at Toledo and LSU.

As a student-athlete at UT, Jorgensen holds the school record in the 1,000 freestyle, set in 1992. He earned a silver medal at the 1993 SEC Championships in the 1,650 freestyle and helped the Volunteers to a third-place finish.

At the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Jorgensen placed ninth in the 1,500-meter freestyle. His brother Daniel also competed in 1988, making them the second pair of brothers to participate in an Olympics. Daniel returned to the Olympics in 1992 and won a bronze medal as part of the 800 freestyle team, while their father, Niels, was an Olympic wrestler for Denmark.

UK returns all four student-athletes that competed at the 2013 Men’s and Women’s NCAA Championships. Senior diver Greg Ferrucci is coming off fourth-place finishes in all three NCAA events and became the first diver to earn First-Team All-America honors in one season on the 1 meter, 3 meter and platform. Senior John Fox and juniors Christina Bechtel and Christa Cabot made their first NCAA appearance in 2013.

Seniors John Fox and Maclin Simpson and junior Michael Christian were named captains of the UK men’s team, while juniors Christina Bechtel, Christa Cabot and Lindsay Hill were announced as captains of the women’s squad.

The 2013-14 campaign features dual meets with four SEC foes and two home competitions. After the Wildcats host Ohio State on Friday at 5 p.m. they welcome Cincinnati to Lexington on Feb. 1 at noon. Both events will be held at the Lancaster Aquatics Center on the UK campus. The season begins with a dual meet at Georgia on Sept 25, when the Blue and White go up against the defending national champion women’s team and No. 10 men’s team.

The 2014 SEC Championships will be held Feb. 18-22 in Athens, Ga. The NCAA Women’s Championship will be in Minneapolis, Minn., March 20-23, while the men’s national championship will be March 27-30 in Austin, Texas.

The complete 2013-14 schedule can be found here.

For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Swimming and Diving program, go to UKathletics.com/SwimmingDiving. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates, photos and more can be found on Twitter at @UKSwimDive and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKSwimDive.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Charlie Healy

© 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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