uk swimming 300COLUMBUS, Ohio (11/23/13) – Against three men’s and women’s teams ranked within the top 15 nationally, the University of Kentucky swimming and diving team opened the first day of competition at the Ohio State Invitational with 10 top-10 finishes at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

“We had some really nice swim, it was a good first day for the Cats against some very tough competition,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “Christina Bechtel was good, the divers dove well. We’re excited about the next two days. The one thing that was exceptional was we were much deeper, much better than our previous races this year. I’m really pleased with our depth, and our freshman really swam well today.”

Friday’s six individual events featured prelims in the morning, with the top 30 finishers advancing to A, B or C finals in the evening session. Four relay events and two diving events were also contested on the Invite’s opening day, though no prelims were held for the relay competitions.

Through the first day of competition, the UK women have 112 points, behind No. 5 Virginia, No. 3 Florida, No. 14 Ohio State and Purdue. The Wildcat men have 43 points, behind No. 1 Florida, No. 11 Ohio State and No. 10 Virginia.

In the men’s 50 yard freestyle, senior Eric Bruck notched a third-place finish in the finals with a time of 20.00. He placed just 0.07 seconds out of second place and 0.21 ahead of the fourth-place finisher. Bruck advanced to the finals with a 19.92 time in the prelims. Fellow senior Chris Lott also notched a top-10 finish, with a 20.54, good for ninth place.

Among 19 competitors in the men’s 1-meter dive, senior Greg Ferrucci finished third, with a finals score of 354.30. Seniors John Fox and Zachary Peterson finished seventh and eighth, respectively, with scores of 282.80 and 274.40.

In the women’s 3-meter dive, junior Christa Cabot placed fourth with a score of 300.90, which fell just 5.55 shy of a top-three finish and 4.50 ahead of the fifth-place finisher. UK junior Lindsay Keahey finished with a 253.35 to place 10th.

UK’s top finish in a relay came in the women’s 400 yard medley, where a trio of freshman in addition to junior Christina Bechtel placed fourth in 3:40.62. Bechtel, in addition to Kendal Casey, Kendra Crew and Danielle Galyer beat out Florida’s relay by 0.07 seconds and improved on their prelim time by nearly 12 seconds.

The Wildcats placed fifth in the men’s 200 yard freestyle relay, which featured an upperclassmen team of seniors Bruck, Lott, Will Heidler and junior Derrick Smith. The team finished in 1:21.63, nearly half a second faster than their prelim time.

Bechtel also paced Kentucky to a sixth-place finish in the women’s 200 yard freestyle relay. Bechtel led off, with juniors Kristen Wilson, Blair Kuethe and Abby Myers following up to finish in 1:32.57, 0.32 ahead of the seventh-place Gators and nearly 1.5 seconds ahead of their prelim score.

In the women’s 50 yard freestyle, Bechtel notched an 11th-place finish, touching the wall in 22.68. She came in first in the B Final, and her time was the third-fastest of any swimmer in both the prelims and finals in the event.

Freshman Brandon Flynn recorded a 13th-place finish in the men’s 500 yard freestyle, with a time of 4:26.66 to beat out OSU’s Charlie Fry by just 0.09 seconds.

The three-day competition resumes Saturday with prelims at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. Full results can be found on OhioStateBuckeyes.com

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.
 
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