uk swimming 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (10/25/13) - In its first two-day and three-team meet of the young 2013-14 season, the University of Kentucky swimming and diving team won nine events in the first day of competition against Missouri and Southern Illinois Thursday evening at SIU’s Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium.

The UK women lead SIU 153-71 and have a 121.5-101.5 advantage over Mizzou. At the halfway point, the Wildcat men lead the Salukis 150-74, while they trail the Tigers 161-63.

“I thought the women were outstanding, as was the racing from the freshman” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “Christina Bechtel and Kendal Casey really led the way, and Danielle Galyer’s performance was a nice surprise. The freshmen were also really good and earned five wins and contributed to a relay victory. The men swam tired and a little flat I thought, but Brendan Flynn, another freshman, was outstanding, really raced hard and was the star for the men.”

Bechtel, a junior, competed in four events and won two individual competitions and a third as part of the 400 yard freestyle relay. Freshmen accounted for six wins, including two each from Flynn and Casey. First year swimmers Andrew Aviotti and Galyer also tallied their first collegiate victories.

The competition continues with 24 more events tomorrow, beginning at 11 a.m. CT.

“Tomorrow a big day moving forward,” Jorgensen added. “Racing on consecutive days for the first time this season, it will be good preparation for the SEC and NCAA Championships, which are both several days long.”

UK claimed one-two finishes in both the men’s and women’s 1650 freestyle competitions, with both wins coming from freshman. Casey’s 16:58.67 beat out teammate and fellow freshman Kelly Berger, who finished second in 17:15.02 in the women’s event. In the men’s race, Aviotti posted his first collegiate win with a 15:43.66, ahead of UK sophomore Hector Tricas, who finished second in 15:52.08.

The Wildcats won their third straight race thanks to Myers’ 1:51.47 finish in the women’s 200 freestyle. The UK junior finished just 0.20 seconds ahead of SIU’s Pamela Benitez to secure her first victory of the season.

The women’s 50 freestyle was as close as a race can get, and both Bechtel and UM’s Anna Patterson posted a 23.76 to tie for first place honors.

The list of UK freshman to record their first win of the season was extended with a first place finish in the women’s 400 individual medley. Galyer touched the wall in 4:31.80, ahead of Mizzou’s Dani Spradlin by 0.76 seconds.

Flynn, who was just 0.05 seconds shy of notching Kentucky’s first victory from a freshman two weeks ago against Ohio State, posted his first collegiate win in the men’s 400 individual medley. A 3:58.11 was good enough for the win by 1.09 seconds over the Tigers’ Igor Kzlovskij.

UK recorded its third straight victory in the women’s 100 butterfly courtesy of Bechtel. A time of 53.71 gave the Wildcat captain her second win of the evening and fourth in the last two meets.

Eight races after he posted his first collegiate victory, Flynn returned to the water to win the men’s 500 freestyle. His finish of 4:31.75 gave Flynn the win by a 0.20 margin.

The Wildcat relay team of junior Blair Kuethe, Bechtel, Casey and redshirt junior Kristen Wilson notched the final win of the day in the women’s 400 yard freestyle relay. UK touched the wall in 3:29.81 in the first day’s second-to-last race.

Kentucky tallied runner-up finishes in nine events in addition to its nine victories. Bechtel and Casey each finished second in the women’s 400 medley relay and the women’s 500 freestyle, respectively. Myers and Wilson, in addition to freshman Kendra Crew, joined Bechtel on the 400 medley relay squad, while Wilson also finished second in the women’s 100 yard freestyle.

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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