The University of Kentucky women’s swimming and diving team kicked off the 2017-18 season Wednesday afternoon, taking an impressive 187-72 victory over the visiting Vanderbilt Commodores.
“I thought we really brought a lot of energy today and I was pleased with the consistent effort from our team throughout the meet,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “We have a lot of people, like Morgan Belli, who really stepped up today. Our roster is a lot deeper this year, so the competitiveness in practice has been great. We’re not satisfied yet because it’s the beginning of the season, but it’s a good start.”
Of the 16 swimming events, the Wildcats took first in all but one, including seven 1-2-3 sweeps.
Senior Morgan Belli led the way for the Cats, sweeping the breaststroke events. Belli went 1:04.02 to lead UK in a sweep of the 100-yard breaststroke, before posting a 2:17.05 to win the 200 breast.
Sophomore Asia Seidt was another standout performer of the meet, picking up a pair of victories on the day. Swimming off events, Seidt took the titles in both the 50- and 200-yard freestyle events. The sophomore went 1:49.01 to win the 200 and 23.12 in the 50. Seidt also posted the leading time in the 100 individual medley going 56.48, but competed as exhibition in the event.
The Cats won both relays on the day, as Kentucky’s ‘B’ team of Seidt, Madison Winstead, Kayla Churman and Meredith Whisenhunt first picked up a win the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:42.94. In the 400 free relay, Ali Galyer, Paige Kelly, Ann Davies and Nora Fullenkamp teamed up to post a winning 3:31.07.
Junior Geena Freriks had a big win in the 1000 free, going 9:54.65 to win by more than 10 full seconds.
Two Wildcats posted NCAA B cuts in the 200 backstroke, as Galyer finished first in 1:57.50 and senior Bridgette Alexander was second in 1:58.87.
Freshman Bailey Bonnett recorded a victory in the 500 free, posting an NCAA B-cut time of 4:57.59.
The Kentucky men and women will both be in action Oct. 14, as the Wildcats take on Eastern Michigan inside the Lancaster Aquatic Center at 1 p.m.
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