CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Kentucky swimming and diving team wrapped up day one of its two-day stint at the Saluki Invite on Friday evening inside the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium on the campus of Southern Illinois. As it stands, both the men’s and women’s squads own convincing leads over all five opposing squads.
The No. 15 Kentucky women lead No. 25 Missouri, 85.5-62.5, and the host-team SIU, 123-25. The un-ranked Wildcat men are ahead of 18th-ranked Missouri, 83-65; SIU, 125-23; and Big Ten foe Northwestern, 121-27.
“Really happy with our efforts today as a lot of our athletes stepped up on both the men’s and women’s teams to put us in good position at the end of day one,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “It was really a team effort today. We’re only half way through and we’ve got a long ways to go, but today was a great start.”
On the women’s side, sophomore Ali Galyer was a major highlight, setting a new Shea Natatorium record in the 200-yard backstroke with an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:55.16. Senior Bridgette Alexander was also under pool-record time, finishing second with a time of 1:57.32, also a ‘B’ cut.
Junior captain Geena Freriks was also a key contributor for the women’s squad, winning the 500 free in 4:48.13, more than three full seconds ahead of Galyer, who touched the wall second in the event.
Freshman Bailey Bonnett also picked up a win on Friday night, coming in at an NCAA ‘B’ standard time of 1:02.05 in the 100 breaststroke to lead Kentucky in a 1-2-3-4 finish. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native also added a second-place finish in the 200 IM, touching in 2:03.16.
The Wildcat women ended the night on strong note, going 1-2 in the 400 medley relay. Kentucky’s ‘A’ team of Alexander, Bonnett, Haley McInerny and Freriks led the way, posting a time of 3:43.03.
For the men, Glen Brown played a huge role in helping the Wildcats take the lead in all three duals.
“Glen Brown was really fantastic today,” commented Jorgensen. “His 200 IM was one of the best times in-season we’ve ever had.”
Brown posted a big win in the 200 IM, finishing in 1:48.29, an NCAA consideration mark. The sophomore also showed his versatility by going on to win the 100 breaststroke with a time of 56.06.
Another big highlight for the men’s team was its outstanding showing on the men’s one-meter springboard, led by sophomore Kevin Frebel who won the event with a score of 349.50. Junior Seb Masterton came in third with 320.10 and freshman Chase Lane was fourth with a 295.20 mark.
Senior captain Josh Swart also added a victory for the men, winning the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:47.31.
Action will resume Saturday morning at 10 a.m. ET with live results available on the Meet Mobile app. Events will include men’s 3-meter and women’s 1-meter springboard events, 200 medley relay, 1000 free, 50 free, 100 back, 200 breast, 100 fly, 200 free, 400 IM and 400 free relay.
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