Kentucky’s men’s and women’s swim teams traveled to Columbus, OH this past weekend to compete in the Ohio State Invitational.
The women’s team (ranked number 17 in the country) beat out NC State (No. 12), Notre Dame (No. 18), Ohio State (No. 23), and eight other teams to win their first ever OSU Invite. The men finished fourth out of nine teams.
On the first day of the competition, sophomore Asia Seidt qualified for the NCAA championship meet (and lowered her own school record) in the 200-yard individual medley with time of 1:53.84. Her previous record was 1:55.02. The women’s team also posted a second NCAA “A” cut on the first day in the 400-yard medley relay. The relay consisted of senior Bridgette Alexander, freshman Bailey Bonnett, Seidt, and junior Geena Freriks.
Joining in on the fun on the men’s side was senior Issac Jones. Jones finished second overall in the 500-yard freestyle, lowering his own school record and finishing with a time of 4:14.74. And it wasn’t just Jones; sophomore Glen Brown also broke the men’s team record in the 200-yard individual medley. Brown took second place in the event with time of 1:45.28.
The second day of the meet built upon the success from day one. On the women’s side, the 100-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard backstroke propelled the team into first place after the second day. Freshman Bailey Bonnett took first in the 100-yard breaststroke with a school record time of :59.60. The Wildcats went 1-2 in the event with sophomore Madison Winstead taking second with a time of 1:00.17. Overall the women had four of the top eight times in the breaststroke event. Kentucky has become known as “BackstrokeU” in the college swimming circuit for the trio of great backstrokers: Seidt, Alexander and sophomore Ali Galyer. These three swimmers finished 1-2, and 5 in the 100-yard backstroke. Seidt, who won the event, lowered her own school record to :51.17, just .01 seconds off an NCAA “A” cut. Alexander and Galyer finished second and fifth respectively. The women’s team finished a big second day with a win in the 800-free relay. The team consisted of Galyer, Seidt, Bonnett, and Freriks; they won the event with a time of 7:06.10.
Jones and Brown again highlighted the men’s team performance on the second day. Jones took third in the 200-yard freestyle with a lifetime best time of 1:35.50. Brown finished fifth in the 400-yard individual medley with a personal best time of 3:50.31. The men’s team also had the second place finishing 800-yard freestyle relay.
The third and final day of competition started with “BackstrokeU” sweeping the 200-yard backstroke. Seidt once again took first with a time of 1:50.67. Her time was an NCAA “A” cut, as well as a UK school record and an OSU Invite meet record. Alexander took second and Galyer third in the event. Freshman Bonnett posted her second victory of the meet in the 200-yard breaststroke. Her winning time of 2:07.83 was a UK team record; sophomore Winstead and senior Morgan Belli finished third and fourth respectively. On the men’s side, Jones and Brown again led the men on day three. Jones finished third in the 1,650-yard freestyle. The senior from Australia lowered his own school record in the event by nine seconds with a final time of 14:48.61. Brown finished his weekend of competition with a sixth-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke. His time of 1:58.74 is the fifth fastest time in UK history.
The awards didn’t end with the meet, however. Seidt and Bonnett both earned honors from the SEC for their performances over the weekend. Seidt won SEC Female Swimmer of the Week. After winning all three of her events, with two NCAA “A” cut times, two school records, and one meet record, I’d say the award was well earned. Bonnett was awarded SEC Freshman of the Week for the third time this season. She swept the breaststroke events and set a school record in both.
Head coach Lars Jorgensen had this to say after the meet:
"Overall, it was a really good weekend. The girls were phenomenal, and winning the meet was fantastic. We've never won a meet of this stature, so that is very exciting. I'm also really proud of our guys team. Isaac Jones, Seb, Glen, those three really stood out and performed well. "The goal of this meet was really to get as many people qualified for NCAAs, and we did get quite a few. We'll have a few more to qualify later in the season, but really could not have asked for a better meet."
Congrats to the Wildcats for a great meet. The full team won’t be back in action until 2018, but there are several Cats who will be competing in the USA Swimming Winter National Meet in Columbus, OH on November 29-30.