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Kentucky Wildcats Compete at 2017 US Nationals

Fifteen members of the UK Swim team travel to Indianapolis to compete against top swimmers in the US for a spot on the US World Championships team.

NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Justin Casterline

At a school who’s basketball team is always in the spotlight, the tendency for a swim team to escape notice is increased tenfold. However, UK’s Men’s and Women’s swimming teams are nothing to sneeze at. Both squads are coming off arguably their best season in a long time. In March, the men’s team sent senior Kyle Higgins and the women’s team sent 14 swimmers to Indianapolis to compete. Higgins finished out his stellar career at UK with a personal best time in the 100-yard butterfly (47.14) and just missed his own school record in the 200-yard butterfly (1:42.78). The women, after matching a program best third place at the SEC Conference Championship meet (with two gold-medal performances), set a program record with a 14th place finish at the NCAA Championship meet. The women also set a program record for points scored at the championship event.

That was March. The championship meets marked the end of the collegiate swimming season. But swimming does not stop; it continues year ‘round. And this week the Wildcats have fifteen swimmers competing at the US National Championships, battling for a potential spot on the US World Championships team.

Phillips 66 US National Championships
Swimmers and coaches on deck at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Mike Lewis

The meet began June 27 and runs through July 1. It will feature top swimmers from across the country, including Olympians Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Matt Grevers, and Nathan Adrian. These swimmers have descended on the natatorium at IUPUI in Indianapolis for the week of competition.

Twelve current Wildcats will be featured at the event, along with three incoming freshmen. Two UK swimmers are ranked in the top-10 in their events. Sophomore Asia Seidt is ranked second in the 200-meter backstroke and seventh in the 100-meter backstroke. Senior Bridgette Alexander is ranked ninth in the 200-meter backstroke.

To qualify for the World Championship team swimmers must finish in the top 6 in the 100- and 200-meter freestyle events or in the top 2 for all the other events. The team will feature 26 men and 26 women. The World Championship meet will take place in Budapest, Hungary on July 23-30.

The competition features preliminary competition in the morning with the top 24 finishers from prelims will advance to swim in the finals in the evenings. The results from finals will determine who will be placed on the World Championship team. If you wish to watch the Wildcats compete, the preliminary sessions will be streamed live at beginning at 9 AM Eastern. Finals competition will be available either at or on the NBC Sports App.

Best of luck to the Wildcats this week!