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Kentucky Wildcats shine early at US Nationals

The Wildcats are off to a strong start in the pool as competition moves into the third day.

Tim Binning -

Yesterday marked day two of competition in Indianapolis at the US National Championships.

Day one of the meet had several Wildcats competing in the 200-meter butterfly, the 100-meter freestyle, and the 800-meter freestyle. Future Cat Lauren Edelman qualified for finals in the 200-meter butterfly and finished 22nd in the country with a time of 2:14.15, 1.5 seconds faster than her time in prelims. Junior Geena Freriks finished 37th overall in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of :56.29. Juniors Paige Kelly and Kathryn Painter finished 19th and 28th, respectively, in the 800-meter freestyle; Kelly finished well with a lifetime best time of 8:48.46, which was good enough to win her heat.

Day two held more swims for the Wildcats. UK was represented in the 200-meter freestyle, 200-meter breaststroke, 200-meter backstroke, and 50-meter butterfly events. After initially finishing outside of the finals heats in the 200-meter freestyle, Freriks was able to swim in the B-final via scratches. Freriks, who broke the school record in the event in the prelims, went even faster in finals posting a final time of 2:00.05, good enough for 16th overall in the event.

Also benefiting from a scratch after the prelims was incoming freshman Bailey Bonnett, who competed in the C-Final of the 200-meter breaststroke. Bonnett finished 22nd in the event with a final time of 2:33.79, shaving almost a half-second from her time in prelims.

However, the best event of the night was the 200-meter backstroke. The Wildcats had four swimmers in the event, and three qualified to swim at night. Sophomore Ali Galyer, senior Bridgette Alexander, and sophomore Asia Seidt each earned spots in the finals event. And in finals the three turned in impressive swims. Seidt captured the bronze medal with a time of 2:08.99, almost a second faster than prelims and good enough to secure a spot on the US World University Games team (and put her in contention for a spot on the National Team). Alexander finished right behind in 4th with a time of 2:10.10, a little slower than her morning swim, but the 4th place finish put her in contention for the University Games squad as well. Teammate Galyer finished 13th overall with a time of 2:11.77, a tenth faster than her mark in prelims.

Head coach Lars Jorgensen was pleased with his swimmers’ performance on day two. Sad Jorgensen:

“It was a great night. We had five swims in tonight’s finals which was awesome– I don’t think any other school did that. I’m really proud of all five that swam tonight. Having three earn finals swims in the 200 back was great and kudos to Asia for solidifying a spot on the World University Games roster. She and Bridgette are both in position to make the U.S. National Team which is amazing.”

If the coach is happy, as a swimmer, you can’t do much better than that. The Wildcats are embodying the team’s hashtag for the event. #BeElite The Cats are doing just that.

Don’t forget to visit to watch the Day Three prelims, and the NBC Sports App to watch finals.