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Kentucky senior swimmer Tina Bechtel was named to the 2014-15 USA Swimming National Team roster, USA Swimming announced. Bechtel was selected to Team USA as one of six swimmers in the 100 and 200 butterfly.
“I’m so honored and thankful to have made the National Team,” Bechtel said. “It has been a goal of mine since Lars [Jorgensen] has been head coach here at UK and I think it really signifies the change happening in our program. If it weren’t for Lars challenging each swimmer every day to set high goals and desire to have more I never would’ve dreamed that this could happen.
“UK swimming and diving put in a lot of work this past summer and I can’t wait for people to see that hard work transition into the fall and the rest of this season. Big things are happening at Kentucky and I couldn’t be prouder to represent the Wildcats and Team USA.”
Bechtel earned a spot on the National Team, which is comprised of the top six swimmers in each Olympic event, thanks to swimming a a 59.05 in the 100 fly and a 2:09.67 in the 200 fly at the USA Swimming National Championships on Aug. 6-10.
“There aren’t that many collegiate teams that have a current athlete on the national team, so this is a tremendous honor for Tina,” Jorgensen said. “It’s very difficult to make the national team, and she’s just one of a few current SEC swimmers to make it. It’s a tremendous honor to represent UK and we are excited to see her compete on Team USA. She has improved tremendously over the past year. We’re excited about what she can do in her senior season for UK as she competes in her final season as a Wildcat and continues to prepare for the 2016 Olympic Trials.”
Bechtel’s National Team assignment comes on the heels of fellow Kentucky swimmer Danielle Galyer earning a spot on the Junior National Team, where she competed at the 2014 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Maui, Hawaii Aug. 27-30.
“It’s exciting that we have current UK swimmers on both the U.S. National Team and the Junior National Team,” Jorgensen added. “Tina and Danielle are great examples of the team’s work ethic and how much everyone has improved in the past year, and we’re looking forward to the 2014-15 season to get underway next month.”
One of 23 female competitors to represent the United States at the Junior Pan Pacs, Galyer notched a fourth-place finish, the highest of any U.S. athlete, in the Women’s 200 LC Meter Backstroke in 2:13.77. Galyer also placed 20th overall in the 100 LC Meter Backstroke with a time of 1:03.78.
The 2014 UK swimming and diving season, which features five home meets, begins Oct. 10 at home against South Carolina. The Wildcats host defending SEC Champion Florida on Oct. 16 and Missouri, Northwestern and SIU on Nov. 7 and 8. The home slate concludes against in-state rival Louisville on Jan. 24.
From UK Athletics