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University of Kentucky women’s swimming and diving brings home first-ever SEC Championship

For the first time in school history, the No. 3 University of Kentucky women’s swimming and diving team has won the Southeastern Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. The Wildcats broke five school records and produced 12 podium finishes throughout the meet, collecting 1,124 points for their highest score in program history.

Kentucky set itself up for success during the Saturday morning session after every single swimmer who competed in preliminaries earned a trip to tonight’s finals, creating 20 scoring opportunities down the stretch. Thirteen swimmers earned a combined 14 personal records on Saturday, while 39 personal records were set throughout the meet.

Kentucky collected 1,124 points throughout the meet for their highest score in program history (Photo from UK Athletics)

“This championship means a lot,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “We’ve been building this over a few years now, and it’s about the people in front of us that helped build our program. The alumni from years past established it, our coaching staff, our administration. So many people had terrific effort this weekend, it was really fantastic. I couldn’t be more thrilled for our institution and for our girls. What a great moment.”

Kentucky set the pace early on in finals, earning a 2-3 finish in the 200 backstroke.

Sophie Sorenson claimed the first individual podium finish at the SEC Championships in her career, collecting the silver medal in the event on a personal record 1:50.94. The time is the fourth fastest in UK history. Caitlin Brooks followed her pace, earning her second individual podium finish of the meet with a bronze medal after touching the wall in 1:51.96.

Following the opening event, two swimmers went on to break school records in the next two events.

Riley Gaines broke the school record in the 100 freestyle for the third time this season, doing so in 48.21 and earning sixth place overall in the conference. In the next race, Gillian Davey broke the school record in the 200 breaststroke on a time of 2:05.59. With that time, she also earned her second silver medal of the meet and met the 2021 NCAA Championships “A” time standard.

Two other swimmers stepped up in the 200 breaststroke to win the “B” final and the “C” final on personal records. Jaclyn Hill won the “B” final for ninth place on a time of 2:08.62, while Anna Havens Rice, just a freshman, won the “C” final for 17th place on a time of 2:10.21.

In the final individual event of the meet, the 200 butterfly, Gaines brought home fourth place on a personal record 1:55.10, while Izzy Gati finished in seventh place in 1:56.00.

Full meet statistics and medal count are available at ukathletics.com

From UK Athletics

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