LEXINGTON, Kentucky, January 14. THE Kentucky men's and women's swimming and diving teams both defeated the visiting Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday at the Lancaster Aquatic Center. Alabama's men were previously ranked No. 18 in the country, which marks the second consecutive dual meet the Kentucky men have defeated a ranked opponent. The Wildcat women defeated Alabama 158-125, while the men topped their SEC-foe 152-142.
Kentucky's men fell in the opening two events, the 200-medley relay and the 1650-freestyle, but then sophomore James Batley tapped in first in the 200-free to get things rolling for UK. Batley clocked in a time of 1:41.97. Freshmen Kyle Green and Alex Forbes took third and fourth to gain valuable points for the Cats.
Sophomore Shane Eliason and junior Kristian Outinen touched in a one-two finish in the 100-backstroke to continue UK's climb ahead of the Crimson Tide. Eliason and Outinen finished in times of 50.35 and 51.78, respectively. Eliason's time is a new career-best as he topped his previous mark by a tenth of a second.
Alabama's top two swimmers in the 100-breaststroke were disqualified, leading to a one-two UK finish by sophomore Mickey Malul and junior Will Vietti. Kentucky continued its run by taking the top two spots in the 200-butterfly as junior Grant Nelson and sophomore Joe Retrum claimed first and second respectively.
The Crimson Tide took first in the 50-free, but Kentucky tapped in second through fourth to earn valuable points. Sophomore Warren Grobbelaar, freshman Eric McGinnis and Forbes finished in that order.
On the boards, sophomores Justin Smith and Dan Cuilla placed second and third, respectively, on the one-meter.
McGinnis and Forbes took second and third in the 100-free to keep the Wildcats ahead. Eliason earned his second first place finish of the day in the 200-back in a time of 1:49.29.
Batley, Nelson and senior Eric Weber took the 2-4 spots in the 500-free to keep Kentucky in front. Grobbelaar then claimed first in the 100-fly in a time of 50.14.
On the three-meter board, freshman Tom Palinkas earned second and Smith took third, both helping to secure a Wildcat victory. Palinkas' score of 298.05 is a new career-high for the freshman.
Concluding the meet for the Cats, the 400-free relay team of McGinnis, Grobbelaar, Forbes and Eliason ended the night with a win, securing Kentucky's victory over its second consecutive ranked opponent. The quartet tapped in a time of 3:02.37.
The women began the meet with a dominating performance in the 200-medley relay as the team of juniors Jill Southerlan, Lindsey Myhre, Heather Bradford and Jenny Bradford topped the field tapping in a time of 1:42.61.
Junior Leah Harms touched in first in the grueling mile-long 1650-freestyle. Harms earned a time of 17:06.41. Kentucky placed third and fourth in the event as well to take an early lead over the Crimson Tide.
Alabama topped all swimmers in the 200-freestyle, as Kentucky's Jenny Bradford earned second place with a time of 1:56.61. The Wildcats claimed a one-two finish in the 100-backstroke as freshman Chatham Penrod and Southerlan finished in times of 57:48 and 58:06, respectively.
Myhre continued to keep the home squad ahead with a first place finish in the 100-breaststroke in a time of 1:04.89. Rames and freshman Megan Pulskamp finished two-three in the 200-butterlfy in times of 2:04.66 and 2:06.07, respectively.
In the final event prior to the diving break, Kentucky claimed a one-two-three finish in the 50-freestyle. The order of placement for the Cats was juniors Lauren Willis, Heather Bradford and Beth Parsons. The lady's times were 23.65, 23.69 and 24.47, respectively.
Coach Mike Lyden and his three lady divers continued their strong performances, taking one-two-three in both diving events. Senior Joey Brown led the way for the Wildcats winning both events. Brown bested her own No. 1 score in the UK record books with a 328.51 score on the one-meter. She earned an equally impressive 312.76 on the three-meter. Junior Kari Retrum and senior Taryn Ignacio placed second and third respectively in both events.
Jenny Bradford and Willis took first and second in the 100-free to keep Kentucky out in front. Freshman Chatham Penrod placed first in both of the backstroke events, winning the 200-back in a time of 2:04.62.
Jenny Bradford won her second event of the day in the 100-fly tapping in a time of 55.27 to finish out the top finishes for the Wildcats.
Kentucky returns to action in a week, on Saturday when the teams host in-state rival Louisville. The meet will mark the final home dual meet of the season for the Wildcats, and the team will honor its four seniors. Brown, Nikia Deveaux, Ignacio and Weber will appear in their final dual meet of the season at Lancaster Aquatic Center. The meet is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. EST.