Seidt Branches out to Freestyle Sweep as Kentucky Handles Cincinnati

Asia Seidt Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

The No. 25/13 University of Kentucky men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams dominated Cincinnati on Friday evening at the Lancaster Aquatic Center, earning first place in 24 of 32 events in its final dual meet of the regular season. Meanwhile, Kentucky celebrated 15 athletes set to graduate from the program at the end of the semester.

The No. 13 Kentucky women’s team defeated Cincinnati in a 190-101 decision, while the No. 25 Kentucky men’s team defeated Cincinnati, 175-111.

Ending the regular season on a high note, the women’s team boasts a 7-4 record and the men’s team claim a 3-6 record in what was the toughest schedule in Lars Jorgensen’s seven seasons as head coach, meeting just three unranked programs all season.

“I’m proud of our team this season,” Jorgensen said. “The coaching staff and I put together a competitive schedule because we want to compete against the best, and so many of our swimmers and divers have risen to the occasion this season. I thought our seniors led the charge tonight, too, which is special. Our divers were also phenomenal, on both the men’s and the women’s sides.”

The divers had an impressive evening, as Kentucky swept the springboard events and collected a handful of career performances.

Taking advantage of their final opportunity to earn NCAA Zone C Championship cuts, two divers scored season and career marks en route to punching fresh tickets to the regional meet. On her senior night, Caroline McCleary recorded a season-high 275.48 on the 1-meter springboard to place fourth and earn a spot at the Zone C meet. Moreover, freshman Caiden Lake recorded a career-high 324.45 on the 3-meter springboard to place third and earn the first Zone C cut of his career.

The NCAA Zone C Championships is the solo opportunity for divers to earn admittance into the NCAA Championships. Kentucky will be hosting the regional meet this season, March 12-14.

Forming a career high on the 3-meter springboard of his own, Danny Zhang earned an impressive mark of 441.45 points. It’s the second-highest score on the discipline in all-time program records. The sophomore was named the Southeastern Conference Diver of the Week just four days ago, setting a career high on the 1-meter springboard at Louisville on Jan. 25.

Freshman Morgan Southall recorded career-high marks on both of the springboard events during the dual meet, earning a mark of 292.13 on the 1-meter springboard and a 307.28 on the 3-meter springboard.

Kentucky collected just as many polished performances in the swimming events and it did in the diving events, even while swimming in untraditional races.

Collecting a pair of top times in the 200-yard freestyle field (1:48.52) and the 500-yard freestyle field (4:56.34), Asia Seidt took advantage of the chance to swim in races that aren’t her traditional backstroke. The senior recorded her 13th gold finish this season, leading the team (male of female).

“What can you say about Asia,” Jorgensen said. “She is the most decorated swimmer in school history, and she goes out on top. She has had an amazing career, becoming a 16-time All-American and four-time SEC Champion. Her hard work, both in the classroom and in the pool, is infectious, and she continues to impress.”

Glen Brown won the 100 free and 100 back for Kentucky, and Wyatt Amdor was first in the 100 breast and 200 breast.