Texas Swimming and Diving Sweeps Kentucky; Foster, Rooney Put Up Impressive Times

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Jake Foster won the 1000 (9:06) and 400 IM (3:51) against Kentucky. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

The Texas swimming and diving teams swept Kentucky in Austin on Friday as the Longhorns held their senior day festivities. Senior Maxime Rooney and Freshmen Jake Foster put up impressive times in their respective events as Rooney won the 200 free (1:36) and Foster won the 1000 (9:06) and 400 IM (3:51).

Team Scores:

  • Men: Texas 179, Kentucky 109
  • Women: Texas 172, Kentucky 127

RESULTS

Texas Swimming and Diving Press Release

The meet marks the sole home meet for the Longhorns this season. The men finished with 12 first places finishes, winning both the 400 freestyle relay and the 200 medley relay (1:27.10). The team also honored 10 seniors on their annual senior night.

MEN’S MEET NOTES

  • Jordan Windle won both the 3 meter and the 1-meter diving contests.
  • The men went 1-4 in the 1-meter diving contest, with Windle in first, followed by Campbell, Cornish, and Harness.
  • In his first swim as a Longhorn, Chris Staka won two events with the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke (47.30).
  • Maxime Rooney (1:36.19) and Austin Katz (1:38.14) went 1-2 in the 200 freestyle
  • Texas went 1-3 in the 1000 freestyle with Jake Foster in first, followed by Chris Yeager and Jack Collins

No. 8 Texas Women’s Swimming and Diving defeated No. 14 Kentucky on Friday night in the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center.

In their first and last meet at home this season, the Longhorns took home 11 first-place finishes to beat Kentucky 172 to 127. Texas honored seniors; Claire Adams, Lauren Case, Alison Gibson, Kennedy Lohman, Jordan Wheeler, and Nina Bortolussi on Friday night as well.

WOMEN’S MEET NOTES

  • In Kelly Pash’s first meet as a Longhorn, she finished with three wins in the 200 freestyle, 200 butterfly, and the 400 IM.
  • The 400 IM race featured four of the top five times in the country this season.
  • Evie Pfeifer finished the night with wins in the 1000 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.
  • The women took first place in both the 200 IM relay and 400 freestyle relay.
  • Texas took 1-4 in the 50 freestyle, Bridget Semenuk took first, followed by Kyla Leibel, Grace Ariola, and Jordan Wheeler.
  • The Longhorns went 1-2 in the 100 freestyle with Claire Adams in first and Leibel in second.
  • The women went 1-5 in the 1-meter diving contest, Allison Gibson took first, followed by Paola Pineda Vazquez, Jordan Skliken, Janie Boyle, and Morgan Menninger.

Kentucky Press Release

In the toughest test of the season, the No. 17/14 University of Kentucky swimming and diving program fell to perennial No. 2/8 Texas at the site of the 2019 NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, on Friday afternoon.

“I thought we competed against such an incredible program in Texas,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “They’re a traditional national power and they displayed that today. Our girls made it a good meet for a while, though we ran out of steam at the end. Bailey Bonnett had outstanding performances. I was pleased with Kaitlynn Wheeler stepping up. Kyndal Knight did great on the 3-meter board. We had to fire on all cylinders in order to win, and we came up a bit short toward the end.

“For the men’s team, Peter Wetzlar was sensational. He did great, and the last relay going 2:56.56 in the 400-yard freestyle relay is outstanding. Peter led the men’s team today, his lead off in the relay was outstanding. He’s a great swimmer.”

Sophomore Kyndal Knight outperformed the women’s 3-meter springboard field for the third straight time this season to finish in first place on 343.95 points. Unbeaten on that discipline this season, her score marks a career best on the 3m board, just seven days removed from accomplishing that same feat against Ohio and South Carolina (334.20) on Oct. 18.

Also making headlines on Friday was the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay team when they recorded the fourth-fastest time in the nation in 2:56.56. Led by senior Peter Wetzlar (43.86), followed by senior John Mitchell (44.38), then sophomore Lukas Kraft (44.58) and with senior Jason Head (43.74) closing the deal, the foursome earned second place, less than half a second behind Texas.

The Kentucky women earned a season-best time in the opening race, recording a 1:39.69 in the 200-yard medley relay to finish second. Freshman Caitlin Brooks led off the team with the fastest lead leg among the field for the third straight time this season, notching a 24.70 in the backstroke split. The foursome was just two tenths of a second from defeating Texas in the opening race. Notable, the Kentucky “B” relay team took third place in the event in 1:42.90, adding a couple extra points toward the team’s score.

Two-time SEC Freshman of the Week, Caitlin Brooks set a new season best in the 100-yard backstroke for the third straight meet, finishing second in 53.02, the sixth-fastest time in the nation.

Junior Bailey Bonnett recorded Kentucky’s first event win of the evening, meanwhile leading two of her teammates to second- and third- place finishes in the 100-yard breaststroke. Bonnett posted a season-best 1:01.75 in the event to top the field. Freshman Gillian Davey also notched a season-best time in 1:02.71 to finish in second, while junior Jaclyn Hill recorded a 1:04. 26 to finish in third.

In that same order, the same trio also took first, second and third place in the 200-yard breaststroke. Bonnett collected first in 2:12.15, Davey took second in 2:12.74 and Hill settled in third place on a timestamp of 2:17.36. Bonnet’s and Davey’s times are season bests.

On the men’s side, senior Wyatt Amdor took second place in the 100-yard breaststroke on his second-best time of the season in 55.77.

Kentucky had a few solid performances in the 200-yard butterfly. On the women’s side, sophomore Izzy Gati took second in 1:59.34, followed by senior Asia Seidt who took third in 1:59.46. Both times were season-best marks. On the men’s side, sophomore standout Mason Wilby grabbed himself a second-place finish, recording a season-best 1:47.78 in the men’s 200-yard butterfly, dropping nearly a full second off his season-opener time on Oct. 9.

Seidt added two first-place finishes to her esteemed resume, winning the 200-yard backstroke and the 100-yard butterfly fields. Topping the 200 backstroke field on a season-best 1:56.18, it marks the 11th-fastest time in the nation. The Louisville native also collected gold in the 100-yard butterfly on a season-best 54.22.

Peter Wetzlar recorded a season-best time in the 100-yard freestyle, earning second place in 44.15, the 10th fastest time in the nation. However, his lead-off split in the 400-yard freestyle relay (43.86) ranks as the seventh-fastest time. The Zimbabwean is ranked in the nation’s top 10 in both the 50- and 100- yard freestyle after the dual meet.

The Kentucky men forced a pair of 1-2-3 sweeps in the dual meet, starting with the 200-yard backstroke. Senior Alex Taylor led the field in 1:49.57, followed by senior John Mitchell in 1:49.87 and senior Connor Blandford forced a third-place finish in 1:50.65.

Later in the meet, junior Hank Siefert led the men’s team in the 500-yard freestyle on a timestamp of 4:28.43. Freshman Jakob Clark followed in 4:34.83, while senior Trent Lakes took third in 4:40.43.