UK Swimming and Diving Falls to NC State, Auburn at Tri-Meet

Jaron Centers

The RV/No. 12 UK swimming and diving team fell to No. 23 Auburn and No. 4/3 NC State at Friday’s Tri-Meet hosted by the Tigers. The men suffered a 194-101 loss to the Wolfpack, and a 200-100 defeat to Auburn, while the women fell to NC State 180-118 and to Auburn 157-143. 

Senior Riley Gaines led the women in the lanes with two first-place finishes in the 100 free (49.28) and the 200 free (1:47.35). Additionally, Gaines finished second in the 50 free with a time of 22.86. 

Gillian Davey claimed a second-place finish in 200 breast (2:11.69) and a fifth-place finish in the 100 breast (1:02.57). In the 200 IM, three Wildcat swimmers found themselves finishing in the top five: Lauren Poole (2nd, 2:01.17), Bailey Bonnett (3rd, 2:01.81), and Davey (5th, 2:02.30). 

The men’s swimming team featured multiple top-five finishes, with Mason Wilby claiming fourth in the 200 fly (1:47.63) and 100 fly (48.96). Henry Miller also finished fourth in the 200 breast, clocking a time of 2:03.30. 

Max Berg took fourth in the 50 free (20.68), and fifth in the 200 free (1:38.00). Kyle Barker clocked a time of 1:50.42 in the 200 IM, finishing fifth overall.

Head coach Lars Jorgenson commented on the Cats’ performance on Friday. “Riley [Gaines] was awesome today with some high-level swims, as was Gillian [Davey] and Lauren [Poole].” said head coach Lars Jorgenson. “We competed against two quality teams in Auburn and NC State, and we just didn’t have enough people step up today. We will build upon this and use this as a learning experience going forward with the rest of our season.”

Danny Zhang led the men’s divers as he placed second on both the 1-meter (353.35) and 3-meter (401.15). Sam Duncan followed Zhang’s lead, taking third on the 1-meter (334.60) and 3-meter (354.70), achieving a personal record for the 1-meter. Rodrigo Romeo, who finished fifth on the 3-meter (328.45), scored a career-best on the board. 

For the women’s divers, Morgan Southall stood out, as Junior claimed first in both the 1-meter (278.00) and the 3-meter (304.80) in the first victories of her collegiate career. Freshman Abby Devereaux finished fourth on the 1-meter with a 260.15 score. 

“We saw some good things today from our divers, especially in the areas that needed improving,” said head diving coach Ted Hautau. “Morgan [Southall] stepped up really well and she was a force, so it was good to see her confidence grow. Everyone has made good improvements, and hats off to the other competitors.”

The Cats will try to get back on track, hosting Tennessee on Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.