Kentucky swim and dive swept by Indiana in season opener


Kentucky swimmers compete in the Blue and White Meet on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at the Lancaster Aquatic Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Aaron Benjamin, reporter

The Kentucky swim and dive team was defeated by Indiana in the Lancaster Aquatic Center in Lexington, Kentucky, on Wednesday morning.

The womens team was defeated 161-139 while the mens team was defeated 201-96.

The event was far from perfect for UK’s swimmers, but that’s not to say several athletes didn’t stand out.

In the fourth event, the men’s one-thousand-yard freestyle, UK freshman Levi Sandidge finished with a time of 9:02.22 to best the field while sophomore Nick Caruso and junior Zane Rosely finished third and fourth respectively in the event as well.

Sandidge, a Richardson, Texas, native, also won the men’s 500-yard freestyle and the men’s 400-yard individual medley, his third victory on the day.

In the women’s 200-yard freestyle senior Izzy Gati topped the competition with a finals time of 1:48.00. 

Coming in fourth in that race would be senior Kaitlynn Wheeler for the Wildcats, who recorded a time of 1:50.62.

Meanwhile, in the women’s 200-yard butterfly stroke, senior Lauren Poole would win by the slightest of margins, winning by .02 seconds with a final time of 2:01.13, just better than Indiana’s Lily Hann. Junior Anna Havens Rice and freshman Jordan Agliano placed third and fourth in the competition with times of 2:01.74 and 2:03.50 respectively.

Poole would also take the top spot in the women’s 400-yard individual medley with senior Gillian Davey finishing in the bronze position.

In the Women’s 100-yard butterfly the Cats finished first and second with senior Caitlin Brooks and freshman Lydia Hanlon finishing back-to-back with times of 54.52 and 54.87 respectively to put themselves ahead of the field.

Freshman Breckin Gormely would also place fourth with a time of 56:22. 

In the diving category, Kentucky showed out, winning event 15, the women’s one-meter diving, with senior Kyndal Knight finishing first followed by junior Claire McDaniels, sophomore Abby Devereaux and senior Morgan Southall to round out the top-five.

Knight would win her second event of the day later with the completion of the women’s three-meter dive with a score of 353.25 while Devereaux and Southall finished third and fourth with scores of 269.70 and 259.50 respectively.  

“The team fought hard, credit to Indiana and their coaching staff for being well prepared,” head coach Lars Jorgensen told UK Athletics. “It was our first meet out and we have some things to work on and practice to get ready for the next one.”

Looking forward, the team will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, to take on NC State on Friday, Oct. 21 with the meet scheduled to start at 5 p.m. EST at the Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center.