Levi Sandidge breaks program record as Kentucky swim and dive suffers loss at NC State


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

Gabbi Freeman, Reporter

The Kentucky swim and dive team was defeated by No. 4 NC State Friday night at the Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, with freshman Levi Sandidge breaking a UK record in the process.

Despite Sandidge’s performance, the mens team lost 188-105 while the womens team fell 172-126.

While the cats may have suffered an overall loss, there were many personal bests for the team to take pride in.

Breaking the previous record for the UK swim and dive team, Sandidge finished the 1000-meter freestyle with a time of 8:57.81, beating out the nine-minute mark and his competitor Will Gallant by almost three seconds. The time was four seconds better than his previous time, and the second fastest time in the nation this season.

Sandidge also brought home a win in the 500-meter freestyle, finishing with a time of 4:26.25.

Winning a total of 18 points for the men, a team high, Sandidge is undefeated in all of his individual races he entered for the season.

Sam Duncan, a junior diver, also came away with 13 points, achieving NCAA zone standards in both the one-meter and three-meter competitions.

On the womens side, Kyndal Knight, a fifth year, struck down her own personal record in the one-meter dive, which placed her fourth on the UK all-time top-10. With scores of 329.18 and 354.98, she won both of her events for the second consecutive time.

Knight wound up bringing in a total of 18 points for the womens team by the end of the meet.

Izzy Gati, another fifth year, also brought in a total of 16 points for the womens team with her victory in the 500-meter freestyle with a time of 4:50.31.

Also making the podium was senior Beth McNeese, who finished with a time of 4:51.92.

The Wildcats achieved a clean sweep in the one-meter diving competition with Claire McDaniels finishing behind Knight with a score of 288.38 and Morgan Southall after her with a score of 280.58, meeting zone standards.

Helping the Cats go one-and-two in the three-meter dive was sophomore Abbey Devereaux, who recorded a career-best score of 317.03 in the meet.

Senior Gillian Davey also brought home a win in the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:11.30, defeating her NC State opponent by a full second.

Moving on from the loss, the Cats will remain away from home for another dual meet at Texas A&M, which is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 3, at 4 p.m. EST.