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Kentucky Kernel

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Kentucky swim and dive triumphs over Eastern Michigan in first home meet of the season

Kentucky senior Asia Seidt swims in the women’s 500 yard freestyle during the meet against the University of Cincinnati on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, at the Lancaster Aquatic Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

No. 19 Kentucky women’s swim and dive made a splash during Kentucky’s Alumni Weekend for its first home meet of the season against Eastern Michigan on Friday, Oct. 13.

Placing first in all 16 dual events with nine podium sweeps, the Wildcats took down the Eagles with a final score of 179.5 to 93.5 in the fully packed Lancaster Aquatic Center.

“The best part was the team’s really good energy all the way through,” head coach Bret Lundgaard said. “They had a really, really good time from start to finish.”

The top scorers for the Wildcats during the meet were Caroline Benda, Grace Frericks, Lydia Hanlon and Bridget Engel – all tallying two individual wins to pave the way for Kentucky’s success.

Benda gained victories in the 1000 free (10:02.44) and 400 IM (4:24.38), adding to her already successful season total of five individual wins in the past three meets.

Frericks performed well, sweeping the 100 (51.21) and 200 (1:51.34) freestyle. Hanlon won her first races of the season, grabbing first in the 100 back (56.43) and 100 fly ( 56.14).

Senior Captain Engel took first place in the 100 (1:02.39) and 200 (2:17.06) breaststroke.

Lundgaard credited his captains as influential team leaders this season.

“The first part of the year, we focused on helping our captains establish themselves as leaders,” he said. “I think the last two weeks, we’ve seen that kind of layer of leadership.”

On the diving side, freshman Kristy Pffaf made a statement with an NCAA Zone Qualifying mark of 286.35 on the 3-meter springboard. Junior Abby Devereaux held the top score of 272.78 in the 1-meter, while freshman Devynn Bishop also posted a zone cut total of 266.85.

The men’s team competed in an exhibition intrasquad meet and is set to return alongside the women on Nov. 4.

Competing against Florida and Tennessee, Lundgaard has high hopes for the tri-meet and spoke on the mentality he plans to set for the team.

“A lot of competitiveness, a lot of gratitude to go against them and compete at a very, very high level,” Lundgaard said.

The Gators are ranked No. 3 in mens and No. 7 in womens, while the Volunteers are ranked No. 6 in mens and No. 6 on the women’s side.

“I think it’s a really good preview of what is to come in terms of knowing what to expect,” Lundgaard said.

He hopes the meet will be an excellent way to show the Cats what their future meets in the SEC will be like.

“We’ll get a lot of information from that meet that we use towards the backend of our preparation for the season,” Lungaard said.

No. 25 men’s and No. 19 women’s swim and dive will continue its season with a tri-meet at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 4th, in Knoxville, Tennessee against the Volunteers and the Gators inside the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.

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