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Breaking down UK swim and dive’s schedule post ‘Senior Day’

Samuel Colmar
A Kentucky men’s swimmer competes during the Kentucky Swim & Dive Senior Night and meet against the University of Cincinnati on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, at the Lancaster Aquatic Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky Men’s swim & dive won 186-111, while Kentucky Women’s swim & dive won 207-93. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

While the home schedule has come to an end, there’s still plenty of action left for Kentucky swim and dive.

Kentucky recorded a massive win on senior day under new head coach Bret Lundgaard with the roster, a combination of new faces and returning veterans, hoping to build a strong future for the program.

With a few meets left on the schedule and championship season on the horizon, the Kernel broke down each event remaining.

First Chance Meet: Feb. 8-9

Returning to Louisville, the Wildcats will compete in the “First Chance Meet.”

Individual swimmers will fight to make their times for an SEC qualification, along with qualifying for relays.

This meet is crucial for Kentucky to go into conference championships with impressive times and scores in hopes of earning better seeding in the SEC Championships.

SEC Championships: Feb. 20-24

The SEC Championship is one of the most anticipated meets across the conference. 

Facing off this year in Auburn, Alabama, the Wildcats will be battling against some of the top programs in the country.

The women’s team most recently took gold in 2021, while the men’s team still prowls for its first championship in program history.

Only a freshman then, Levi Sandidge headlined for the Cats last year, becoming the first male swimmer to take first place in the meet since 2006.

This season, the Wildcats have had some individual superstars who could land on the podium.

Last Chance Meet: Mar. 1-2

Knoxville seems to be the swim hot spot this season as UK will travel to the neighboring state again for the Last Chance Meet.

This meeting allows individuals to make their respective time cuts if they fall short during SECs.

It marks the final meet before the March Madness of Swim and Dive: the NCAA Championships.

NCAA Zone C Diving Championships: Mar. 14-16

Competitors must get the required diving score in the U.S. National Diving Championships or any genuine collegiate competition to qualify for the meet. 

Locally hosted by Louisville, Zone C includes Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana schools.

CSCAA National Invite: Mar. 14-16

The world-class Florida Aquatics Swimming Training (FAST) facility in Ocala, Florida, will host NIC.

A record number of student-athletes from Division-I programs are anticipated to attend the championship.

By winning their relevant event(s) at a legitimate collegiate conference championship, individuals and relay teams can earn a spot in the CSCAA NIC and obtain an NCAA “B” standard time. For the Divers, they must have competed in the Zone C championships. 

NCAA Championships (Women): Mar. 20-23

The women’s team will make the trip to Athens, Georgia, to compete for NCAAs.

This meet is essential for Kentucky to succeed against the best swimmers nationally and offers more opportunities for the Cats to make Olympic trial cut times.

NCAA Championships (Men): Mar. 27-30

The men’s team will travel to Indianapolis to swim in their NCAAs.

This is the final time the Kentucky Wildcats will take their marks during the 2023-2024 season.

Despite that, the meet doesn’t mark the end of the year for all the Wildcats as the best of the best will continue their season run all the way to the Olympic Trial Cuts.

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Samuel Colmar, Assistant Photo Editor

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