Bechtel wins three events as UK women’s team defeats South Carolina
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior swimmer Danielle Galyer excelled in the 2014-15 season-opener, leading the Kentucky women’s swimming and diving team to a 177-123 win over Southeastern Conference opponent South Carolina on Friday.
“We are really pleased with the women,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “First win in the SEC this year. I think that’s off to a great start. The men were a little short-handed today, but I thought we did as well as we could today.
“We knew it was going to be a tough matchup with both teams, the men’s and the women’s. We had some really outstanding swims on the women’s side … We’re going to have to swim a lot better next week against a really good Florida team. We’re just trying to get better every week, that’s the main goal.”
The UK men’s team dropped the team event by a score of 207.5-92.5.
Galyer won four events – three individual and one relay – on Friday, electrifying the vociferous crowd assembled in the Lancaster Aquatic Center.
Arguably Galyer’s best performance came in the women’s 200-yard backstroke as her time of 1:58.45 gave her the NCAA B Standard to begin the year.
Galyer’s final win of the day came in the grueling 200-yard individual medley as she swam a time of 2:04.03
She also won the women’s 100 backstroke in 55.18, and started the day on UK’s winning 200 medley relay. The team of Galyer, Crew, Myers & Wilson combined for a time of 1:42.98. Galyer swam the opening backstroke leg in 25.97.
Christina Bechtel also won three events on Friday.
“Christina Bechtel was great,” Jorgensen said. “She won all three of her events, and 53.18 is a really good time in the 100 fly right now. I was really happy with her 200 free as well. Danielle (Galyer) continues to improve as well. All best in-season times for her as well. Abbey Myers was also really good so our returning NCAA qualifiers right now are doing a great job.”
Bechtel’s winning 100 butterfly time of 53.18 was also faster that the NCAA B Standard in that event.
She won the 50 free with a time of 23.3 and the women’s 200-yd. freestyle in 1:49.53.
Abby Myers, like Bechtel, won a total of three events on Friday claiming the 200 fly in addition to being on both of UK’s victorious relay teams. Additionally her second-place 100 fly time of 54.48 was also a B Standard time.
The UK women’s team won the 400 freestyle relay to conclude the day with a time of 3:27.99 (Casey, Wilson, Kuethe, Myers).
Kendra Crew won the 200 breast stroke with a time of 1:06.97.
In one of the most exciting finishes of the day Kendal Casey won the 500-yd. free with a surge on the last lap. She finished with a time of 4:54.00 to edge South Carolina’s Victoria Mitchell by 0.33 seconds.
Two of the UK men won events on Friday. Zachary Zandona won the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:50.63.
Brandon Flynn won the 40-lap 1,000-yard Freestyle in 9:17.26.
None of the UK divers won their events (springboard), but they did contribute valuable points to the team scores especially on the women’s side.
“We had some good performances,” UK diving coach Ted Hautau said. “Steven Jou was much better this weekend. Levi Lindsey was a lot better, those guys are new. They have a lot to learn. Steven on the 1-meter event was much better mentally. On the 3-meter event he has some improving to do.
“Christa Cabot was good, but on both events she dropped a dive though. She’s way too seasoned a competitor to do that. Granted those are not her normal (NCAA Championship) dives, but it doesn’t matter. She’s way too seasoned of a competitor. Rebecca Hamperian did well, but she needs to do a lot better. She has the firepower to win that meet on both sides. I challenged her pretty hard that I want to see her embrace that and we will see what she does. I saw some good stuff, but we have a lot of work to do.”
UK will next host perennial national power Florida on Thursday beginning at 7 p.m. ET at the Lancaster Aquatic Center.