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Kentucky women’s swimming & diving wins first SEC Championship

The Wildcats won three gold medals this week and finished with 1,124 points.
Kentucky women's swimming & diving wins the SEC crown.
Kentucky women's swimming & diving wins the SEC crown.(UK Athletics)
Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 10:38 PM EST
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ATHENS, Ga. and COLUMBIA, Mo. (WKYT) - For the first time in school history, the Kentucky women’s swimming and diving team won the SEC Championships.

The Wildcats broke five school records, produced 12 podium finishes and held off Florida to take the gold with 1,124 points. That is their highest score in history.

Thirteen swimmers earned a combined 14 personal records on Saturday, while 39 personal records were set throughout the meet.

“This championship means a lot,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “We’ve been building this over a few years now, and it’s about the people in front of us that helped build our program. The alumni from years passed established it, our coaching staff, our administration. So many people had terrific effort this weekend, it was really fantastic. I couldn’t be more thrilled for our institution and for our girls. What a great moment.”

Kentucky set the pace early on in the finals, earning a 2-3 finish in the 200 backstroke.

Sophie Sorenson claimed the first individual podium finish at the SEC Championships in her career, collecting the silver medal in the event on a personal record 1:50.94. The time is the fourth fastest in UK history. Caitlin Brooks followed her pace, earning her second individual podium finish of the meet with a bronze medal after touching the wall in 1:51.96.

Following the opening event, two swimmers went on to break school records in the next two events.

Riley Gaines broke the school record in the 100 freestyle for the third time this season, doing so in 48.21 and earning sixth place overall in the conference. In the next race, Gillian Davey broke the school record in the 200 breaststroke on a time of 2:05.59. With that time, she also earned her second silver medal of the meet and met the 2021 NCAA Championships “A” time standard.

Two other swimmers stepped up in the 200 breaststroke to win the “B” final and the “C” final on personal records. Jaclyn Hill won the “B” final for ninth place on a time of 2:08.62, while Anna Havens Rice, just a freshman, won the “C” final for 17th place on a time of 2:10.21.

In the final individual event of the meet, the 200 butterfly, Gaines brought home fourth place on a personal record 1:55.10, while Izzy Gati finished in seventh place in 1:56.00.

Medal Count: 12

Gold: 3

Lauren Poole (400 IM, 4:03.90)

Riley Gaines (200 free, 1:42.70)

800 freestyle relay, 6:58.58

Silver: 3

Gillian Davey (200 breast, 2:05.59)

Gillian Davey (400 IM, 4:05.96)

Sophie Sorenson (200 back, 1:50.94)

Bronze: 6

Izzy Gati (100 fly, 51.74)

Caitlin Brooks (100 back, 51.63)

Caitlin Brooks (200 back, 1:51.96)

Kyndal Knight (platform, 275.65)

200 med-r, 1:35.87

400 med-r, 3:30.44

School Record Count: 5

Gillian Davey (200 breast, 2:05.59)

Lauren Poole (400 IM, 4:03.90)

Riley Gaines (100 free, 48.21)

Riley Gaines (200 free, 1:42.70)

200 med-r, 1:35.87

2021 NCAA Championships Automatic Qualifications Count: 5

Riley Gaines (200 free, 1:42.70)

Gillian Davey (200 breast, 2:05.59)

200 med-r, 1:35.87

400 med-r, 3:30.44

800 freestyle relay, 6:58.58

Team Scores

PLACE TEAM POINTS

1. Kentucky 1124

2. Florida 1071

3. Georgia 999

4. Alabama 973

5. Tennessee 934

6. Texas A&M 839

7. Missouri 614.5

8. Arkansas 595

9. Auburn 510

10. LSU 390.5

11. South Carolina 276

12. Vanderbilt 154

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