Now with a full year settled-in under head coach Lars Jorgensen, Kentucky named their 2014-2015 team captains on Tuesday, as they will look to a group of 7 seniors to lead the Wildcats next season.
The women’s program is fortunate enough to return all three of its NCAA qualifiers from last season, all three of whom happen to be heading into their senior years, and all three have been named captains.
That includes a pair of 200 butterfliers, Christina Bechtel and Abby Myers, who were 5th and 12th in that event at NCAA’s last year. Both had huge seasons, far-surpassing their accomplishments as sophomores, and that’s a spirit that the Wildcat swimmers & divers will hope to capture as a team. The women finished 23rd at NCAA’s last year, but only 10th out of 12 teams in the SEC.
Another big part of that scoring run at NCAA’s last season was Christa Cabot, a diver, who will return as a captain from last year. Cabot was 8th on the 3-meter and 11th on the platform at NCAA’s to lead the team in scoring.
Joining those three second-time captains will be fellow senior Kristen Wilson, a local Lexington native who will be a red-shirt senior next season. While it would take big drops for her to join the above three in individual qualifying for NCAA’s next year, Wilson is a very important relay swimmer for the Wildcats, and will likely be included on any relay hoping to qualify for Nationals. She was the team’s highest-finishing swimmer in the 100 free at SEC’s last year.
The Kentucky men’s team will be led by a trio of captains: returning leader George Greenhalgh, Brent Dillon, and Michael Christian. Greenhalgh raced with three seniors on the Kentucky relays at NCAA’s last year, and is the only non-senior who scored for that meet for the Wildcats last year.
He was the breaststroker on that 200 medley relay that caught fire at SEC’s to place 6th in 1:25.43 and earn the invite to nationals. This year, he’s within range of an individual invite, having been 53.54 in the 100 breaststroke as a junior. Greenhalgh was a 56.7 in that event coming out of high school, and after a struggle of a freshman year (he was only 59 in the 100 as a best time), he has made big improvements since. Another full second drop to qualify for NCAA’s is well within expectations for him.
Dillon didn’t swim at SEC’s last season, but with a 44.95 flat-start best last season in the 100 free, the Wildcats will be counting on him to contribute to their free relays this year. Their 400 free relay was last (10th) at SEC’s last year.
Christian was a scorer at SEC’s last year, placing 20th in the 200 back. Kentucky’s men all-told were 8th at SEC’s last year out of 10 teams and 37th at NCAA’s with 8 points. 6 of those 8 points came from now-graduated diver Greg Ferrucci on the platform.