Rye Ulett Breaks Louisville Record in 2nd Collegiate Meet After Surprise Debut

by Sarah Berman 5

January 23rd, 2022 ACC, College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC

Louisville Cardinals Def. Kentucky Wildcats

  • January 21, 2022
  • Ralph Wright Natatorium, Louisville, Kentucky
  • SCY duel meet
  • Meet results
  • Team Scores
    • Women- Louisville 174-Kentucky 126
    • Men- Louisville 208.5- Kentucky 88.5

At the annual Battle of the Bluegrass meet, Louisville won on both the women’s and men’s sides. This meet featured both the defending ACC men’s champions, Louisville, and the defending SEC women’s champions, Kentucky. Both teams competed in tech suits. 

While the men’s outcome is similar to what we saw last season, the women’s outcome was a dramatic swing from last year, where it was Kentucky who won, by 101 points. In fact, the Kentucky women entered this meet on a 4 meet winning streak in the series.

The big surprise of the meet came in the 200 backstroke, where Louisville Freshman Rye Ulett set the school record (1:53.22) en route to taking second to Kentucky’s Sophie Sorenson (1:52.11).

Rye Ulett, whose older sister Tristen is a sophomore at Louisville, was scheduled to arrive next fall. Instead, she has arrived on campus and made her Louisville debut this semester. She’s now essentially qualified for the NCAA Championships already, and with times already in NCAA scoring range, that’s a big boost for the Cardinals mid-season.

The previous 200 backstroke record was 1:53.61, which was set in 2016 from Alina Kendzior. At Speedo Winter Junior National Championships East in December 2021, Ulett touched at 1:53.04 seconds in the 200 backstroke. Her best time came from the March 2021 Southern Premier meet at 1:51.84 – though doesn’t count as a school record because it was before she enrolled at Louisville.

She also swam 53.09 in the 100 back and 2:00.54 in the 200 IM

The meet’s other headliner was Louisville’s Liberty Williams winning the 1,650 freestyle in a record-setting time of 15.53.60 seconds. The previous record was 16:00.78 seconds set by Sophie Cattermole in 2018. This time also ranks her 3rd in the NCAA this year.

Prior to the meet this weekend, her best time in the mile was 16:06.56, which she swam en-route to taking 2nd in the event at the 2021 ACC Championships. Williams placed 26th in the 1,650 (16:18.49) at 2021 NCAA Championships.

Most recently at the Purdue Invitational, Williams posted a 16:36.31 seconds in the mile. Williams was 43 seconds faster that this meet than at the team’s mid-season invite, which was indicative of her team’s performance at this meet.

Williams later swam 4:38.79 to win the 500 free. Her previous best time came earlier this month against Indiana, where she swam 4:40.10. Her best time entering the season was 4:44.05.

Williams was identified as a swimmer mid-season who was expected to qualify for NCAAs, but who hadn’t so far. With this meet, she’s now a lock for the NCAA Championships.

The Cardinals women and men each won the 200 medley relay. The women touched in 1:36.36 seconds with an NCAA A-cut. The Cardinal men finished in 1:23.90 seconds, also with an NCAA A-cut and almost two-seconds ahead of Kentucky. 

Louisville had a few multiple event winners from the meet. Gabi Albiero (200 medley relay, 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly), Williams (1,650 free, 500 free), Nick Albiero (200 medley relay, 200 fly, 100 fly, 400 free relay), and Haridi Sameh (200 medley relay, 50 free, 400 free relay). For Kentucky, Sorenson was the only double winner (200 back, 200 IM)


  • Bailey Bonnett of Kentucky won the 100 breaststroke (59.89) and was the only swimmer to break 1:00.
  • Kentucky’s Nick Caruso set a personal best in the mile (15:22.77) by 11 seconds.
  • The Cardinal went 1,2,3,4 in the men’s 100 backstroke with Mitchell Whyte (47.04), Nikos Sofianidis (47.12), Jack Wever (48.10), and Neal Morsi (49.08). 

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1 year ago

Whoever is in charge of the UK mens team should lose their job yesterday.

1 year ago

UL must be in win now mode! Rye will carry them to the promised land!

1 year ago

>says she’s coming to school in the fall
>comes to campus a semester early
>breaks school record
>refuses to elaborate

Reply to  DCSwim
1 year ago

her manicures are on point tho.

Coach T
1 year ago

Rye’s best time in the 200 Back is 1:51.84 from the March 2020 Southern Premier