Chris Parent (@chrisparent)

Tigers Take Away Positives Against Kentucky

Chris Heigle
Chris Heigle
Communications Student Assistant

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The LSU swimming and diving team fell just short against Kentucky in the first SEC away dual meet of the season. The women narrowly lost 156-144, while the men were defeated 189-109. Both the men and women are now 2-2 on the season.

The Tigers remain undefeated in the diving well this season as senior Lizzie Cui and junior Juan Celaya-Hernandez won both springboard events.

Cui took the crown on both springboards after scoring 319.80 on three-meter and 306.45 on one-meter. Cui has won her last 16 events in dual-meet competition dating back to last season.

Freshman Aimee Wilson finished second on both boards with scores of 317.03 and 288.38 on three-meter and one-meter, respectively.

Celaya-Hernandez has won 15 of his last 16 dual meet events since the beginning of last season after winning both events today. The junior scored 399.98 on one-meter and 438.60 on three-meter.

“We performed well today,” said diving head coach Doug Shaffer. “We competed very well, but we weren’t sharp, and I expected that. This day is a competition that mirrored a long single day at SEC’s, so this is great experience to build on. I’m pleased with our progress and development.” 

In the pool, the women showed some positive signs as they build into the season. Leyre Casarin, Helen Grossman, and Summer Spradley all won events for the Tigers.

“I thought the women really took a positive step today in competition,” said swimming head coach Dave Geyer. “They really fought against a talented Kentucky program. The middle of the meet had strengths for us all over the place.”

Casarin was the only swimmer to win multiple individual events as she won both the 50 and 100-yard freestyle.

Casarin won the 50-yard freestyle, touching the wall at 23.44 seconds, followed by Haylee Knight, who came in at 23.56 seconds. Casarin took the 100-yard freestyle by less than a tenth of a second, beating Kentucky’s Geena Freriks with a time of 50.80 seconds.

Grossman led the way as LSU finished 1-2-3 in the 200-yard butterfly. Grossman came in at 2:02.30, and was followed by Gabrielle Pick and Nicole Rozier, who swam 2:02.61 and 2:04.13, respectively.

Spradley won the last individual event for the Tigers, taking the 200-yard breaststroke, swimming a 2:16.15.

“Leyre continues to be consistent and fast in her sprint freestyle races, and the depth of having Haylee there helps greatly. Our butterfly core had a great 200 that helped us in the front half of the meet. Summer continues to show signs of getting to an elite level in her senior season.”

The women also closed out the meet with a victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay, courtesy of Spradley, Knight, Grace Horton, and Casarin, combining for a time of 1:33.22.

Freshmen Allie McDaid and Brittany Thompson continue to impress the coaching staff. McDaid took third in the 200-yard breaststroke while Thompson claimed bronze in the 200-yard backstroke, swimming times of 2:19.36 and 2:01.65, respectively.

“Allie and Brittany continue to be gritty in their races and I’m looking forward to their progress this year,” said Geyer.

The men started the day with a win in the 400-yard medley relay. Karl Luht, Luca Pfyffer, Lewis Clough, and Matt Klotz, working together to swim a time of 3:17.02.

Luht and Clough, along with Thomas Smith, won individual events for the men.

Luht remained undefeated in the 100-yard backstroke, winning today with a time of 47.72 seconds.

“Karl is consistent with his 100 back and has potential to be great at the national level,” said Geyer. 

Clough was able to claim the 100-yard butterfly for the Tigers, coming in at 48.89 seconds.

Senior Thomas Smith won the 200-yard backstroke for the third time this season, swimming a season-best 1:46.50.

“Thomas is training and racing really well in his senior season,” added Geyer.

“The men were just flat today,” explained Geyer. “I felt the preparation was great coming out of last week with the quality training we got in. When we are doing things faster in practice than we are at meets, we need to look at our preparation on meet day as a staff.”

Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Tulane for the women to take on Tulane and Loyola Friday, while the men host Loyola and SMU at the LSU Natatorium on Saturday at 1 p.m.

For more information and updates on LSU Swimming and Diving please visit LSUsports.net, ‘like’ us on Facebook at LSU Swimming and Diving or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @LSUswimdive.

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