By CAMIRAN MOORE, UK ATHLETICS
STANFORD, Calif. – In the last major long-course meet of the season, two University of Kentucky swimmers collected individual medals on the nation’s biggest stage for swimming at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Stanford, California. Meanwhile, two incoming freshmen – Gillian Davey and Caitlin Brooks – heightened expectations for the next four seasons when they each reset school records at Nationals.
In addition, four UK women earned second-place honors in the 400m medley relay in 4:05.59 to cap off Nationals. The silver-worthy relay was led by rising senior Asia Seidt (1:00.87), followed by junior Bailey Bonnett (1:09.19), then sophomore Izzy Gati (58.95) and anchored by sophomore Sophie Sorenson (56.58).
Asia Seidt (Sr.)
200m backstroke gold medalist
Headlining the weeklong meet, rising senior Asia Seidt became the University of Kentucky’s first-ever gold medalist at the Phillips 66 National Championships, becoming the national titleholder in the 200m backstroke in 2:08.90. Her time is nearly two full seconds faster than her competitors’ – Emma Seiberlich and Erin Voss – who shared second place in 2:10.86.
The Louisville native’s gold-medal performance came just one month after collecting a silver medal for Team USA at the World University Games in Naples, Italy, in July. There, she reset the Games’ 200m backstroke record in the semifinals in 2:08.81 to earn the top seed ahead of finals, then followed that up with a personal-record time of 2:08.56 to earn a silver medal. The latter time remains Seidt’s best time to date, and it is the sixth-fastest time recorded in the world in 2019.
The three-time defending Southeastern Conference titleholder in the 200y backstroke, Seidt swam in five individual events at the Phillips 66 National Championships – 100m and 200m backstroke, 100m and 200m butterfly and the 200m individual medley. The senior reached the finals (top 24) in each of her events:
- Gold medalist in the 200m backstroke (2:08.90)
- 10th in the 100m backstroke (1:01.00 PR)
- 10th in the 200m butterfly (2:09.61 PR)
- 11th in the 200m individual medley (2:13.92)
- 23rd in the 100m butterfly (59.98).
Caitlin Brooks (Fr.)
100m backstroke bronze medalist
100m backstroke school record holder
Incoming freshman Brooks earned ink in the program record book before dual-meet season has even begun, shattering the 100m backstroke school record at Nationals and earning a bronze medal in the process in 1:00.46. The backstroke specialist led three of her teammates who also reached the 100m backstroke finals – senior Asia Seidt, sophomore Sophie Sorenson and former Wildcat Bridgette Alexander – to earn a new career- and school-record time.
Brooks edged Alexander’s former school-record time of 1:00.50 recorded in 2017. The No. 2 prospect out of Florida, Brooks also reached finals in the 200m backstroke this week, finishing 17th in 2:12.46.
Gillian Davey (Fr.)
200m breaststroke school record holder
Proving Kentucky’s future is in good hands, incoming freshman Davey broke the 200m breaststroke school record twice at Nationals, earning a finals time and career best in 2:26.80 to finish in fifth place. Junior Bailey Bonnett formerly held the school record in 2:27.35, posted in 2018.
Davey, a native of Iowa, was one of two 17-year-old swimmers to finish in the top five in the event. It was her first Nationals appearance in her swimming career.
Bailey Bonnett (Jr.)
400m individual medley school record holder
Relinquishing her 200m breaststroke school record to Davey, rising junior Bonnett picked up another program record by resetting the 400m individual medley school record in 4:44.62 to finish 11th among the nation’s top swimmers. Junior Lauren Edelman previously held the record in 4:45.79.
2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials
Beyond breaking school records and earning medalist honors, a number of UK swimmers earned 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials times or improved their previously recorded qualifying time(s). Eighteen UK swimmers have recorded cut times this season, with the addition of seniors Glen Brown, Connor Blandford and Jason Head and junior Daniel Orcutt who recorded their marks at Nationals. The full list of UK swimmers with 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials times are as follows: