April 1, 2023
Final Day of SEC Swim Championship. Photo by Ethan Rand

‘Shock’ Levi Sandidge Takes Milestone SEC Title for Kentucky

Like Levi Sandidge He warmed up on Saturday, the ultimate day of the SEC Championship, and the lads thought they may get into the 1,650 freestyle medal debate. A break or two and perhaps he might win.

However the time it was learn on the scoreboard that night, Sandidge’s splash of pleasure and the way in which she threw herself into the cluster of teammates behind the blocks – was past what she might have hoped for.

Levi Sandidge; Picture Courtesy of: Ethan Rand/UK Athletics

Sandidge made one of many match’s swims to win the mile with 14:31.47. A seven-second margin is the most effective time for the Wildcats to win their first SEC males’s swimming title in 17 years, by greater than 18.5 seconds.

“I seemed on the scoreboard as a result of I hadn’t even seen what I used to be doing,” he stated. “I used to be very stunned as I knew I used to be going for a very good time however I used to be shocked after I went. I simply could not consider it.

Sandidge separated himself from a deep area. Victor Johansson The Alabama staff had gone 14:39 this season. Jake Mitchell he’s an olympic. Jake Magahey it was an ideal assembly

However Sandidge put distance between them early and by no means seemed again. Actually, since 1,000 yards, he was about six seconds forward and could not look again to seek out them.

“As I used to be swimming, I might see three Florida boys to my proper and Jake Magahey behind me,” Sandidge stated. “However perhaps after 500 I wasn’t certain how far behind they had been. After 500 I seemed on the clock so I might see 500 and 1,000 leaving, so I knew I used to be going quick however I did not know the place I used to be going to complete.”

As if the story could not get any higher, 17 members of Sandidge’s household attended. The Richardson, Texas native, about three hours from School Station, additionally stored your complete Kentucky staff behind the block, a uncommon A-finalist for a Kentucky staff to complete eighth out of ten. He believed his motivations had been important to him, and as quickly because the race was over, he threw himself into that group, hovering into the air.

Their assistance is hidden within the success of first-year college students. Kentucky’s girls’s staff has loved success lately, successful the tag staff championship in 2021 and elevating NCAA championship contenders. Males fell behind: Kentucky gained only six men’s SEC Swimming titles at all timesby final Steven Manley Free at 200 in 2006.

Sandidge sees girls’s success as a supply of inspiration, “the wrestle of our girls to succeed in a stage the place they’ll compete.” As thrilling as it’s to swim, it is very satisfying as a method to assist elevate your complete program.

“I hope to construct a much bigger and higher program,” he stated. “I believe it is a enormous step ahead for what the blokes have been engaged on for a very long time – Mason Wilby, Max Berg, Victor Martin Roig – all of them work onerous to construct this system, they go to the NCAAs, they rating factors, they enhance our relay races. It is an ideal feeling to have the ability to win to indicate that we will practice swimmers at this stage.”

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