By Natalie Jones
For Greene County News
XENIA — During a small ceremony in the Xenia High School gymnasium, senior Hank Siefert signed a National Letter of Intent Wednesday to join the University of Kentucky swimming team.
Siefert received an athletic scholarship and is looking forward to being a part of a new swim family.
“I chose The University of Kentucky, because I feel that they are an up and coming team that I want to be a part of. It just felt like the right place to call home for the next four years,” Siefert said.
A Division I NCAA program in the Southeastern Conference, Kentucky competes with the likes of Florida, Auburn, Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Louisiana State. The Wildcats men’s program placed ninth in the SEC Championships which were held in Columbia, Mo.
Collegeswimming.com ranked the UK program no. 40 in the country after last season.
Lars Jorgensen is currently in his fourth year as head coach of UK’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving team.
Last season, then-senior Sean Gunn was named to the Zimbabwe Olympic team. On the women’s side, current senior Danielle Galyer brought home Kentucky’s first-ever swimming national title when she won the 200-yard backstroke national competition.
Siefert, who trains at the Coffman YMCA in Springboro, said his biggest swimming accomplishment was getting an Olympic Trial invitation. He earned that invite after setting a national record of 3:58.87 in the 400-meter freestyle at the YMCA Long Course National Championships in Indianapolis that year.
Throughout his high school career, Siefert has worked hard to double the number of swimmers on the Xenia High School swim team.
During his signing, he thanked his parental unit for their constant support and thanked his peers for their encouragement.