Women swimmers claim 11th at NCAAs

Virginia earns highest finish since 2010 in first season under head coach Busch

The Virginia women’s swim team concluded a successful season under first year coach Augie Busch with an 11th place finish, earning 123 points at the NCAA Championships this past weekend on the backs of some stellar underclassmen performances.

In three days of competition, Virginia broke four school records and earned three All-American honors as well as four honorable mention All-American accolades. It was the Cavaliers’ best finish at the meet since placing ninth in 2010. For the second straight year, Georgia was crowned national champions.

Two freshman and two relay teams highlighted Thursday. In the 500-yard freestyle, freshman Leah Smith finished ninth to set the school and conference record with a time of 4:33.75. Fellow freshman Kaitlyn Jones placed 10th in the 200-yard individual medley, and both earned honorable mention All-American honors. In preliminaries, the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard medley relay teams broke school records with times of 1:28.97 and 3:29.42, respectively.

On Friday, sophomore Courtney Bartholomew was named an All-American for her fifth place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. Virginia again found success on relays, with the 800-yard freestyle relay placing fifth and the 200-yard medley relay placing seventh.

Two Cavaliers won bronze medals and All-American accolades for their efforts. Smith finished third in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:42.04, breaking her previous school record by six seconds. Bartholomew finished third in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:51.84. Both freshman Laura Simon, who placed 11th in the 200-yard breaststroke, and sophomore Hanne Borgersen, who placed 16th in the 1,650-yard freestyle, earned honorable mentions for the All-American teams.

The men’s swimming and diving NCAA championships begin Thursday and run through Saturday in Austin, Tex.

Published March 23, 2014 in Sports

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