The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming teams travelled to Knoxville, Tenn., over the weekend to compete in the Tennessee Swimming and Diving Invitational while the Cavalier diving teams competed in Atlanta at the Georgia Tech Invite.
At the Tennessee Invitational, the men and women finished fourth and third, respectively. However, this placement may not accurately reflect the team’s overall performance, as some of the teams above Virginia competed in the diving portion of the invitational, whereas the Cavaliers did not.
The star of the weekend for Virginia was freshman Kate Douglass. Douglass set school records in four events while setting an ACC record in the 200-yard individual medley. In the 200-yard IM, she smashed the previous conference record by over one second, posting a time of 1:52.84.
Douglass’s other individual records came by way of the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard breaststroke. She finished with times of 21.53, 50.30 and 2:06.19, respectively.
Douglass was part of another ACC record through the 200-yard medley relay. The team of junior Caroline Gmelich, sophomore Alexis Wagner, senior Morgan Hill and Douglass finished in first place with a record setting time of 1:33.91.
Other notable performances
Junior Paige Madden took first place in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:34:64, shaving four seconds off of her already NCAA leading time. Freshman Jack Walker won the men’s 500-yard freestyle for the Cavaliers with a new personal best of 4:15.27.
Virginia closed the first day with a sweep of the men’s and women’s 400-yard medley relays. Both teams finished with new NCAA-best times of 3:06.69 and 3:27.58, respectively.
On the second day of swimming, Gmelich dominated the 100-yard backstroke — winning her race by over a second — with a time of 52.21. Additionally, Madden posted a time of 1:43.52 in the women’s 200-yard freestyle — good for second in the nation.
The 400-yard freestyle team of senior Ryan Baker, senior Joe Clark, junior Cooper Wozencraft and junior Sam Schilling finished second and topped the previous program record with a time of 2:50.83.
Madden also won the 1650-yard freestyle in 15:58.25 — an NCAA-best for the year.
“Very pleased with our teams' performances on the last day, just as we've been excited for this whole weekend," Coach Todd DeSorbo said following the last day of competition. "The men and women both finished strong, just as we started, with boisterous energy, fantastic support and elite level swimming.”
Senior Sydney Dusel won the women’s 1-meter dive with the top score in both the preliminaries and finals. Her winning score in the finals was 298.20.
Dusel further dominated with a win in the 3-meter dive by finishing with a score of 371.90. The score is second-best in program history.
“Sydney [Dusel] has gotten off to a hot start, picking up where she left off last season,” DeSorbo said. “She's one of the best in the country.”
Junior Jocelyn Porter posted a career-best 294.70 in the women’s 3-meter dive to finish sixth in the event with freshman Charlotte Bowen placing ninth.
For the men, the most notable finish would be sophomore Walker Creedon’s fourth-place finish on the men’s platform — posting a score of 302.50.
The swimming team will be back in action Dec. 5 in Atlanta for the U.S. Winter Nationals, while the diving team will not compete until Jan. 3 in Knoxville, Tenn., for the Tennessee Diving Invitational.