No. 15 Virginia men’s swimming and diving put together a strong week in Greensboro N.C. at the ACC Championships and finished as the conference runner-up. In the team’s best finish since 2013, the Cavaliers totalled 1,098 points during the week — only behind No. 5 NC State’s 1,250 points as the Wolfpack claimed their sixth consecutive conference title.
Since the men’s diving competitions took place last week with the women, Virginia entered the week with 116 points. A large chunk of those points came from sophomore Walker Creedon, who finished fifth in the event after a strong performance on the platform.
Feb. 26 — the opening day of the swimming events — the Cavaliers had two solid relay performances.
The 200-yard medley relay team of senior Joe Clark, junior Keefer Barnum and freshmen Max Edwards and August Lamb swam a time of 1:24.98 to place fourth. Senior Ryan Baker, junior Samuel Schilling and freshmen Jack Wright and Jack Walker followed by finishing in fifth in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 6:16.68.
"I'm happy with this start for the men," Coach Todd DeSorbo said. "We are sitting with more points after day one than we had last year, so we are off to a good start. Our relays were solid with some great splits from some young guys, especially August Lamb with his anchor on the medley.”
Senior Ted Schubert captured Virginia’s first title of the week on the meet’s second day when he posted a time of 1:43.09 to narrowly win the 200-yard individual medley. The time broke a Cavalier record — one Schubert already owned.
Virginia received a pair of other strong individual performances on day two, as Walker captured second in the 500-yard freestyle and Baker placed fourth in the 50-yard freestyle with times of 4:11.93 and 19.42, respectively.
“That was easily the best our team has been on this night at ACCs,” DeSorbo said. “I'm looking forward to continuing the momentum tomorrow."
On the third day of competition, Schubert added to his impressive week with a win in the 400-yard individual medley, recording a time of 3:40.01. In the same event, sophomore Casey Storch finished third with a time of 3:44.02.
Schilling captured a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle by swimming a time of 1:33.98, and the 400-yard medley relay team of Clark, Barnum, Baker and freshman Konnar Klinksiek finished third with a time of 3:05.82.
The final day of action was punctuated by Barnum’s second-place finish and a new Cavalier record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:52.91. Storch, Schubert and sophomore Justin Grender all added fourth place finishes in the 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly and 200-yard backstroke, respectively.
Virginia finished the meet with Baker, Schilling, Lamb and Klinksiek swimming a time of 2:51.32 in the 400-yard freestyle relay to finish fourth in the event.
"Hats off to our men for their efforts today and the entire week," DeSorbo said. "It feels great to move on up a spot from last year and get second overall as a team. The goal the last few seasons has been to improve, and our men have been successful at that. It is a full team effort to move towards challenging for a conference title and we took a step closer this weekend.”
After a solid week at the ACC Championships, the Cavaliers will next begin preparations for nationals.
“Now we turn our attention towards the NCAA Championship,” DeSorbo said. “I'm excited to see how our guys finish this historic season."
For nationals, the diving competitions will take place beginning March 9. The women’s swimming events will follow, starting March 18, before the men’s swimming team finishes off the season beginning March 25.