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Four women’s swimming athletes qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics

The Cavaliers put on a show at the United States Olympic Trials coming on the heels of their National Championship season

<p>Virginia freshman Alex Walsh was one of four Cavaliers to qualify for the United States Olympic Swimming team, as she won the 200-meter individual medley.</p>

Virginia freshman Alex Walsh was one of four Cavaliers to qualify for the United States Olympic Swimming team, as she won the 200-meter individual medley.

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After bringing home the National Championship, several athletes on the Virginia women’s swimming team had high hopes heading into the United States Olympic Trials. Those hopes were realized as the Cavaliers saw four women qualify for the United States Olympic team ahead of this summer’s Tokyo Olympic games, while Virginia Coach Todd DeSorbo was named an assistant coach to the Olympic team’s staff.

Incoming freshman Emma Weyant became the first Cavalier to qualify, winning the 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:33.81 last Sunday night. Her performance marked the fastest time in the world this year, setting high expectations for the Olympics.

“These were my first Trials, but I had goals in trying to place as high as I could,” Weyant said. “I think this was about racing for me, and I get to race with the best, and that pushes me, so it’s been fun to get to race these amazing people.”

Senior Paige Madden was the second Virginia swimmer to punch her ticket to Tokyo, as she posted a personal best time of 4:04.86 in the 400-meter freestyle to finish second in the event. Madden finished behind five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky and ahead of former Cavalier Leah Smith.

Two days later, Madden secured a spot on the 4x200-meter freestyle relay team by finishing third in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:56.80. Madden’s impressive performance at the trials only builds off her remarkable finish to her Cavalier career as she became a NCAA Champion in three individual events as well as a relay event.

In the closest event of the entire week, freshman Alex Walsh untouched sophomore Kate Douglass by 0.02 seconds in the 200-meter medley as each qualified for the Olympic team. Walsh recorded a time of 2:09.30, just ahead of Douglass’ time of 2:09.32. Unsurprisingly, this is the event in which Walsh became a NCAA champion.

Although not officially a member of the Virginia women’s swimming team, Catie DeLoof — a Michigan alum currently training with DeSorbo and the Cavaliers — qualified for the Olympic team with a fifth-place finish in the 100-meter freestyle, posting a time of 53.87.

Following the spectacular week from the Virginia swimmers, DeSorbo was named an assistant coach to the Olympic swimming team. This announcement also follows DeSorbo being named the CSCAA Women’s Coach of the Year after leading Virginia to a National Championship.

The four Olympians along with DeSorbo will travel to Hawaii on Sunday for training camp with the U.S. Olympic Team. The Olympics are set to begin July 23 with the swimming competitions taking place July 24 to August 1. All the Cavaliers have legitimate hopes to place on the podium and earn their home country a medal.


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