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Men’s and women’s swim and dive teams both finish third at Tennessee Invite

Despite falling to Alabama and Tennessee in the overall standings, the Cavaliers demonstrated strong improvement against stellar SEC competition

The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams traveled to Knoxville for the Tennessee Invite Thursday. The No.1 ranked women finished with 809.5 points, behind Tennessee with 1203.5 and Alabama with 881.5 points. The No. 7 ranked men’s team finished with 728 points, behind Tennessee with 1004 and Alabama with 980 points. The meet took place over three days and showcased improvement for both teams.

“Great weekend for both our men and women,” Coach Todd DeSorbo said. “It’s always a great test to compete against the SEC’s best and our teams rose to the occasion. Shoutout to Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass for both setting ACC and Virginia records … Those two, along with the rest of our squad, just continue to improve. The men continue to improve rapidly from last year to this year and our newcomers are beginning to thrive.”

Both sophomore Alex Walsh and junior Kate Douglass set ACC and Virginia records — Walsh in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:01.4 and Douglass beating her own 200-yard breaststroke ACC and Virginia record with a time of 2:03.58.

Freshman Reilly Tiltmann, senior Alexis Wenger, Douglass and Walsh started off the meet with a win and pool record in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:27.12 Thursday. Douglass, Tiltmann, Walsh and junior Lexi Cuomo finished second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time 1:26.61 — a season-best time for the Cavaliers and an NCAA “A” qualifying time. Douglass won the 200-yard IM with a NCAA “A” time and season-best swim of 1:52.21 in the event. Freshman Ella Bathurst also advanced to the A Final and took fourth with a season-best swim of 1:57.12.

On the men’s side, freshman Jack Aikins, junior August Lamb, senior Justin Grender and sophomore Matt King won the men’s 200-yard freestyle relay with a season-best time of 1:17.67 Thursday. For the 500-yard freestyle, junior Jack Wright won the B final in 4:20.51 to finish ninth, and sophomore Tanner Hering touched first in the C Final in 4:25.00 to finish 17th. Junior Sean Conway placed third in the 200-yard IM A Final with a season-best time of 1:45.39. King finished second in the 50-yard freestyle, tying the third-fastest time of 19.47 in Virginia history.

On Friday, the women won the 200-yard medley relay, and Walsh won the 400-yard IM with a record time, followed by junior Ella Nelson in second and freshman Emma Weyant in third. Walsh also set a pool record with her win in the 200-yard butterfly Saturday. Her time of 1:51.83 was .02 seconds shy of the Virginia record. Douglass, Cuomo, Tiltmann and Walsh closed out the night with a second-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a NCAA “A” time of 3:12.04.

Virginia’s relay group of sophomore Matt Brownstead, Lamb, freshman Connor Boyle and King won the 400-yard freestyle relay with the third-fastest time in Virginia history of 2:50.19 on Saturday. King finished second in the 100-yard freestyle in 42.54, the third-fastest time in Virginia history. Junior Josh Fong closed out the individual performances with a win in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:44.20. 

For the dive team, freshman Elizabeth Kaye finished fourth with a score of 278.80 in the finals of the women’s one-meter event Thursday, as well as coming in sixth in the three-meter finals with a score of 298.15 Friday. On Saturday, junior Charlotte Bowen scored a career-high 215.90 to place ninth in the platform event. Senior Walker Creedon led the men’s dive team with a NCAA Zone qualifying score of 302.95 to place sixth in the platform events.

Virginia’s swim and dive teams will travel to Greensboro, N.C. next to compete in the US Open from Dec. 2 through Dec. 4.

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