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Three Virginia swimmers claim medals for the U.S. at FINA World Championships

Rising sophomore Emma Weyant, rising junior Alex Walsh and rising senior Kate Douglass all contributed to the United States’ commanding lead in Budapest

<p>Rising sophomore Emma Weyant won bronze in the 400-meter individual medley, closing out a spectacular week for Cavalier swimmers.</p>

Rising sophomore Emma Weyant won bronze in the 400-meter individual medley, closing out a spectacular week for Cavalier swimmers.

After helping Virginia women’s swimming and diving to its second consecutive national championship, three Cavalier swimmers returned to action to compete at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest to represent Team USA, which was led by Virginia Coach Todd DeSorbo.

Rising senior Kate Douglass was the first to claim a medal for the U.S. in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. Douglass was joined by Torri Huske, Erika Brown and Claire Curzan as the team claimed bronze with a time of 3:32.58 behind Australia and Canada who took gold and silver, respectively. 

Douglass then picked up another bronze medal in the 200-meter breaststroke Thursday. After placing fourth in the semifinal with a time of 2:23.79, Douglass fought her way back onto the podium in the finals with a time of 2:23.20. Douglass joined fellow American Lilly King on the podium, who claimed gold in the event. 

Next up for the Cavaliers was rising junior Alex Walsh, who competed in the 200-meter individual medley. Walsh displayed dominance in her first heat and then the semifinals by winning both before taking home a gold medal the following day.

Walsh displayed dominance in the event by beating Australia’s Kaylee McKeown by 1.44 seconds in the final. The race was a personal best for Walsh, who claimed silver in the same event at the Olympic games in Tokyo last summer. After winning three individual events at the NCAA championships, Walsh’s gold medal at the FINA World Championships only added to her extraordinary year. 

Additionally, Walsh competed in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. Walsh only competed in the first heat to qualify the United States for the finals. She was joined by Claire Weinstein, Hali Flickinger and Bella Sims before Walsh and Flickinger were replaced by Katie Ledecky and Leah Smith, a Virginia alum, for the final where they claimed gold. 

Smith, who graduated in 2017, picked up a bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle. She placed sixth in her first heat before bouncing back in the final to pick up the bronze medal by improving her time by 2.35 seconds. 

Rising sophomore Emma Weyant closed out the medals for the Cavaliers Saturday by taking home bronze in the 400-meter medley. Weyant finished with a time of 4:36.00. 

At the helm, DeSorbo guided the women’s team to 25 medals overall with nine coming from current and former Virginia athletes. This count blew away the rest of the field, and with 45 medals combined between the men and women, Team USA set a new record for total medals at the World Championships.

With Weyant, Walsh and Douglass medaling this year at the World Championships and last summer at the Olympic games in Tokyo, the Cavaliers enter the 2022-23 swimming season poised to win their third consecutive national championship under DeSorbo. 

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