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Swim and dive teams host Cavalier Invite, set records

The Cavaliers closed out the regular season with their sights set on victory in the ACC Championships next week

<p>The Cavalier Invite capped off another impressive duel meet season specifically for the women's team who went 4-1 overall.</p>

The Cavalier Invite capped off another impressive duel meet season specifically for the women's team who went 4-1 overall.

Virginia hosted the third annual Cavalier Invite this weekend at the Aquatic and Fitness Center in Charlottesville. The No. 1 ranked women's team and the No. 14 men’s team went up against seven teams — George Washington, James Madison, Johns Hopkins, North Carolina, North Carolina Wilmington, Richmond, and William & Mary. 

The Cavalier Invite was an excellent opportunity for Virginia to fine-tune its engines ahead of championship meets, and the Cavaliers did so in historic fashion — the women’s team finished the dual meet season at 4-1, while the men’s team finished at 1-4.

The most notable achievement from the Cavaliers came from senior Kate Douglass, who beat her own American record in the 200 yard breaststroke with a time of 2:01.43. Douglass set the previous American record at the NCAA championships last year. 

Junior Alex Walsh took nearly three seconds off her season-best time in the 200 IM during prelims. Sophomore Reilly Tiltmann swam the 100 backstroke in the time trial and set a Cavalier pool record of 50.90. Freshman Aimee Canny met the NCAA “B” standard with her time in the 200 IM of 1:56.68. Finally, senior Lexi Cuomo and freshman Claire Tuggle set a season-best time in the 100 Freestyle time trial. 

On the men’s side, junior Matt Brownstead, sophomores Jack Aikins and Tim Connery and senior Josh Fong set a pool record in the 200 relay with a time of 1:17.23. Freshman Alex Hotta achieved a season-best time in the 500-yard freestyle, making him the fourth-fastest swimmer for Virginia in the event this season. Junior Jack Moore achieved a season-best 1:47.30 in the 200-yard IM, becoming the third-fastest swimmer for Virginia in the event this season. Finally, junior Addie Laurencelle excelled in the 50-yard freestyle, with a time of 20.14 in prelims and 20.22 in finals. 

Freshman Aimee Canny set a pool record the second day of the meet in her third meet since joining Virginia’s squad. She finished with a 1:42.78 in the 200-yard freestyle, achieving the fifth-fastest time in Virginia swim history. Sophomore Gretchen Walsh became the sixth fastest all-time for Virginia in this event, with a time of 1:43.24. 

Juniors Abby Harter and Sam Baron both swam season-bests in the 100-yard butterfly, at times of 52.11 and 52.33 seconds respectively. Senior Ella Nelson also improved her season-best time by over as second in the 100-yard breaststroke in prelims, and freshman Carly Novelline achieved a season-best in the 100 backstroke, winning the event with a time of 52.22. 

On the men’s team, junior Noah Nichols broke Virginia swim legend Ed Moses’s 21-year-old pool record in the 100 breaststroke. He finished with a 51.22. Senior Max Edwards won the 100 butterfly with a season-best time of 46.97. Freshman Matt Heilmann achieved an NCAA “B” time with 3:49.36 in the 400 IM, and senior Sean Conway dropped 5 seconds to achieve a season-best time in the 400 IM with 3:50.36 in prelims. 

Aikins won the 200 freestyle with a Virginia-best time of 1:35.09, and Connery became Virginia’s third-fastest swimmer this season in the 100 breaststroke with a season-best time of 52.95. Brownstead won the 100 backstroke with a season-best, and Freshman Sebastien Sergile achieved a Virginia third-best time in the 20 IM with 1:46.60. 

The next time the Cavaliers take to the pool, the stakes will be raised in championship meets. While the women’s ceiling is likely higher, both squads should impress and continue to break new ground in the coming weeks. Virginia’s teams will have to build on the success of the Cavalier Invite in order to capture the titles they are pursuing. 

The Cavaliers will now set their sights on the upcoming ACC Championships. The women’s team will look to reclaim the trophy for a fourth year in a row in Greensboro, N.C. from Feb. 14-18.