No. 15 Virginia finished its season with a strong performance at the NCAA Championships at Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Over the course of four days, the Cavaliers racked up 78 points, which was not enough to compete with California who won with 482 points. However, Virginia was able to secure a school record and garner multiple individual All-American honorable mentions over the course of the meet.
The action started Wednesday night when the Cavaliers competed in the 200-yard medley relay. Junior Matt Brownstead, junior Noah Nichols, senior Max Edwards and senior August Lamb finished with a time of 1:22.51, breaking a school record. Virginia ultimately finished eighth in the race. The Cavaliers competed in one other race Wednesday night, finishing 18th in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Sophomore Tim Connery, sophomore Jack Aikins, senior Jack Wright and freshman Sebastien Sergile finished with a time of 6:16.91.
Virginia competed in two more races Thursday night with Brownstead standing out as a top performer. He was able to advance to the finals of the 50-yard freestyle where he would finish in 12th place with a time of 18.92. His outstanding performance earned him honorable mention All-American honors. The Cavaliers also finished sixth in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Brownstead, Lamb, sophomore Connor Boyle and Aikins finished with a time of 1:15.26, just over a second behind Florida's squad, who picked up the win.
Outside of prelims, Virginia swam just one race Friday. However, Nichols narrowly missed qualifying for the 100-yard breaststroke finals, placing 17th and making him the first alternate. In the 400-yard medley relay, the Cavalier team of Brownstead, Nichols, Connery and Aikins placed 10th with a time of 3:03.50. This was the second-fastest time in school history.
In the final day of the event, senior Josh Fong joined Brownstead in earning honorable mention All-American in the 200-yard butterfly. His time of 1:42.75 placed him 14th. This time was slightly slower than his prelim performance where he set a personal best of 1:41.92, the third fastest time in Virginia history. Later in the day, the Cavaliers also picked up 13th place in the 400-yard freestyle race to close out their season.
Although the team snapped their three-year streak of top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, Virginia walked away with a school record and two honorable mention All-Americans. With many of their swimmers returning for another year, including standouts like Brownstead and Aikens, the Cavaliers will look to improve upon their performance next season.