Bartholomew, Smith to Represent U.S. in Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool
Oct. 22, 2015
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-Virginia swimmers Courtney Bartholomew and Leah Smith have been named to the American squad that will compete against Europe’s best in the seventh Mutual Omaha Duel in the Pool, set to take place Dec. 11-12 in Indianapolis, USA Swimming announced Wednesday (Oct. 21). In addition, UVA head coach Augie Busch has been selected as a women’s assistant coach for Team USA.
“I am so happy for Leah and Courtney to be selected to the U.S. Duel in the Pool squad,” Busch said. “Anytime you are called on to represent your country in international competition, it is a complete honor, which is exactly how they see it. I am humbled and fortunate to have been named to the coaching staff and I very much look forward to the experience. What gets me the most excited, however, is the thought of seeing these terrific young women perform on such a memorable stage in Indianapolis.”
Bartholomew, a senior from Holland, Mich., was a 2014 U.S. National Team member and is a 12-time All-American and 8-time ACC Champion. She earned first-team All-American honors in five events in 2015, including second-place finishes in the 100y back, 200y back and the 400y medley relay, fourth place in the 200y medley relay and fifth place in the 200y IM.
Smith, a junior from Pittsburgh, has been named to the U.S. National Team each of the last two years (2014-15) and was part of the American squad at the 2015 FINA World Championships, where she captured gold with the 4x200m free relay. She also earned two gold medals at the 2015 World University Games, claiming first in the 4x200m free relay and the 400m free. At UVA, Smith captured NCAA titles in the 500y free and 1,650y free in 2015.
In two seasons at the helm of UVA, Busch has earned two ACC Championships with the women and been named ACC Coach of the Year in both seasons. The Cavalier women earned a fifth-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Championships, their highest NCAA finish in program history.
Bartholomew and Smith will become the fourth and fifth Cavaliers to compete at the Duel in the Pool and the first two females. Ed Moses (’00) and Michael Raab (’05) competed at the 2003 edition. Raab competed again in 2005, while Matt McLean (’11) swam at the 2011 and 2013 meets.
This year will mark the seventh Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool, held every other year since 2003. The U.S. is undefeated with a 6-0 all-time record in the competition.
Swimmers can compete in a maximum of six events (individual and relays), and each team may enter up to four swimmers per individual event and one relay. A running score will be kept combining the points earned by both women and men to determine the winning team.