Feb. 15, 2018
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The No. 7 Virginia women’s swimming and diving team paced the second day of the 2018 Women’s ACC Swimming and Diving Championships and Men’s Diving Championships on Thursday (Feb. 15) at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C., setting a conference and meet record in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team of sophomore Morgan Hill (Olney, Md.), senior Dina Rommel (East Amherst, N.Y.), senior Laine Reed (Austin, Texas) and senior Caitlin Cooper (Atlanta, Ga.), respectively, recorded a time of 1:26.67 to edge Louisville for first place by three-tenths of a second and capture the fastest swim in the NCAA this season. The time also set a UVA school record.
Virginia leads the conference championship with 442.5 points. Louisville is in second place with 414.5, while NC State ranks third with 373 points.
“The women had a great day today, on the first full day of competition at ACCs,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “We started off with a great morning in the 500 freestyle. We only had two entries in it and they both got the job done and did what they needed to do to make it to the A final. Both of them (Paige Madden and Cece Williams) had lifetime best swims. Paige Madden followed it up tonight with another lifetime best, getting under 4:40 for the first time in her career. Both of them (Madden and Williams) dropped a good bit of time and Paige dropped almost three seconds on the day. The 200 IM-ers had a good competition as well. It was good to see Abby Richter step up.
“In the 50 freestyle, the women really erupted today. With six women scoring, that was huge for the team and the point totals, and all of them having lifetime swims. Obviously with Caitlin Cooper, with her first ever ACC title and an ACC meet record and smashing her own school record, it was really great for her to go out with a bang in her last ACC championships as a senior. The ladies followed it up with a phenomenal race in the 200 freestyle relay, battling with Louisville all the way down to the end. Again, Caitlin Cooper pulling it out with the come from behind win, much like the 800 free relay last night. It was great to have the women come out with that win. We have more than half of the meet left and we are in a really good position. We had the expectation that if they performed well, they challenge for an ACC title as a team. They are performing well so we just have to continue that. We have to come out tomorrow morning and be just as good as we have been so far this meet.”
Finishing first, Cooper set a meet record and earned All-ACC in the 50-yard freestyle, recording a time of 21.54 for the fourth-fastest performance in the NCAA this season. Additionally, she set a school record in the event, topping her UVA record swim of 21.73 from the morning’s preliminary race.
Reed also reached tonight’s podium, earning All-ACC and tying for third in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.07. Her preliminary time of 22.06 ranks third in UVA history.
Hill and Rommel also competed in the top heat of the 50-yard freestyle, placing sixth and eighth, respectively. Hill recorded a time of 22.21 as Rommel swam a time of 22.43. Hill’s preliminary time of 22.16 ranks fifth in school history, while Rommel’s preliminary time of 22.36 ranks sixth in school history.
Senior Jennifer Marrkand (Westford, Mass.) and freshman Abby Richter (Henderson, Nev.) placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 200-yard individual medley. Marrkand recorded a time of 1:56.15, while Richter captured a time of 1:56.31. Richter’s time ranks sixth in UVA history.
Freshman Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) led the Cavaliers in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing fifth and recording a time of 4:39.77. Her performance ranks eighth in school history. Senior Cece Williams (Tallahassee, Fla.) finished seventh in the event with a time of 4:43.76.
Racing in tonight’s B-Finals, freshman Anna Pang (SINGAPORE) finished 12th in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.52, while junior Vivian Tafuto finished 16th in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:00.92.
The Cavaliers return tomorrow for the third day of competition with preliminary races beginning at 10 a.m. The finals will begin at 6 p.m.