March 15, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio. — The Virginia women’s swimming and diving team concluded the second day of the NCAA Championships on Thursday (March 15) at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion with two fourth-place finishes and nine All-America honors.
After the second day of competition, the Cavaliers rank eighth in the team standings with 86 points. Stanford paces the field with 211 points, followed by California in second place with 147 points and Texas in third with 109 points.
The Cavaliers were led by senior Jennifer Marrkand (Westford, Mass.). Marrkand finished fourth in the 500-yard freestyle with a career-best time of 4:35.21. In addition to earning All-America honors, Marrkand’s performance ranks second in school history.
Virginia also finished fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay with sophomore Morgan Hill (Olney, Md.), freshman Anna Pang (SINGAPORE), senior Laine Reed (Austin, Texas) and senior Caitlin Cooper (Atlanta, Ga.), respectively, capturing a time of 1:27.13. Additionally, senior Dina Rommel (East Amherst, N.Y.) earned All-America honors in the event, swimming the second leg of the relay in the preliminary race.
Three Cavaliers earned All-America honors in the 50-yard freestyle, placing in the top 16 of the event. Cooper led the team, tying for sixth place with a time of 21.77. Reed tied for 13th in the event with a time of 22.34, while Hill finished 16th with a time of 22.41. Both Reed and Hill earned All-American Honorable Mentions.
“It was an exciting night for the Cavaliers with our relay (200-yard free relay) getting fourth place in the country and just missing out on a third-place finish, but we are excited to have the points and be in a great team battle,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “Jennifer Marrkand followed that up with a phenomenal 500 free and a tremendous improvement, for her, over the course of the year. She got fourth place as well. We followed that up with three women in the 50 free in the top 16 with Caitlin Cooper leading the way as an All-American. It’s phenomenal considering we did not have anybody in the top 16 last year, and then to have three women this year is, again, another phenomenal improvement for the team. All those women were here last year and they are thriving under the program. We are excited for them and looking forward to tomorrow as well as looking forward to putting points up on the board and continuing our improvements.”
Freshman Abby Richter (Henderson, Nev.) finished 17th in the 200-yard individual medley to qualify as an alternate in the event. Her time of 1:56.18 was a career best.
Sophomore Sydney Dusel (Naperville, Ill.) finished 36th in the 1-meter dive with a score of 261.95.
Day three of the NCAA Championships will begin with the preliminary races at 9 a.m. followed by the finals at 5 p.m. The finals will be broadcast on ESPNU.