March 17, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio. – The Virginia women’s swimming and diving team concluded the NCAA Championships on Saturday (March 17) at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion with a third-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Sophomore Morgan Hill (Olney, Md.), senior Laine Reed (Austin, Texas), freshman Kyla Valls (Miami, Fla.) and senior Caitlin Cooper (Atlanta, Ga.), respectively, recorded a time of 3:10.50 to finish third in the event and earn All-America honors. Junior Eryn Eddy (Loveland, Colo.) aided the Cavaliers in the preliminary race, swimming the third leg of the relay. She recorded All-America honors for her effort.
With her swim in the 400-yard freestyle relay, Cooper recorded her 11th overall All-America honor, placing 17th in overall All-America honors in the school history.
Virginia finished ninth in the team standings, capturing 161 points. Stanford recorded its second consecutive national title with 593 points. California finished in second place with 373 points as Texas A&M placed third with 299 points.
“We are really excited with the finish today,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “This last night might have been our best session. Megan Moroney started us off with a lifetime best in the 200 backstroke. We followed that up with two great 100 freestylers in the consolation finals. Both of them going lifetime bests today. Jenn Marrkand dominated the consolation final of the 200 butterfly, setting a school record. The 400 free relay capped it off with a top three finish in that event. Those four great women swam as a team and for each other, and really wore their hearts on their sleeves for the Wahoos.
“We are really excited about the entire session today and the entire meet. To finish top 10 is a phenomenal feat for these women, especially after the fantastic athletes that the program graduated last year. To be able to come back and top their 12th place finish from last year, finishing ninth this year is a great accomplishment. Hats off to the ladies. We are going to celebrate this for a little bit then get excited for the future and get back to work.”
Senior Jennifer Marrkand (Westford, Mass.) finished ninth in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:51.81, setting a school record in the event. She earned All-America Honorable Mention with the swim, tying for 12th in program history for total All-America honors as a 12-time All-American.
In the 100-yard freestyle, Hill finished 13th with a time of 48.04, while Reed finished 14th with a time of 48.21. Both earned All-America Honorable Mention with the finish. Additionally, Hill tied the UVA record in the event during the morning’s preliminary race, recording a time of 47.88.
Redshirt sophomore Megan Moroney (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) recorded the second-fastest time in the consolation finals of the 200-yard backstroke, placing her 10th overall. Her time of 1:51.58 ranks second in program history. With the finish, Moroney earned her eighth overall All-America honor.
Freshman Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) placed 17th in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:51.81 to qualify as an alternate in the event.
In the women’s platform dive, sophomore Sydney Dusel (Naperville, Ill.) finished 24th with a score of 234.50, while junior Kylie Towbin (New Canaan, Conn.) placed 26th with a score of 234.00.
Dropping over three and a half seconds in the 1650-yard freestyle, senior Cece Williams (Tallahassee, Fla.) recorded a time of 16:08.50. Her performance ranks eighth in the school history.
The Cavaliers had 11 individual swimmers record All-America honors during the meet with Marrkand, Moroney and Cooper recording individual first-team All-America honors. Additionally, Virginia captured first-team honors in the 800-yard freestyle relay, 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
The Virginia men’s swimming and diving team will open the NCAA Championship on Wednesday (March 21) at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn.