LOS ANGELES – Junior Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) and freshman Kate Douglass (Pelham, N.Y.) led the Virginia men’s and women’s swimming teams on the opening day (Oct. 4) of the Trojan Swim Invite, hosted by Southern California, at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center.
Madden opened the individual events for the Cavaliers with the top time in the 500-yard freestyle. The 2019 NCAA runner-up in the event topped the competition by over three seconds as she finished with a time of 4:38.67.
In her first collegiate competition, freshman Kate Douglass (Pelham, N.Y.) recorded the second-fastest time in program history in the 200-yard individual medley, swimming a time of 1:55.15 for first place at the meet.
Douglass followed with the fastest time in the 50-yard freestyle, recording a time of 22.12. The time ranks fifth in UVA history.
“We had a great first session at the Trojan Invite,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “This is a great opportunity to get some very early season racing in. We are a pretty young team. We have 18 freshmen on the team, so over a third of the team is in their rookie season. We’ve got the majority of them (freshmen) out here with us. It’s great to see how they are adjusting to training, as well as the upperclassmen. I see us in a really good spot at this point.”
Freshman Jack Walker (Charlotte, N.C.) captured the top collegiate time and second fastest overall time in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 4:18.46.
Sophomore Casey Storch (Great Falls, Va.) finished second in the 200-yard individual medley, swimming a time of 1:46.88. He was the fastest collegiate swimmers in the event.
The Cavaliers swept the 100-yard medley relay. The women’s team of junior Caroline Gmelich (Rumson, N.J.), sophomore Alexis Wenger (Detroit, Mich.), Douglass and senior Morgan Hill (Olney, Md.) swam a time of 44.24, while the men’s team of senior Joe Clark (Worcester Park, Great Britain), junior Keefer Barnum (Louisville, Ky.), junior Cooper Wozencraft (Houston, Texas) and freshman Henry Schutte (Grand Rapids, Mich) recorded a time of 38.96.
Additionally, Hill finished third in the 500-yard freestyle with a personal-best time of 4:47.17. Junior Abby Richter (Henderson, Nev.) recorded a time of 1:59.24 to place third in the 200-yard individual medley, while freshman Sean Conway (Round Hill, Va.) finished third in the event on the men’s side with a time of 1:47.99.
“We had a lot of great swims,” DeSorbo said. “There were a lot of personal bests. There’s a lot for our coaching staff to be really excited about. It was a great day. A lot of energy, a lot of fun. It was good to see the team interact and support each other and get some racing in before we get into our dual meet competition in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. We have a lot of people swimming a lot of events in a day-and-a-half so we will see how tough they are. This is just a great opportunity to get some good training and racing in.”
Virginia will return tomorrow for day two of the Trojan Invite at 11:30 a.m. ET.