KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman Kate Douglass (Pelham, N.Y.) had a record setting day as she led the Virginia men’s and women’s swimming teams on the opening day of the Tennessee Swimming and Diving Championships at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center.
Douglass set an ACC and UVA record in the 200-yard individual medley, in addition to setting a school record in the 50-yard freestyle. In the 200-yard individual medley, she surpassed the previous conference record, set by former Cavalier Kaitlyn Jones in 2016, by over a second. Douglass swam a time of 1:52.84 for a first-place finish. She also set the Virginia standard in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.53, competing as the leadoff swimmer in the Cavaliers’ 200-yard freestyle relay.
The No. 4 Cavalier women’s team concluded the day in fourth place with 200 points. No. 2 Tennessee leads the team standings with 320 points as No. 8 Georgia is in second place with 308 points.
On the men’s side, No. 12 Georgia paces the field with 291 points. No. 4 Indiana ranks second with 265 points, while No. 8 Tennessee is in third place with 239 points. The No. 18 UVA men’s team is in fourth place with 188 points.
In addition to Douglass, junior Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) and freshman Jack Walker (Charlotte, N.C.) captured first-place finishes. Madden dropped four seconds off her NCAA leading time to take the top time in the 500-yard freestyle at 4:34.64. Walker’s time of 4:15.27 topped the men’s 500-yard freestyle as the freshman dropped three seconds. His time ranks second in the NCAA.
Virginia concluded the night, sweeping the men’s and women’s 400-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.) dropped eight seconds to finish with the top time in the country at 3:27.58. Gmelich swam a career-best 51.88 as the team’s leadoff swimmer. Her time ranks fourth in UVA history and second in the NCAA this season.
The men’s team of senior Joe Clark (Worcester Park, Great Britain), junior Keefer Barnum (Louisville, Ky.), junior Cooper Wozencraft (Houston, Texas) and senior Ryan Baker (Arlington, Va.) captured an NCAA leading time of 3:06.69. Clark’s leadoff swim of 46.01 ranks first in the NCAA in the 100-yard backstroke.
“This team of men and women continues to impress me,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “(This was) probably one of the most fun sessions I’ve ever been at, as far as mid-season invitationals go, and the energy our team brought is definitely the reason why. Our team owned the night and owned the deck. It made it a lot of fun with how loud they were and how supportive they were for their teammates. I think it showed in their performances.
“This whole team is elevating around each other. We’re just really excited with where the team is. Again, they really impressed me and, in some senses, shocked me with how positive and excited they are, and the energy they are bringing to their performances. There are so many good things happening at UVA right now. Looking forward to a great rest of the weekend.”
Virginia will return to action at 10 a.m. tomorrow to compete in day two of the Tennessee Swimming and Diving Invitationals. The Cavalier divers will open competition at the Georgia Tech Invite at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta.