Auburn, Ala. – The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams swept Auburn in the program’s first dual meet of 2020 on Saturday (Jan.4) at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center in Auburn, Ala.
The No. 3 Virginia women’s swimming and diving team defeated No. 14 Auburn 253-195, while the No. 15 Cavalier men won with a score of 235-213 against the No. 23. Tigers.
The Cavaliers won 14 of 22 short course events during the morning session with three UVA swimmers capturing a win in more than one event. During the night’s long course session, freshman Kate Douglass (Pelham, N.Y.) set a UVA record in the 50-meter freestyle, winning the event with a time of 25.18 to help the Cavaliers capture 13 of 22 long course events.
At Auburn- Short Course
Junior Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) captured wins in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle. Madden recorded a time of 1:46.12 in the 200-yard freestyle, winning the event by over two seconds, and a time of 4:43.85 in the 500-yard freestyle.
Douglass paced the 100-yard individual medley, topping the event by three seconds with a time of 53.40. She followed with a win in the 100-yard freestyle, capturing a time of 48.27.
Freshman Ella Nelson (Nashville, Tenn.) recorded a pair of wins during the morning session. She finished with a four second gap over the competition in the 400-yard individual medley, recording a time of 4:12.73, before swimming a time of 2:12.49 in the 200-yard breaststroke to win the event.
Additionally, junior Abby Richter (Henderson, Nev.) captured another win for the women’s team, topping the 200-yard butterfly with time of 1:58.46. The Cavalier men had five swimmers win an event as junior Samuel Schilling (Excelsior, Minn.) won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:37.85, freshman Sean Conway (Round Hill, Va.) won the 100-yard individual medley with a time of 50.50, sophomore Casey Storch (Great Falls, Va.) won the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 3:56.38, sophomore Justin Grender (Cincinnati, Ohio) won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:45.27 and junior Matthew Otto (Newark, Del.) won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:58.45.
Virginia also swept the 200-yard medley relay with junior Caroline Gmelich (Rumson, N.J.), sophomore Alexis Wenger (Detroit, Mich.), freshman Lexi Cuomo (Clifton, Va.) and Douglass finishing first with a time of 1:38.90, and senior Joe Clark (Worcester Park, Great Britain), junior Keefer Barnum (Louisville, Ky.), junior Cooper Wozencraft (Houston, Texas) and senior Ryan Baker (Arlington, Va.) swimming a time of 1:28.53 to edge Auburn for the top time on the men’s side.
Tennessee Diving Invite
At the Tennessee Diving Invitational at the Jones Aquatic Center, senior Sydney Dusel (Naperville, Ill.) finished second on the 3m board, recording a score of 350.60. She won the preliminary round with a score 350.65. Junior Jocelyn Porter (Cornelius, N.C.) and freshman Jennifer Bell (Pelham, N.Y.) finished inside the top eighth as Porter placed seventh with a score of 289.10 and Bell placed eighth with a score of 280.95.
In the men’s 1m dive, sophomore Jake Greenberg (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) recorded a score of 291.75 to finish 10th in the event.
Results from Friday and Saturday’s prelims at the Tennessee Diving Invitational were added to team’s dual meet score against Auburn.
“The women’s 3m event today might have been the most fun I have ever experienced coaching,” head diving coach Drew Livingston said. “I’m so proud of our women. You could see each one of our divers feeding off of one another and pushing the team forward. That shared attitude resulted in a NCAA Zone cut for Charlotte Bowen and four of our women making it through to the finals. Finishing with three women in the top eight of a stacked field is a big statement for what we can do this year.
“Jake (Greenberg) has done a great job this weekend as well. Making it through to the finals on both springboard events is a big step in the right direction for Jake. I’m excited to see how our men and women carry this momentum forward tomorrow to platform.”
At Auburn- Long Course
During the long course session against the Tigers, Virginia opened the meet with Gmelich, Wenger, Douglass and Madden swimming a time of 4:08.86 to win the women’s 400-meter medley relay, while Grender, Barnum, Wozencraft and Schilling won the men’s race with a time of 3:42.88.
In addition to Douglass’s win in the 50-meter freestyle, the Cavalier women captured wins from Richter in the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 2:18.22, sophomore Jessica Nava (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 1:00.58, redshirt senior Megan Moroney (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:03.04, Madden in the 300-meter freestyle with a time 3:07.92 and Wenger in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:11.46.
The UVA men’s team recorded wins from Storch with a time of 2:04.57 in the men’s 200-meter individual medley, Schilling with a time of 51.07 in the 100-meter freestyle, Grender with a time of 57.03 in the 100-meter backstroke and Barnum with a time of 1:02.85 in the 100-meter breaststroke.
The Cavaliers closed the night with Baker, freshman Konnar Klinksiek (San Antonio, Texas), Clark and Schilling winning the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay with a time of 3:24.08.
Thoughts from Todd DeSorbo
“We had a great day down in Auburn,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “Their head coach is one of my really great friends, Gary Taylor, and (he) runs a great program and they have a great coaching staff that does a really good job. They are a great team and they competed hard and gave our team a really good run. I think both teams really stepped up, especially, in this time of year when there is some really intense training going on. Both teams were really excited and had a lot of fun racing today, and there was a lot of energy on both sides of the pool deck.
“The women had some standout swims from Kate Douglass, Paige Madden and Ella Nelson, who had her first ever college dual meet wins this morning when she won the 400 IM and the 200 breaststroke. Justin (Grender) and Casey (Storch) had a phenomenal day as well and were big time leaders for us. Casey did a 400 IM and 200 butterfly double for us, back-to-back, which is probably one of the toughest doubles I’ve seen somebody do. Abby (Richter) also did that 400 IM and 200 butterfly double this morning. That just shows a lot a toughness from them. I also want to mention Jess Nava, who bounced back from injury, and it’s exciting to see her healthy, happy and improving. Sam Schilling had a really great day, winning the 200 free this morning then winning the 100 free this afternoon, and just being a complete animal in the relays as well. There are really too many names to say them all, because it really was a complete team effort which is what we were striving to accomplish this year. Just being a well-rounded, great team with everyone performing at a high level and everyone contributing, and we really saw that today. We were really pleased with that.
“The divers were in Tennessee and were competing against Auburn at their invitational. We definitely had some great performances there as well. Sydney (Dusel) is really coming into her own in her last year with us, qualifying for Olympic Trials a few weeks back and hitting her stride today and yesterday on both boards. We have a young group of guys on the boards that are learning a lot and improving really quickly. I’m really happy for the divers and coach Drew (Livingston). He’s done a great job with them. There are a lot of first and second-years that are learning, growing and improving rapidly. Great day for the Hoos. Looking forward to heading over the Blacksburg in a couple of weeks to face Virginia Tech.”
Return to Action
The Cavalier divers will conclude the Tennessee Diving Invitational on Sunday at the Jones Aquatic Center. Both the men and women will compete on the platform with events beginning at 10:30 a.m.