CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 6 Virginia women’s swimming and diving team set five Aquatic and Fitness Center records on its way to defeating No. 3 NC State 173-127 on Friday (Jan. 24). The No. 17 Cavalier men’s team fell 169-131 to the No. 7 men’s team from NC State.
The Virginia women’s swimming and diving team set five facility records during the meet, including two relay records. The Cavaliers opened the day with the 200-yard medley relay team of junior Caroline Gmelich (Rumson, N.J.), sophomore Alexis Wenger (Detroit, Mich.), freshman Kate Douglass (Pelham, N.Y.) and senior Morgan Hill (Olney, Md.) placing first and setting a facility record with a time of 1:35.40. Hill, junior Kyla Valls (Miami, Fla.), junior Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) and Douglass recorded a time of 3:16.62 in the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay to top the Aquatic and Fitness Center record set by the Cavaliers in 2017.
Individually, Madden swam a time of 1:44.66 to pass Hill’s 2018 facility record in the 200-yard freestyle. Wenger swam a time of 59.58 in the 100-yard breaststroke, topping a facility record set by FSU’s Emma Dutton in 2004, while Douglass surpassed her own record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:06.98.
Madden captured two additional wins during the meet, placing first in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:43.90 and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:46.16. Junior Abby Richter (Henderson, Nev.) finished with the top time in the 200-yard butterfly, reaching the wall with a time of 1:58.26. Douglass went 22.22 for a first-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle.
Senior Sydney Dusel (Naperville, Ill.) swept the women’s 1m and 3m board, recording a score of 303.60 on the 1m board to win the event by over 35 points before scoring 317.33 on the 3m moments later.
Virginia had four individuals record a win in the men’s meet against the Wolfpack. Junior Keefer Barnum (Louisville, Ky.) led the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 53.66. Junior Matthew Otto (Newark, Del.) finished with a time of 1:57.92 in the 200-yard breaststroke to top the event, while sophomore Casey Storch (Great Falls, Va.) captured a time of 1:47.99 for the top time in the 200-yard individual medley. Senior Bryce Shelton (Vienna, Va.) won the 1m board with a score of 322.73.
“This was a great team performance this afternoon,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “We talk continuously about everybody on the team stepping up, everybody on the team knowing their role and everybody on the team being focused and committed to that role, and tonight both the men and women really came out and showed that. I was definitely pleased with how the team executed all the races, how they battled hard all the way to the finish in every race and the energy the team had throughout the competition. It’s a great rivalry with NC State, having coached there for a while and knowing their coaches very well. They’re a great team and are very well coached. They definitely bring out the best in us and I hope that we bring out the best in their program.
“Our women got the meet started off fast with a 200 medley relay that would win most meets around the country, no matter what time of year, and Paige Madden with a triple that’s very challenging, winning the 1000, 200 and 500 freestyle. She’s so disciplined, so controlled and just swam great races tonight. Alexis Wenger had a little bit of a breakout in her 100 breaststroke, beating the reigning ACC champion tonight, and is starting to make a name for herself. Kate Douglass did what she does best, dominating with a win in the 50 freestyle and 200 breaststroke and was an integral part of both relay wins, especially the last freestyle relay where she came from almost two seconds behind to seal the win. We also had some great performances from a lot of other people, Maddie Donohoe, Ella Nelson, Morgan Hill, Caroline Kulp, Carter Bristow and Abby Richter to name a few. The men fought hard, as it’s the best showing we’ve had against NC State in quite some time, proving that they are a significantly improved team and will most definitely be a force to be reckoned with in the very near future. We had some exceptional performances by Keefer Barnum, Ted Schubert, August Lamb, Justin Grender and our breaststrokers and IM’ers flexing at the end of the competition to go 1-2-3. I am excited about the direction our men are headed and looking forward to another tough day of competition tomorrow here at home with UNC. We are going to have to do a great job of recovering tonight and coming back with the same emotion we had today.”
The Cavaliers will return to action tomorrow, hosting North Carolina at the Aquatic and Fitness Center. Diving events will begin at noon and swimming events will start at 3 p.m. The Cavaliers will honor 11 fourth-years as part of the team’s Senior Day celebration prior to the start of the Saturday’s swimming session.