Annapolis, Md. – The No. 1 ranked Virginia women’s swimming and diving team and 13th ranked UVA men’s team swept Navy in a dual meet as the team opened the season on Saturday (Oct. 31) at Lejeune Hall.
The Cavaliers defeated Navy 188-104 in the women’s meet and 181-117 in the men’s meet.
Virginia set two pool records during the competition with the women’s 200-yard medley relay team swimming a time of 1:38.35 and sophomore Kate Douglass (Pelham, N.Y.) going 1:55.27 in the 100-yard freestyle. Additionally, the Cavaliers captured the top time in 24 of 32 total events against the Midshipmen.
The Cavaliers opened the meet by setting a Lejeune Hall facility record in the 200-yard medley relay. Freshman Alex Walsh (Detroit, Mich.), junior Alexis Wenger (Detroit, Mich.), sophomore Lexi Cuomo (Clifton, Va.) and Douglass swam a time of 1:38.35 to take the top time by over three seconds.
Douglass led the team with three individual wins going 22.43 in the 50-yard freestyle, 48.26 in the 100-yard freestyle and 1:55.27 in the 200-yard individual medley. Her time in the 100-yard freestyle topped the Lejeune Hall record.
Senior Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) added a pair of wins with the top time in the 1000-yard freestyle at 9:45.43 and the 200-yard backstroke at 1:57.69 as UVA first-years Walsh and Abby Harter (Broadlands, Va.) started their collegiate careers by topping two individual events. Walsh posted the top 100-yard backstroke swim with a time of 52.77 and the top 200-yard breaststroke swim with a time of 2:12.14. Harter swam a time of 54.04 in the 100-yard butterfly and a time of 1:58.19 in the 200-yard butterfly.
Sophomore Ella Nelson (Nashville, Tenn.) swam a time of 1:48.37 in the 200-yard freestyle to win the event by nearly two seconds. Wenger won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:00.71 and Maddie Donohoe (Annandale, Va.) won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:55.96.
The Cavaliers concluded the women’s meet with 400-yard freestyle relay team of Wenger, Madden, senior Caroline Gmelich (Rumson, N.J.) and sophomore Ella Collins (Austin, Texas) going 3:25.15.
Junior Justin Grender (Cincinnati, Ohio), senior Keefer Barnum (Louisville, Ky.), sophomore Max Edwards (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and August Lamb (Charlottesville, Va.) posted a time of 1:28.37 to win the 200-yard medley relay.
Grender added wins in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke to his day, swimming a time of 48.38 and 1:46.02, respectively.
In his first collegiate meet, freshman Matt Brownstead (Port Matilda, Penn.) swam a time of 20.12 in the 50-yard freestyle and a time of 44.24 in the 100-yard freestyle to win both events for the Cavaliers.
Virginia saw wins from four additional Cavaliers as Barnum went 54.68 in the 100-yard breaststroke, senior Matthew Otto went 2:00.54 in the 200-yard breaststroke, sophomore Konnar Klinksiek (San Antonio, Texas) went 48.06 in the 100-yard butterfly and sophomore Sean Conway (Round Hill, Va.) went 1:49.22 in the 200-yard individual medley.
The Cavaliers closed the night with the all-freshman relay team of Brownstead, Brian Brennan (Devon, Pa.), Jan Karolczak (Warszawa, Poland) and William Cole (Prospect, Ky.) recording a time of 2:59.27 for the win.
Quote from Todd DeSorbo
“It was great to be back competing after nine months since our last dual meet,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “The team has been working hard to get back into race form and today it was evident we are back. We were happy to have Navy host us and they are a well-coached tough team. Our men and women raced hard and learned a lot about where we are right now and where we need to go moving forward. We had quite a few highlights, quite a few freshmen winning their first ever college dual meet races. It was exciting to be racing again. The women were led by Kate Douglass’ three individual wins, really picking up where she left off last year and setting a pool record in the 100 free. We had several multi-event winners with Paige Madden continuing to thrive, first-year Alex Walsh’s debut and Abby Harter sweeping the flys. The divers are also a young group and are off to a great start this year after not having been in the boards for six months. This team is going to be hard to beat this year.
“The men are young but definitely stronger than last year. Leading the way was Justin Grender and first-year Matt Brownstead with double wins. It was a full team effort as we had six different men win events. It was good to see our first-years embrace the team environment and contribute at a high level as well as our upperclassmen leading the way. I’m looking forward to watching this team develop this season. They’ll be a force by season end.”
Members of the Cavaliers men’s and women’s swimming teams will travel to Richmond, Va., for the three-day Toyota U.S. Open which begins on Nov. 12.