KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Sophomore Kate Douglass (Pelham, N.Y.) set two ACC records on the opening day (Nov. 19) of the Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams’ double dual meet against Tennessee and Alabama at the Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn.
Douglass went 21.42 as the leadoff swimmer for the 200-yard freestyle relay to surpass the ACC record time of 21.48 set by North Carolina’s Caroline Baldwin in 2017. She followed the performance with a time of 1:50.92 in the 200-yard individual medley to top the time of 1:51.36 that she set at the 2020 ACC Championships.
Freshman Matt Brownstead (Port Matilda, Penn.) led the men’s team, setting a school record with his leadoff swim of 19.26 in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Former Cavalier Ryan Baker held the previous 50-yard freestyle record at 19.42.
The No. 4 Cavaliers swept both relay events against No. 9 Tennessee and No. 11 Alabama, opening the meet with the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Douglass, sophomore Lexi Cuomo (Clifton, Va.), senior Kyla Valls (Miami, Fla.) and freshman Alex Walsh (Nashville, Tenn.) recording a time of 1:27.37. The time was the fourth fastest in UVA history. Douglass set an ACC record as the leadoff swimmer, capturing a 50-yard freestyle split time of 21.42.
Walsh, junior Alexis Wenger (Detroit, Mich.), Douglass and senior Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) closed the night with a time of 3:29.16 to win the 400-yard medley relay. The time by the quartet ranks fifth in program history. Walsh’s leadoff time of 51.83 in the 100-yard backstroke is tied for third all-time at UVA.
Madden dropped 10 seconds off her preliminary race time to finish the 500-yard freestyle with a 4:33.09 and secure a first-place finish in the event by over six seconds. Madden’s time set a pool record, topping a swim of 4:33.92 by Katie Ledecky from 2013. Sophomore Maddie Donohoe (Annandale, Va.) also improved her preliminary time in the finals, swimming a time of 4:42.79 to place third.
In addition to Douglass winning the 200-yard individual medley with a conference record, school record and Jones Aquatic Center record time of 1:50.92, Walsh and sophomore Ella Nelson (Nashville, Tenn.) finished second and third, respectively, in the event. Walsh recorded a time of 1:54.47, the third-fastest time in program history, while Nelson recorded a time of 1:54.72, the fourth-best time in Cavalier history.
Cuomo finished third in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.47 as sophomore Charlotte Bowen (Dana Point, Calif.) led the Cavaliers on the springboards. Bowen finished third in the finals of the 3m board with a score of 290.25.
Brownstead led the No. 17 Cavaliers against the No. 12 Volunteers and No. 13 Crimson Tide as the UVA first-year opened the 200-yard freestyle relay with a UVA record time of 19.26. He was aided by sophomore August Lamb (Charlottesville, Va.), sophomore Konnar Klinksiek (San Antonio, Texas) and freshman Brian Brennan (Devon, Pa.) in the race as the team placed second with a time of 1:17.76. The team’s relay time tied as the second-best all-time swim at UVA.
The Cavaliers went 1-2-3 in the 500-yard freestyle as sophomore Jack Wright (Wexford, Pa.) led the trio with a time of 4:17.66. Sophomore Jack Walker (Charlotte, N.C.) finished second with a time of 4:18.34, while sophomore Daniel Gyenis (Herndon, Va.) recorded a time of 4:22.48 for third.
Sophomore Sean Conway’s (Round Hill, Va.) time of 1:44.38 placed him second in the 200-yard individual medley and fifth on UVA’s all-time list. Senior Samuel Schilling (Excelsior, Minn.) finished third in the event with a time of 1:45.17.
Brownstead added a top-three finish to his record-setting night with a second-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle. The UVA first-year recorded a time of 19.33 in the event.
The Cavaliers closed the day with junior Justin Grender (Cincinnati, Ohio), senior Keefer Barnum (Louisville, Ky.), sophomore Max Edwards (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and Brownstead finishing second in the 400-yard medley relay. The four recorded a time of 3:08.02 which ranks fifth in program history. Additionally, Grender’s leadoff time of 47.11 in the 100-yard backstroke placed him eighth in program history.
Quote From Todd DeSorbo
“This is a meet our team has really enjoyed in the past and this year is no different,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “I’m proud of the resilience of our young men and women through the last eight months and stepping up to the challenge COVID has presented. We’ve talked about how this will just make our team stronger and they are thriving right now. We are a very young team and it’s exceptional to see them performing at a high level. There were so many highlights today, so many personal bests, school records and conference records. The team has blown me away!
“Our relays have been phenomenal, our energy has been unreal and this team is just gaining steam. I have to give a special hats off to Kate Douglass as she broke two ACC records tonight and gave the American record a scare in the IM, as well to Matt Brownstead for smashing our program record in the 50 (free) in just his second meet as a Wahoo! Looking forward to more excitement tomorrow.”
The Cavaliers will return to the Jones Aquatic Center tomorrow for day two of the team’s meet against Tennessee and Alabama. The swimming preliminary races will start at 10 a.m. as finals begin at 6 p.m. Diving events will start at 1:30 p.m.