GREENSBORO, N.C. – Caroline Gmelich (Rumson, N.J.), Alexis Wenger (Detroit, Mich.), Alexa Cuomo (Clifton, Va.) and Kate Douglass (Pelham, N.Y.) combined for an American and NCAA record to win the 200-yard medley relay on night one of the 2021 Women’s Swimming and Diving ACC Championships Wednesday night at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
The Cavaliers swept the two relay events on the first evening of competition, also winning the 800-yard freestyle relay in a UVA and ACC meet record time. Virginia leads the meet with a score of 165 through the first day. Notre Dame and Duke are tied for second with 144, NC State is fourth (142) and Virginia Tech (137) rounds out the top five.
“This is a night where I am pretty speechless with what our women accomplished,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “Our divers got the day started off great with Jocelyn Porter leading the way with a 6th place finish and the women fed on that energy the rest of the night. Our quartet on the 200 Medley Relay was just unreal. We knew they could challenge the American Record. It was a goal they had last year headed into NCAA’s but obviously lost that opportunity to COVID. They decided they weren’t going to miss the opportunity again. Our second quartet of women kept the momentum rolling, even from the emotion of the team setting an NCAA record, to stay composed and set a UVA and ACC Meet record in the 800 relay. Our women have won that relay 14 years in a row, it’s a point of pride for our ladies and they enjoy that relay. Excited for the rest of the meet!”
Virginia swept the two relay events on the first evening of competition. UVA’s 200-yard medley relay clocked in with a time of 1:32.93, the fastest in history in the event. The previous American record was set by Stanford in 2018.
Gmelich led off the relay in the backstroke, followed by Wenger swimming breaststroke, Cuomo on butterfly and Douglass anchoring the freestyle leg.
UVA followed that performance with an ACC meet record and UVA record time of 6:54.13 in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Kyla Valls (Miami, Fla.), Alex Walsh (Nashville, Tenn.), Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) and Ella Nelson (Nashville, Tenn.), respectively, finished four seconds ahead of the field to take the ACC title.
Jocelyn Porter (Cornelius, N.C.) highlighted the diving session with a sixth-place finish in the women’s 3-meter event. Porter finished with a season-high score of 303.15. Jennifer Bell (Pelham, N.Y.) finished 17th with a 262.30 and Charlotte Bowen (Dana Point, Calif.) was 21st with a score of 249.60.
For the men, Tristan Gess (Lakewood, Colo.) was 29th on the 1-meter board with a score of 247.40.
Day two of the ACC Championships will begin at 11 a.m. with prelims of the 500-yard free, men’s 3-meter diving, women’s 1-meter diving, 200-yard medley and 50-yard free.
Finals for diving starts at 2:30 p.m. and swimming finals are set for 7 p.m. Both prelims and finals will be streamed on ACC Network Extra.