GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Virginia women’s swimming & diving team won the 800-yard freestyle relay to open the 2021 NCAA Championships on Wednesday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

It was the first NCAA Championship win in a relay in program history. The Cavaliers finished five seconds ahead of the field with a time of 6:52.56 to earn 40 points and the lead after the first event.

Kyla Valls (Miami, Fla.) led off the relay, followed by Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.), Ella Nelson (Nashville, Tenn.) swam the third leg and Alex Walsh (Nashville, Tenn.) was the anchor for the Cavaliers. UVA’s previous best finish in a relay was second at NCAAs.


The 2021 NCAA Championship continues on Thursday with prelims for the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, 50-yard freestyle and one-meter diving beginning at 10 a.m. Finals are set for 6 p.m. Both sessions will be streamed live on ESPN3.