KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 1 Virginia women’s swimming and diving team won both relay titles on the first night of competition at the 2023 NCAA Championships at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center.
Virginia leads the standings after night one with 80 points. Texas is second (64), California is third (56), Stanford is fourth (52) and NC State (44) rounds out the top five.
UVA improved its own American, NCAA & US Open record to win the 200-yard medley relay to kick off the first night. It was the second consecutive NCAA title in the 200-yard medley relay win for UVA and its second American, NCAA and US Open record in the event in just over a month.
Sophomore Gretchen Walsh started the relay with a 22.77 split in the 50-yard backstroke. Junior Alex Walsh dove in second for the 50-yard breaststroke leg and junior Lexi Cuomo swam the butterfly leg.
UVA was neck-and-neck with NC State most of the relay, as Cuomo gave the Cavaliers a slight lead with the fastest split of the night in 22.10. That left it all to anchor, senior Kate Douglass. Douglass cruised past the field on the turn and finished in 20.34, the second fastest 50 relay split ever.
That solidified Virginia’s 1:31.51 record time to win the event.
Virginia capped off the night with a win in the 800-yard freestyle relay, posting a UVA record and pool record time of 6:49.82. Freshman Aimee Canny swam leadoff, A. Walsh made her second appearance in a UVA relay on the night with the second leg, sophomore Reilly Tiltmann was the third leg and senior Ella Nelson anchored the winning relay for the Cavaliers.
It was the second time in three years Virginia has won the 800-yard freestyle relay.
Thursday’s events will feature the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard IM, 50-yard freestyle, 1-meter diving and 200-yard freestyle relay.