Kate Douglass, Gretchen Walsh Light Up Scoreboard as Virginia Women Top Virginia Tech; Hokie Men Win

Kate Douglass -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Kate Douglass, Gretchen Walsh Light Up Scoreboard as Virginia Women Top Virginia Tech; Hokie Men Win

The two-time defending national champion University of Virginia women have become must-watch swimming, even in a dual meet setting, and the Cavaliers’ first racing opportunity of 2023 provided some highlights. In a dominant 207-91 win over in-state rival Virginia Tech, Virginia stars Kate DouglassAlex Walsh and Gretchen Walsh each had individual wins, and Douglass posted the country’s fastest time in the 200 IM.

Douglass won the event in 1:52.07, which crushed Torri Huske’s previous nation-leading time of 1:53.37 from November. Douglass raced the 200 IM sparingly in 2022 despite winning Olympic bronze in the long course version of the event in 2021, but she returned to the event with a flourish at last month’s Short Course World Championships as she won gold in the short course meters version of the event in 2:02.12, an American record and just off Katinka Hosszu’s world record (2:01.86).

As for this college season, it remains to be seen if Douglass will opt for the 200-yard IM at the NCAA Championships, especially with Alex Walsh holding the fastest time in history at 1:50.08 and the long course world title in the event.

The elder Walsh sister swam some off-event against the Hokies, winning the 100 freestyle (48.56) and 100 butterfly (51.91) while Gretchen had wins in the 50 free and 200 back. In the splash-and-dash, Gretchen touched in 21.26, about three tenths off her nation-leading time of 20.94, while defending NCAA champion Douglass touched second in 21.64. In the 200 back, an event Walsh rarely swims, she posted a mark of 1:51.42 for a three-second win over 2022 NCAA finalist Emma Atkinson of Virginia Tech (1:54.58), and Walsh moved to sixth nationally.

The team of Gretchen Walsh, Alex Walsh, Lexi Cuomo and Douglass won the 200 medley relay by more than four seconds in 1:35.08, with Douglass anchoring in 21.15, and in the 400 free relay, Abby Harter, Gretchen Walsh, Reilly Tiltmann and Cuomo took first in 3:17.16. Walsh split 46.99 to propel Virginia into the lead before Cuomo held off Atkinson by just two tenths at the end.

Ella Nelson picked up wins for Virginia in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.85) and 500 free (4:48.21), and in diving, Virginia’s Jenn Bell swept 1-meter (326.63) and 3-meter (334.28). Maddie Donahoe cruised in the 1000 free (9:48.87), and Aimee Caney took first in the 200 free (1:46.10). Tiltmann edged out Atkinson in the 100 back, 53.02 to 53.26, and Emma Weber cruised in the 200 breast (2:11.69). Virginia Tech’s only win in a women’s event came in the 200 fly, where Morgan Miller edged out Weber, 2:01.56 to 2:01.68.

On the men’s side, Virginia Tech came away with a 162-to-138 triumph with Youssef Ramadan and Carles Coll Marti spearheading the victory. Ramadan won the 100 free in 43.15, and he later swam a mark of 45.43 to win the 100 fly, not far off his season best of 45.13 that ranks fifth nationally. Ramadan also touched in 46.08 in the 100 back, almost two seconds ahead of the field, but he was disqualified. Ramadan later led off a foursome also including Mario Molla YanesWilliam Koeppen and Luis Dominguez Calonge to win the 400 free relay (2:52.97).

Coll Marti edged out teammate AJ Pouch in the 200 breast, 1:55.59 to 1:55.83, and Coll Marti also won the 200 IM in 1:45.79. Keith Myburgh of the Hokies won the 1000 free in 9:13.31, and Koeppen grabbed the 100 back title in 47.92. In diving, Jacob Fisher finished first on 1-meter (373.13), and Noah Zawadzki took the win on 3-meter (368.40).

Virginia’s men got a big win in the 200 medley relay to open the meet, with Matt BrownsteadNoah Nichols, Josh Fong and August Lamb touching in 1:25.94, and Jack Wright was the top individual swimmer of the day for UVA as he won the 200 free (1:35.72) and 500 free (4:25.85). Nichols took down the field in the 100 breast (53.10), and Fong won the 200 fly (1:45.45) before Brownstead (19.99) and Lamb (20.03) took the top-two spots in the 50 free. Jack Aikins took the win in a tight 200 back (1:46.14), but the Hokies won the last five events to close out the win.

Full Results

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