LumaLanes Performance of the Week: Virginia, Virginia Tech Split as Gretchen Walsh, Youssef Ramadan Lead the Way

Gretchen Walsh -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Virginia, Virginia Tech Split as Gretchen Walsh, Youssef Ramadan Lead the Way

Performance of the Week, Sponsored by LumaLanes

The two ACC rivals in the Commonwealth of Virginia faced off Saturday in Christiansburg, and the reigning national-champion Virginia women captured a big victory, 193-107. Meanwhile, the Virginia Tech men stormed ahead of UVA to win 187-113.

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For the Cavalier womenGretchen Walsh was brilliant as she won the 50 free (22.18) but also placed first in events outside her normal sprint specialty events, the 200 back (1:54.67) and 200 IM (2:01.24). This was a big performance for Walsh after she missed the midseason Tennessee Invitational for undisclosed reasons. Meanwhile, Walsh’s versatile older sister Alex Walsh won the 100 back (52.68) and 100 fly (52.74). Kate Douglass, who joined Alex Walsh on the Olympic podium in the 200 IM at the Tokyo Games, won the 100 breast (1:00.01) and 100 free (48.11), and Maddie Donahoe placed first in the 1000 (10:00.69) and 500 free (4:52.54).

The Hokie men won big behind the efforts of Egyptian sophomore Youssef Ramadan and senior Antani Ivanov. Ramadan captured first place in the 100 back (47.58), 100 free (43.23) and 100 fly (46.84), and then he completed the day by leading off VT’s first-place 400 free relay. Meanwhile, Ivanov won the 1000 free (9:19.40), 200 fly (1:45.12) and 500 free (4:25.97).

Read the full press release from Virginia below:

The Virginia swimming & diving teams split in its dual at Virginia Tech on Saturday morning at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.

The UVA women won 193-107, while the men fell 113-187. The Cavaliers won 16 events overall in the meet.

“It’s always a tough trip heading down to Virginia Tech coming off our block of winter training and we like to use this as a gauge and steppingstone for the back half of the season,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “The men and women executed races really well, which is what is most important in mid-January. I expect both the men and women to continue to improve as the winter progresses towards championship season. Our divers, especially the women, had a great day on the boards. Quite a few season and personal bests, so I’m excited to see them improving significantly. Overall, a quick day trip for some good racing to kick off the semester. Hats off to VT for some great competition as always. Looking forward to next weekend to compete at home and honor our fourth years in their last home dual meets.”

No. 1 Virginia women at Virginia Tech

  • UVA won all but three events in the dual and swept the top three finishes in two events.
  • Freshman Gretchen Walsh led the Cavaliers with three individual wins. She placed first in the 50-yard freestyle (22.18), 200-yard backstroke (1:54.67) and 200-yard IM (2:01.24).
  • Junior Kate Douglass won two events, taking the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.01) and 100-yard freestyle (48.11).
  • Junior Maddie Donohoe swept the distance free events with wins in the 500-yard freestyle (4:52.54) and 1000-yard (10.00.69) freestyle.
  • Sophomore Alex Walsh picked up wins in the 100-yard backstroke (52.68) and 100-yard butterfly (52.74).
  • Freshman Emma Weyant won the 200-yard freestyle (1:48.87) and senior Alexis Wenger finished first in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:14.08).
  • UVA took the top two spots in the 200-yard medley relay. Douglass, Ella Nelson, Abby Harter and Alex Walsh took first in 1:39.46.
  • The Cavaliers won the 400-yard freestyle relay to close out the meet. Nelson, Ella Bathurst, Reilly Tiltmann and Alex Walsh finished first in 3:20.10.
  • In diving, Lizzy Kaye finished second on both the 1-meter (305.10) and 3-meter (305.63) boards, scoring career-highs in both events. Junior Charlotte Bowen was fourth on the 1-meter and junior Jennifer Bell was fourth on the 3-meter.

No. 17 Virginia men at No. 16 Virginia Tech

  • The Cavalier men picked up three event wins against the Hokies.
  • Sophomore Noah Nichols won the 100-yard breaststroke (53.92), sophomore Matt King was first in the 50-yard freestyle (20.05) and senior Justin Grender won the 200-yard backstroke (1:44.71).
  • UVA took the top two spots in the 50-yard freestyle, with sophomore Matt Brownstead finishing second in 20.06, just behind King.
  • Grender also finished second in the 100-yard backstroke (48.47).
  • King added a second-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle (43.98).
  • Sophomore Tanner Hering (9:33.05) and freshman Peter Thompson (9:40.67) were two-three in the 1000-yard freestyle.
  • Sophomore Jack Wright finished second in the 200-yard freestyle (1:38.61).
  • Junior Josh Fong (1:48.64) and senior Casey Storch (1:48.84) finished second and third, respectively, in the 200-yard butterfly.
  • Storch was second in the 200-yard IM (1:49.19).
  • In diving, senior Walker Creedon finished third on both the 1-meter and 3-meter and freshman Nicholas Sanders took fourth in both events.

Read the full press release from Virginia Tech below:

The Hokies came out strong against the Cavaliers on Saturday, as the Virginia Tech men topped Virginia, 187-113. This marks the seventh time in program history the Virginia Tech men’s team has beaten UVA and the second win under Coach Sergio. The women fell just short, 107-193, putting up a strong fight until the finish. Mid-season additions Luana Alonso, Nico Garcia Saiz and Mario Molla Yanes experienced their first dual meet as Hokies, earning strong finishes.


“We did awesome. Our women’s team did an amazing job competing, and had some very good swims. Our men’s team did amazing, as well, to beat UVA. It’s a very positive thing to beat them. Today was a very good opportunity to see where we are, after winter training. Our times were pretty good, so if we can keep up this pace, I think we will swim very well at the ACC’s this year.”


“Today was a very exciting competition. Our men and women looked very strong. We showcased some new dives, for the first time, during the meet and I, as well as the divers, were very happy with them. We still have a little more work to do, but the atmosphere, support, and enthusiasm of the team is very good. I’m looking forward to more.”


Youssef Ramadan was no stranger to first place in this competition. He swam a time of 47.58 in the 100 backstroke to begin his showcase, earning him first. His next event was the 100 free, where he earned first place with a time of 43.23. In the 100 fly, Ramadan won, again, with a time of 46.84. He was followed by teammates Blake Manoff (48.19) and Henry Claesson (48.51) to complete the second 1-2-3 sweep of the meet for the Hokie men. To finish the meet, Ramadan was the lead-off to the winning 400 free relay with Antani Ivanov, LuisDominguez and Thomas Hallock, earning a time of 2:54.94.

Ivanov controlled the distance events, and was also a three-peat winner. He earned his first win of the day in the 1000 free, finishing with a time of 9:19.40. His next event was the 200 fly, where he placed first, finishing with a time of 1:45.12. Ivanov got his hand one the wall first in the 500 free. Earning his third individual win of the day in a time of 4:25.97. Dominguez finished second with a 4:30.68, while Filippo Dal Maso touched third in 4:30.71 to complete the first 1-2-3 sweep for the Hokie men on the day. To wrap up the day, Ivanov was the second leg of the winning 400 free relay with Ramadan, Dominguez and Hallock.

Carles Coll Marti brought his speed to the CAC on Saturday. He was the second leg of the winning 200 medley relay with Sam Tornqvist, Manoff and Hallock, finishing with a time of 1:26.65. In the 100 breaststroke, he placed second, only three tenths of a second behind first place with a time of 54.12. He earned a first place finish in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 1:56.80. In his last event of the day, he finished with a win. He earned first place in the 200 IM with a time of 1:47.72.


Emma Atkinson proved, once again, to be a strong competitor throughout the day. She started the meet off as the first leg of the 200 medley relay with Anna Landon, Karisa Franz and SarahShackelford that placed third with a time of 1:42.42, swimming a 50 back split of 25.75. She then raced in the 100 backstroke, finishing second with a time of 54.31. In the 200 back, she placed second with a time of 1:55.98. Her last event was the 400 free relay with Shackelford, Landon and Caroline Bentz. They placed second with a time of 3:22.36, with Atkinson swimming a 51.54 100 free split.

Reka Gyorgy kicked off her debut with a first place finish in the 200 fly, finishing with a time of 2:01.07. She continued to dominate in the 500 free, earning second with a time of 4:54.79. Her last event was the 200 IM. Gyorgy placed second, only two tenths of a second behind first with a time of 2:01.47.

Shackelford was a powerful force in the pool. She began the day as the anchor of the 200 medley relay with Atkinson, Landon and Franz. She then went on to earn second in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.99. Immediately following the break, she earned second in the 100 free, with a time of 50.17. To close out the meet, she was the second leg of the second place 400 free relay with Atkinson, Landon and Bentz.

Teagan Moravek left nothing up to chance on the boards. She won first place in both the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions, putting at least 20 points in between her and second place. She finished the 3-meter portion with 335.78 points and the 1 Meter competition with 323.35.

Daniel Valmassei gave a strong performance on the boards. So strong that it qualified him for the NCAA Zone A Championship in March. In the 1-meter portion, he earned second place with a final score of 204.20, behind teammate Noah Zawadzki who finished with 374.48. In the 3-meter section, Valmassei finished in fifth with a final score of 282.90.