ATLANTA, March 20, 2022—University of Virginia defended its title in style winning back-to-back national championships Saturday at the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Center.
The Cavaliers won with 551.5 points, more than 100 ahead of Texas with 406 after a dominating performance throughout the meet.
In the final event of the day, Virginia set an American record in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:06.91.
“Being able to come here and do stuff like this is amazing,” Virginia freshman Gretchen Walsh said. “We all proved something to ourselves at this meet. It couldn’t have gone better. It is just a matter of time before we do something that is history in the making.”
The Cavaliers racked up 11 event championships – seven individual and four relays – in rolling to the title. Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh each captured three individual titles.
Douglass set American records in each of her national championships. She won the 50-yard freestyle (20.84), 100-yard butterfly (49.04) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:02.19).
Walsh won the 200-yard individual medley in an American-record time of 1:50.08, 200-yard butterfly in 1:50.79 and 400-yard IM in 3:57.25. Her younger sister, Gretchen, won the 100-yard freestyle on Saturday night in a time of 46.05, while N.C. State’s Katharine Berkoff was third (46.95).
The Cavaliers also won the 200-yard medley relay (1:32.16), 200-yard freestyle relay (1:24.96), 400-yard medley relay (3:22.34, matching their American record, set at the 2022 ACC Championships) and 400-yard freestyle relay (an American- and NCAA-record time 3:06.91).
Berkoff won her second straight NCAA title in the 100 backstroke in an American-record time of 48.74, finishing just ahead of Gretchen Walsh (49.00).
Miami’s Mia Vallee won the 1-meter diving title with a meet-record score of 365.75. North Carolina’s Aranza Vazquez earned the bronze medal with a score of 354.75. Vallee also was the ACC’s top finisher in the 3-meter event, tying for fourth place with a total score of 376.20.
The top finishers in the final day’s seven events were:
1650-yard free: Paige McKenna, Wisconsin: 20 points.
200-yard backstroke: Regan Smith, Stanford: 20 points.
100-yard freestyle: Gretchen Walsh, Virginia: 20 points.
200-yard breaststroke: Kate Douglass, Virginia: 20 points.
200 yard butterfly: Alex Walsh, Virginia: 20 points.
Platform diving: Tarrin Gilliland, Indiana: 20 points.
400-yard freestyle relay: Virginia: 40 points.
Two Florida Gold Coast swimmers competed in their final event .
University of Florida freshman Anna Auld was 33rd in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 16:20.09.
In her final collegiate race, University of Virginia senior Jessica Nava was 22nd in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:55.16.
The official website for the women’s championship is http://www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-women/d1.
The DI Women’s Swimming & Diving Program can be viewed at http://www.NCAA.com/gameprograms. The program is free to view and can be downloaded and printed.
The men’s championships will be held March 23-26, also in Atlanta.
TEAM TOTALS: 1. Virginia 551.5, 2. Texas 406, 3. Stanford 399.5, 4. Alabama 288, 5. N.C. State 279, 6. Louisville 196.5, 7. Michigan 184.5, 8. California 180, 9. Ohio State 165, 10. Tennessee 127, 13. Florida 115, 22. Miami 41.5, 36. Florida International 3.
200-yard backstroke: 1. Regan Smith, STAN 1:47.76, 2. Phoebe Bacon, WIS 1:49.29, 3. Rhyan White, ALA 1:49.36.
100-yard freestyle: 1. Gretchen Walsh, UVA 46.05, 2. Morgan Scott, ALA 46.78, 3. Katharine Berkoff, NCS 46.95.
200-yard breaststroke: 1. Kate Douglass, UVA 2:02.19, 2. Anna Elendt, TEX 2:04.31, 3. Sophie Hansson, NCS 2:04.76.
200-yard butterfly: 1. Alex Walsh, UVA 1:50.79, 2. tie, Olivia Carter, MICH 1:51.19 and Regan Smith, STAN 1:51.19.
Platform diving: 1. Tarrin Gilliland, IU 372.95, 2. Delaney Schnell, ARIZ 345.10, 3. Jordan Skillken, TEX 315.45
400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Virginia 3:06.91 (Kate Douglass, Alex Walsh, Reilly Tiltmann, Gretchen Walsh), 2. Stanford 3:08.97, 3. Alabama 3:09.07, 7. Florida 3:11.07, 22. Florida State 3:15.70.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com