Home Virginia wins fourth straight national championship in women’s swimming and diving

Virginia wins fourth straight national championship in women’s swimming and diving

Chris Graham
uva swimming national champ
Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia, for the fourth straight year, is the national champion in women’s swimming and diving, bringing home the big trophy at the conclusion of the NCAA Championship in Athens, Ga., on Saturday night.

The national title is the 34th for UVA Athletics.

“I’m not sure I can put it into words,” coach Todd DeSorbo said. “It’s really hard to digest even that we won. I told the girls before the session tonight that there are only nine teams, I think, that have ever won one national championship, and we are one of nine. And when you have 70 teams at a national championship, you know, that’s pretty impressive in and of itself. So, it’s just wild. I really can’t put words to it. I’m just really proud of them and happy for them. And this one was a lot of fun.”

The Cavaliers scored 527.5 points to take first place, lapping the national runner-up, Texas, which scored 441 points.

On the final night of the competition, UVA’s Gretchen Walsh won her sixth and seventh NCAA titles at the event, taking first in the 100 free with a NCAA record time of 44.83 and later picking up gold in the 400 free relay. Virginia’s Jasmine Nocentini placed fourth in the 100 free with a time of 47.00.

Alex Walsh took first place in the 200 breaststroke with a personal best time of 2:02.07, the fourth-fastest time ever. It was her third individual title after she had won gold in the 200 IM and 400 IM races earlier in the week. Ella Nelson was third in the event (2:04.80), while Anna Keating placed eighth (2:07.32).

UVA won its fourth relay of the championship and its third straight NCAA 400 free relay title with a time of 3:05.89, just shy of its record mark of 3:05.84 for the event. The relay team included Nocentini, Alex Walsh, Gretchen Walsh and Maxine Parker.

In the 200 fly, Tess Howley placed fourth (1:52.41) and Abby Harter was sixth (1:52.49) to provide the Cavaliers with enough points to clinch the title prior to the evening’s final swimming event.

A total of five Cavaliers brought home gold medals, topped by seven by Gretchen Walsh, six by Alex Walsh, five by Nocentini, four by Parker and one by Carly Novelline.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].