The Virginia Cavaliers followed up their impressive 2021 NCAA Swimming and Diving championship with an utterly dominant showing this year to repeat. Virginia finished with 551.5 points, lightyears ahead of second place Texas (406 points). Junior Kate Douglass and sophomore Alex Walsh — both medal winners in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — each went 3-for-3 in their individual events.
Walsh won the 200-yard individual medley, 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard fly events. Freshmen Emma Weyant and Gretchen Walsh (the younger sister of Alex) were among the bevy of Cavaliers that also collected podium finishes.
Virginia then won NCAA titles in four relay events — the 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard medley relay, 200-yard free relay and 400-yard free relay. They also set NCAA records in the 400-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay, and an American Record in the latter.
— Virginia Swimming and Dive (@UVASwimDive) March 20, 2022
While all the Cavaliers impressed, it was Douglass who truly stole the show. Douglass not only touched first in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard breaststroke events, she set new American Records in each of them. It’s not unusual for a swimmer to excel in freestyle and butterfly events, but breaststroke is usually a specialized event. Think of it as if Tom Brady won the NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and then also won the NBA three-point shooting title.
Douglass set the record in the 50-yard free in the preliminary swim with a 20.84, but nearly matched it in the finals with a 20.87.
— Virginia Swimming and Dive (@UVASwimDive) March 18, 2022
Her 49.04 time in the 100-yard butterfly set the American Record for that event, and she closed out her individual events with a blistering 2:02.19 time that broke Lilly King’s record from 2018.
Kate Douglass = "G.O.A.T." – @RowdyGaines
3⃣ 𝘼𝙈𝙀𝙍𝙄𝘾𝘼𝙉 𝙍𝙀𝘾𝙊𝙍𝘿𝙎 🤯
3⃣ 𝗡𝗖𝗔𝗔 𝗧𝗜𝗧𝗟𝗘𝗦 🥇
— Virginia Swimming and Dive (@UVASwimDive) March 19, 2022
With Douglass, Weyant and the Walsh sisters all returning as Virginia’s core for next year, the Cavaliers could be looking a the three-peat. Saturday night’s team title is the University of Virginia’s 30th NCAA team championship.
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