By: Mia David
A few weeks ago, the University of Virginia’s women’s swim team was ranked the top team in the nation. They have built up a strong team for the last few years and proved their speed in 2021 and 2022 when they won the NCAA championships.
The women’s team is stacked with Olympians and record-holders. However, Virginia is still one-step ahead and planning for the future. This fall, they have recruited five top-20 girls from the class of 2024—more recruits than their competitors, the University of Texas and Stanford.
Earlier this season, the Cavaliers took on the Florida Gators and shocked people with some insane times. The sophomore Gretchen Walsh was truly the star of the meet. She started the meet with a 21.91 50 fly in the medley relay, which out-splits her teammate Kate Douglas who had the fastest split in history.
Walsh wasn’t done there; she pulled out a 50.53 in the 100 fly, which became the fastest unsuited time in history. She whipped out some speedy 50 and 100 freestyles as well. Gretchen, Douglass, and their teammates Alex Walsh and Maxine Parker went a speedy 3:11.37 in the 400 free relay to finish off the meet.
On November 4th and 5th, the Cavaliers took on the second-ranked women’s team, the Texas Longhorns. Both women and men’s teams competed against each other down in Texas.
The Cavalier women won six events, according to Virginia Sports. Gretchen Walsh had a phenomenal meet, three times being the fastest in the country this season. Walsh also went the fastest time ever in 100-yard IM (the 100 IM is not an NCAA event, nor is it competed at any world championship meets, but it is sometimes added to meets as an extra fun event).
The meet was a fun showdown with music and a light show to add to the energy and excitement, according to Swim Swam News. This dual meet was unlike any other dual meet with the amount of technology and energy put into making it a fun and competitive environment.
Although the meet was exciting and full of great swims for the Cavaliers, they, unfortunately, lost to Texas with a final score of 95-91 for the women.
The team is not yet finished; they are heading to the Tennessee Invitational on November 17-19, and they still have an NCAA championship title to defend.