Cavaliers win a pair of titles to kick off ACC Championships

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia recorded two ACC titles to open competition on Wednesday at the ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving and Men’s Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The Cavalier women swept the relay competitions and captured a podium finish from senior diver Sydney Dusel to finish the first day of events in first place.

The Cavaliers concluded the opening day with a score of 166. Notre Dame is in second place with a score of 165, while NC State is in third with a score of 135.

Virginia opened the day with a win in the 200-yard medley relay. Junior Caroline Gmelich, sophomore Alexis Wenger, freshman Kate Douglass and senior Morgan Hill set an ACC meet and Greensboro Aquatic Center facility record with a time of 1:34.27 to out-touch NC State for the top time.

The Cavaliers followed with their 13th consecutive victory in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Junior Kyla Valls, junior Paige Madden, freshman Ella Nelson and redshirt senior Megan Moroney captured a time of 6:55.66 to win the event by four seconds. Virginia’s time ranks second in the NCAA this season and is the fourth-fastest time in UVA history.

On the boards, Dusel earned her second All-ACC career honor with a third-place finish in the 1m dive. She scored 296.40 points to place third and earn a spot on the podium. Dusel recorded the top score during the preliminary round, finishing the six-round competition with a score of 292.45.

Senior Bryce Shelton led the men’s diving team and captured points for the Cavaliers ahead of their swimming conference championship next week.  Shelton scored 334.00 in the finals on the 3m board to place seventh overall in the event. The Cavalier men finish day one with 42 points for fifth place.

Virginia will return to action for day two of the competition on Thursday with preliminary events beginning at 10 a.m. The finals will be streamed on ACCNX with events beginning at 6 p.m.

Meet Notes:

• Virginia has won the 800-yard freestyle relay every year since 2008.
• It’s the first time since 2015 the Cavaliers have won the 200-yard medley relay.
• Virginia held the ACC record in the 200-yard medley relay heading into tonight’s championship, swimming a time of 1:33.91 at the Tennessee Swimming Invitational.
• Sydney Dusel recorded her second podium finish at the ACC Championships after placing second on the 3m board last year.
• Virginia set an ACC meet and Greensboro Aquatic Center record in 200-yard medley relay.
• Kyla Valls recorded a career-best leadoff swim of 1:44.54 in the 800-yard medley relay. The swim ranks ninth all-time in UVA history, a rank she already held.

Quote from Todd DeSorbo:

“Great start to the ACC Championships for the women,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “It’s the first time in five years that we have started the meet out by winning both of the relays. Both relays are in the top two in the country right now, which is really setting us up well for NCAAs in a month. That is our ultimate goal, to use this competition as a steppingstone towards NCAAs. I’m really pleased with the energy the women had. We had a lot of rookies on the relays tonight and they performed really well in a pretty intense and exciting and nerve-racking environment.

“I have to give a big shoutout to Sydney (Dusel) in making the podium in an event that she did not even make the finals in last year. Bryce (Shelton) also got into the finals in an event that he did not last year. The females (divers) outscored, by a fair amount, the score they had on this board last year. The men (divers) got the guys swimming championship, which does not start until next week, off on a really good note. I’m definitely excited with how our eight swimmers and six divers performed today and I’m looking forward to a lot more great performances the rest of the weekend.”

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