Virginia wins 16th ACC Championship, Madden named Most Valuable Swimmer

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

The Virginia women’s swimming and diving team won the ACC Championships for the 16th time in program history on Saturday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, recording the best score in meet history with 1,492.5 points. Tonight’s win was the team’s 11th ACC team championship title since 2008.

Junior Paige Madden was named the ACC Championships Most Valuable Swimmer. Madden won five ACC titles during the meet, which included three individual championships, and scored 96 points. Madden is the first Cavalier to win the honor since Lauren Purdue won the award for her third time in 2013. Madden’s ACC Championship MVP award is the 14th in program history, which leads the ACC for most by a conference school.

Tonight’s win ties North Carolina for the most ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Both programs have won the women’s conference title 16 times.

Virginia won 10 events throughout the meet, including six individual titles and four relay championships. The Cavaliers recorded individual wins from freshman Kate Douglass, Madden and senior Morgan Hill, in addition to winning four of five relays.

Madden and Hill captured individual titles during Saturday’s finals. The Cavaliers also recorded their fourth relay win as Douglass, freshman Lexi Cuomo, Madden and Hill won the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Dropping nearly eight seconds off her career-best time in the event, Madden swam a time of 15:50.38 to win the ACC title in the mile. Her time ranks second in UVA history and is the third-fastest time in the NCAA this season.

Madden topped tonight’s final in the 1650-yard freestyle by over 10 seconds. She recorded her fourth career individual ACC win. She won the 200 and 500-yard freestyle and was a member of the 400 and 800-yard freestyle relay teams at the meet. She now holds a total of eight career ACC titles, tying for 10th most ACC championships in program history.

Hill won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.47 and aided the 400-yard freestyle relay team to a victory during the Saturday’s finals. Hill captured her 11th career ACC title. She ranks fifth in UVA history for most ACC Championships. Including this year’s championship, she has finished first in three individual and eight relay events.

Douglass, Cuomo, Madden and Hill battled for a time of 3:10.57 in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Cavaliers won the event by a second and captured their fourth ACC title in a relay at the meet. The time ranks third in program history.

In addition to her win with tonight’s 400-yard freestyle relay, Douglass won ACC titles earlier in the week in the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay.

Additionally, the Cavaliers concluded the meet with a combined 37 All-ACC honors.

Freshman Ella Nelson set a UVA record in the 200-yard breaststroke  swimming a time of 2:05.68 for second place in the event. Douglass followed with a third-place finish and a time of 2:05.89. Both athletes swam under the prior UVA record in the event set by Douglass earlier this year.

Junior Abby Richter earned a spot on the podium, finishing second in the 200-yard butterfly. She recorded a time of 1:54.09 in the finals of the event.

Junior Emma Seiberlich placed third in the 200-yard backstroke recording a time of 1:53.13. She earned her first All-ACC honor of the week with the swim.

The Cavaliers will return to action for the men’s ACC Swimming Championships on Feb. 26 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The Cavaliers enter the meet in fifth place with 116 points as the Virginia men’s divers concluded their conference championships at the women’s swimming and diving meet.

Meet Notes:

  • Virginia recorded its 16th ACC Championship in program history and 11th title since 2008.
  • The Cavaliers recorded the highest score in meet history with 1,492.5 points.
  • Virginia is now tied with North Carolina for most wins by a conference school at the ACC Swimming and Diving Championships.
  • Madden was named the ACC Championships Most Valuable Swimmer after winning five ACC titles and scoring 96 points at the meet.
  • Madden is the first Cavalier to earn the honor since 2013 and 14th to do so in program history.
  • The Cavaliers lead the conference in women’s ACC Championships Most Valuable Swimmer honors.
  • Head coach Todd DeSorbo won his second Women’s ACC Championship at Virginia.
  • Madden’s time in the mile ranks second in UVA history.
  • Nelson set a UVA record in the 200-yard breaststroke.
  • The Virginia men’s swimming team will enter next week’s ACC Championships in fifth place with 116 points.

Quote from Todd DeSorbo

“I couldn’t be happier for this team of young ladies,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “They have been working together all year towards a common goal, and that goal was not necessarily to win the ACC Championship, but outdo ourselves. I told them that I believed this was the best team in the history of the University of Virginia. So, the goal here at ACCs was to score more points than this team has ever scored. Day-to-day, event-to-event, we set out to do that, and they accomplished that. It was exciting to see.

“The greatest thing about it was that it was a full team effort. We had 21 athletes here, 18 swimmers and three divers, and every single one of them contributed a large amount to that, whether it was points, support, cheering, excitement, energy. They all performed really well and in the end that’s what won the title for us. And we did score more point than any team in the history of the ACC. It’s a true testament to their hard work.

“We were just trying to have a lot of fun and I think they did. When they are having fun, they perform really well. We also talked about how this is just a steppingstone for NCAAs. We are not necessarily focused on this competition. It’s always great to win and I don’t think it will ever get old to jump into the pool at the end of the competition with a conference championship, but the ultimate goal is moving towards contending for national titles.

“I’m excited to see what this team does going forward as we head into the NCAA Championships. The next goal is for the team is to be the best they have ever been at the NCAA Championships.”

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