By Robert Gibbs on SwimSwam
UVA vs Georgetown
Saturday, October 9, 2021
We’ve seen UVA host some unique meet formats before — a few years ago they and Auburn swam a meet where the events were picked out of a hat. This weekend, the Georgetown Hoyas traveled to Charlottesville and squared off against UVA in an unscored meet with a couple of unique twists.
For the aforementioned UVA-Auburn meet, swimmers knew beforehand which events they were swimming, but not which order those events would come in. For this meet, swimmers knew when they were going to swim, but the actual event was determined by drawing from a hat just before each heat. Not only that, but rather than swim the standard slate of dual meet events, the teams opted for racing at unique distances and styles (e.g., a 50 yard race consisting entirely of breaststroke pullouts).
As you might imagine in a situation where the event assignments were random, some athletes lucked out and managed to swim events that were in their wheelhouse, while others definitely ended up out of their comfort zone.
On the women’s side, the UVA freshmen stood out, garnering a total of five individual events championships. Kate Morris doubled, winning the 75 fly in 39.86 and the 75 free in 36.64. Ella Bathurst is primarily a freestyler/backstroker, but she grabbed a couple of wins in a different stroke, winning the “50 breast pullouts” in 31.52 and the 25 breast in 12.93. Fellow freshman and teammate Gretchen Walsh took 2nd to Bathurst in the breast pullouts (31.70) and won the “100 IM flip turns” in 53.55.
Unsurprisingly, Olympic 200 IM medalists Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh each won a pair of events. Douglass won the 75 breast in 44.18 and the 25 back in 10.65. Walsh, meanwhile, took a pair of 100 yard events that each constituted of 50 yards of two different strokes. She won the 100 fly/breast in 57.68 and the 50 free/back in 52.39.
UVA also got a pair of wins from Julia Menkhaus, in the form of a 41.93 in the 75 back and a 11.07 in the 25 fly. Breaststroker Alexis Wenger won the 25 free in 10.40.
The Georgetown women’s only win came courtesy of freshman Maddie Haley, who won the 50 underwater in 27.05.
Just as on the women’s side, freshmen came up big, although the Hoya freshmen got in on the winning action.
Virginia freshman Jack Aikins, one of the fastest high schoolers ever in the 200 back, picked up a win in a fairly unlikely event, the 50 breast pullouts. His time of 26.72 put him just ahead of freestyler Jack Wright (26.76). Aikins doubled by touching first in the 100 IM flip turns with a time of 50.84. His classmate and sprinter Connor Boyle earned the win in the 75 free, touching ahead of August Lamb 32.20 to 32.27.
Georgetown freshman Liam Ryan picked up a pair of wins, taking the 75 back in 38.03 and the 75 breast in 43.40. Fellow freshman John McEachern won the 25 free in 9.26, finishing just ahead of UVA freshman Max Iida (9.28).
UVA IMers Casey Storch and Sean Conway each took an event, with Stock winning the 50 underwater in 23.16 and Conway taking the 50 fly/50 breast in 53.15.
Sprint star Matt Brownstead won the 50 free/50 back in 49.16. Josh Fong and Will Cole each managed to swim events that are right up their alley, with Fong winning the 25 fly in 9.46 and Cole winning the 25 back in 9.96.
Noah Nichols is primarily a breaststroker, but he was also a C-finalist in the 200 IM at ACCs, and he showed some of that versatility with a 36.47 win in the 75 fly.
Georgetown’s Drew Carbone, who holds the school record in the 200 IM at 1:46.10, won the 25 breast in 10.37.
The morning kicked off with a 100 medley relay, with two UVA women teams tying to win in 47.06. The results didn’t include the men’s relay. The UVA women also won the 100 free relay in in 42.95, with the Cavalier men winning in 37.06.
Next weekend, Virginia heads to California to take on the Bears in (presumably) a more traditional meet format, while Georgetown will race at American University.
Read the full story on SwimSwam: Freshmen Flourish In UVA vs. Georgetown Off-Distance Dual Meet
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