Ramadan’s 45.5 Fly and 42.6 Free Leadoff Help Propel Virginia Tech Men Past Virginia

by Robert Gibbs 15

January 14th, 2023 College, News, Previews & Recaps


  • January 14, 2022
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • UVA Aquatic and Fitness Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Full Results
  • Score: Virginia Tech 162, Virginia 138

The level of fervor in college swimming rivalries may not rise to quite the same level as football rivalries, but the annual contest between the Virginia Cavaliers and the Virginia Tech Hokies is always a high-energy affair. That’s been especially true the last few years as the two teams have been relatively evenly matched.

The #10 Hokies (men’s power rankings) made the trek up to Charlottesville this weekend to take on the #7 Cavaliers in their home pool, and the Hokies left ‘Hooville victorious for the eighth time in program history. It’s worth noting that the margin of victory was smaller than it was last year, when the Hokies had a 187-113, despite the Hoos missing two of their big sprint guns in Matt King and Connor Boyle. The times weren’t as fast as what we saw on the women’s side of the meet, but that’s fairly typical for both teams at this point in the season under their respective regimes, and watch for some big time drops over the next month.

Before the swimming portion of the meet began, the divers competed, and the Hokies men swept the boards with wins from Jacob Fisher in the 1m and Noah Zawadzki in the 3m.

But the Cavaliers threw down the gauntlet to start the swimming portion of the program, as the team of Matt Brownstead (22.00), Noah Nichols (23.74), Josh Fong (20.99) and August Lamb (19.21) combined for a 1:25.94. Each of those four splits was the fastest in the field.

Virginia Tech chose to leave both Carles Coll Marti and Youssef Ramadan off of this relay, instead going with a lineup of Forest Webb (22.21), AJ Pouch (24.76), Will Hayon (21.41), and Will Koeppen (19.64) and finishing in 1:28.02.

The Hokies fought right back, though, with a 1-2 punch of Keith Myburgh (9:13.31) and Luis Dominguez (9:15.01), collecting 13 points in the 1000 free.

Next, Mario Molla Yanes of Virginia Tech led the 2100 free for the first half of the race, but he faded down the back half, as UVA’s Jack Wright and VT’s Coll Marti dueled it out. Wright got his hand on the first, touching in 1:35.72 to Coll Marti’s 1:36.43.

Virginia Tech reclaimed the winner’s podium with a 47.92 effort from Will Koeppen in the 100 back. That’s within a second of his lifetime best of 47.04 from the 2022 UNC Last Chance meet. His teammate Youssef Ramadan actually touched first in just over 46 seconds, but was DQ’d for a 15m violation. The Virginia Tech coaching staff protested the DQ, but the call stood. You can see the race for yourself below:

The back and forth continued with the next event, the 100 breast. Virginia Tech’s AJ Pouch was only 0.05s behind UVA’s Noah Nichols at the 50 mark, but Nichols pulled away on the back half to win, 53.10 to 54.00. Nichols has been swimming fast all season, and he’s tied for the 3rd-fastest time in the country this season with a 51.51 from the Tennessee Invite.

UVA rattled off another couple of wins before the break. Josh Fong won the 200 fly in 1:45.45, ahead of Virginia Tech freshman Landon Gentry at 1:46.19. Next, Matt Brownstead won the 50 free in 19.99.

After the break, though, the momentum began to shift quickly. It started with the 100 free, where Ramadan clocked a 43.15 to win. But despite UVA’s sprint free strength, the Hokies took the top three spots, with Mario Molla Yanes (43.87) and Luis Dominguez (44.14) all finishing ahead of Brownstead (44.35) and the rest of the sprint crew.

The Hokies’ momentum was briefly checked by Jack Aikins‘ 1:46.14 victory in the 200 back, then Virginia Tech got a victory from Coll Marti in the 200 breast (1:55.59) before Jack Wright picked up his second win of the day with a 4:25.85 win in the 500 free.

Perhaps motivated by wanting to put the meet away, Ramadan came up with a big swim in the 100 fly. The junior, who’s one of the fastest men ever in the event and holds a lifetime best of 43.80, swam a 45.43 tonight to win by over two seconds. That’s not far off of his season-best of 45.13, from the Ohio State Invite.

UVA took four of the top five spots in the final event, the 200 IM, but it was a Hokie, Coll Marti, who finished in first, with a 1:45.79.

That set the stage for the 400 free relay. It didn’t take long for fireworks to happen, as Ramadan outdueled Brownstead on the leadoff leg, crushing a 42.66 to Brownstead’s 44.37. Molla Yannes split 43.23, Koeppen split 43.92, and Dominguez anchored in 43.16 as the Hokies won in 2:52.97.

Jack Aikins had a strong 42.94 split on the Cavaliers’ second leg, and Jack Wright (43.80) and August Lamb (43.58) finished things off as UVA touched in 2:54.69.

The two teams will next meet again next month at the ACC Championships. Last year, Virginia Tech finished 3rd with 1054 points, while Virginia was just behind with 1041 points.

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2 months ago

Spanish boys!! Mario, Carles, luis and Nico🇪🇸❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥

2 months ago

Two big swims not mentioned in article are carles and aj both went 1:55 in 200 breast

Michelle Griglione
2 months ago

Good coaching, Sergio!

2 months ago

Was at that meet. Thomas Heilmann was in the stands. He watched Ramadan’s swims closely.

2 months ago

I might get flamed for this, but I think there’s a chance Heilman stays instate and goes to UVA or VT (probably UVA). He just doesn’t seem like a Cal/Texas/NCSU/Florida/ASU kinda guy imo

Cheeky boy
Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

If Maximus goes to Texas (he will), Heilman will probably follow. Put my money in the parlay for that

Reply to  Cheeky boy
2 months ago


2 months ago

I said VT men should be above UVA in latest rankings and got massively downvoted lol

small bird
2 months ago

Ramadan didn’t even look close to 15 on any of those walls

2 months ago

Anyone know where King is?

Blue Horseshoe
2 months ago

YR loves electric light orchestra and similar bands

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