UVA Lands the Top In-state Talent for Class of 2023: Maddie Donohoe

Distance freestyle standout Maddie Donohoe has announced she will join the University of Virginia women’s swimming and diving team, recently crowned 2018 ACC Champions, in the fall of 2019. Donohoe is a junior at Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. Donohoe made her announcement following Virginia’s stellar performances, especially in freestyle, at ACCs. She wrote on social media:

“I’m excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my swim and academic career at the University of Virginia! Thank you to my coaches and to everyone who has gotten me to this point. I cannot wait to swim for UVA! Go Hoos??’

Donohoe swims for The Fish year-round. She is a member of the 2017-2018 Women’s National Junior Team, selected for her performance in the 1500 free (16:30.74) at 2017 Phillips 66 National Championships. Donohoe only just turned 16 in November but she has already established herself as one of the top distance freestylers in history in the 15-16 age group. With a whole summer left to swim in LCM, her 16:30.74 in the 1500 already ranks 28th, her 800 time (8:41.54) is 57th, and her 400 free (4:15.48) is 93rd. In SCY she ranks 13th all-time in the 1650 free (16:01.60), 21st in the 1000 (9:37.78), and 80th in the 500 free (4:44.27).

A USA Swimming Scholastic All-American and NISCA All-American, Donohoe won the 200/500 freestyle events last month at the National Catholic Swimming & Diving Championships, which was a repeat of her performance as a sophomore at the 2017 VISAA Swimming and Diving Championships last season. At Winter Nationals in December she placed third in the 1650, 8th in the 500, 15th in the 200 back, and 20th in the 200 free.

The Cavs are picking up a big in-state talent with Donohoe’s verbal commitment. She would have been Virginia’s top scorer in the 1650 at 4th at this weekend’s ACC Championships. She also would have made the B final of the 500 free, an event in which her future UVA training partner, freshman Paige Madden, placed 5th.

Donohoe’s top SCY times would rank on UVA’s all-time lists at #4 for the 1650 and #3 for the 1000 free. She has times that are similar to UVA great Leah Smith when she committed to the Cavaliers. Smith was a 16:02 miler at 16 years old; she left UVA with 15:25.30, the third top performer and the 7th-fastest performance of all-time.

Donohoe’s best SCY times to date:

  • 1650 free – 16:01.60
  • 1000 free – 9:37.78
  • 500 free – 4:44.27
  • 200 free – 1:47.75
  • 200 back – 1:59.16
  • 200 fly – 2:00.96

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Wahoo Fan
3 years ago

Congratulations to Maddie and Virginia! You are going to enjoy Virginia beyond words. The DeSorbo Effect (making swimming fun & swimmers fast while appreciating everything the University has to offer) is in full effect across the USA. HOOS’ next?
Go Maddie Hoo!

3 years ago

congrats, maddie!

3 years ago

WahooWah Maddie. One of the best decisions you will make.

Billy Davis
3 years ago

Congrats Maddie!!. We are so happy for you….. and proud of you. The Davis family (Sofie)

3 years ago

Congrats to Maddie & Virginia! She’s a very talented swimmer going to a fantastic school. However, I question swimswam’s comparison to former UVA swimmers since this is a completely new coaching staff and program. Leah Smith’s success at UVA should have little to no significance regarding the current program or swimmers. It might be a better comparison to look at the Tennessee distance program’s success since that’s where Fenwick is from? If I had a HS junior distance swimmer, that’s certainly what I would be researching.

3 years ago

Does anyone know if she does open water swimming? That seems to be Tyler Fenwick’s passion and forte. Congrats on her decision.

3 years ago

This is a big deal for a couple of reasons. DeSorbo’s sprinters were already great this year, but he still needs some elite D-Swimmers for a complete team; and more importantly — if UVA is able to start pulling in the top talent from Northern VA and the DC area, it will be a recruiting bonanza. Conger, Hu, Seliskar — all went out of state. UVA has historically not done that well with in-state talent. That might be changing.

3 years ago

Congrats maddie! Great choice! Your future is looking very bright! ?

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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