UVA Women Break NCAA Record In 200 Medley Relay, Fastest School By 1.3 Seconds

Yanyan Li
by Yanyan Li 10

February 17th, 2022 ACC, College, National, News

A day after UVA broke the NCAA and US Open record in the 200 free relay, the team of Gretchen Walsh, Alexis Wegner, Lexi Cuomo, and Kate Douglass swam the fastest women’s 200 medley relay of all time with a 1:31.81, over a second faster than the previous US Open record of 1:32.93 that was set by UVA last year at ACCs. Their time from this meet was a school, meet, conference, NCAA, American, and US Open record. 

Another record was set in the same race when Gretchen Walsh swam a 22.82 backstroke leadoff split to become the first woman under 23 seconds in the 50 back. She broke her own American record of 23.04 set just a few weeks ago, as well Maggie MacNeil’s NCAA and US Open record of 23.02. Walsh was the X factor in this relay, throwing down a split that was almost a second faster than Caroline Gmelich’s 23.70 from their old record.

UVA is now the only school to have gone under 1:33 and 1:32 in this event, with the fastest non-UVA relay belonging to Stanford, when they swam a time of 1:33.10 at NCAAs in 2018. 

Virginia has been 1.3 seconds better than any other school in this relay – a huge margin in a 200. They broke the pool record set by Stanford at the 2016 NCAA Championships by three seconds. NC State swam the 5th-best 200 medley relay ever, and still lost by two seconds.

Virginia- 2022 ACCs Virginia- 2021 ACCs Stanford- 2018 NCAAs
New Record Former US Open/NCAA record Fastest non-Virginia relay
Backstroke Gretchen Walsh– 22.82 Caroline Gmelich- 23.70 Ally Howe- 23.54
Breaststroke Alexis Wegner- 25.77 Alexis Wegner- 26.03 Kim Williams- 26.50
Butterfly Alexa Cuomo- 22.68 Alexa Cuomo- 22.58 Janet Hu- 22.62
Freestyle Kate Douglass– 20.54 Kate Douglass– 20.62 Simone Manuel- 20.45
Total 1:31.81 1:32.93 1:33.10

Alexis Wegner continued UVA’s lead in the relay when she swam a 25.77 breaststroke split, which makes her the fourth-fastest performer of all time in a 50 breast relay leg, only behind Hanna Bach’s 25.51, Jorie Caneta’s 25.54, and Lily King’s 25.36. Lexi Cuomo swam a 22.68 fly split, and Kate Douglass brought things home in a 20.54 freestyle leg. 

Douglass’s split was the fifth-fastest 50 free split of all time and makes her the third-fastest performer, behind Anna Hopkin (20.27), Simone Manuel (20.45), and Abbey Weitzeil (20.45). 

The rest of the schools did not disappoint either. NC State’s Katharine Berkhoff (23.10), Sophie Hansson (26.13), Abby Arens (23.00), and Kylee Alons (21.02) finished in second with a time of 1:33.25, the fifth-fastest performance ever. Most notably, Berkhoff’s backstroke split makes her the third-fastest woman in the 50 back behind Walsh and MacNeil. 

Florida State’s Tania Quaglieri (24.38), Nina Kucheran (26.87), Jenny Halden (22.43), and Rebecca Moynihan (21.72) took third in a time of 1:35.40 that was an improvement from the 1:36.97 that the school swam at last year’s meet to earn fourth.

You can watch the relay here, courtesy of UVA Swimming’s YouTube channel.

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Falcon
9 months ago

Photo must be an old one. Kelsey Dalia has been long gone.

Admin
Reply to  Falcon
9 months ago

Out of the ACC sure, but she still raced at last summer’s Olympic Trials, as did Kate 😉

oxyswim
9 months ago

All that with Gretchen and Kate circle swimming.

Swimfan
9 months ago

Crazy fast swim by Gretchen Walsh! Can she be competitive with smith, masse,and mckowen in the 100 back 🤔🤔🤔

oxyswim
Reply to  Swimfan
9 months ago

Can we wait to see her break a minute in long course, or at least swim a tapered 100 yard back before we start throwing that out there?

Terry Watts
9 months ago

Language please! My kids read these articles!

Katie
Reply to  Terry Watts
9 months ago

Lol what are they, 7? If not they say that shit out of your earshot. No need to clutch your pearls, Terry.

Amy
Reply to  Terry Watts
9 months ago

Lol! Clutch those pearls, Terry.

Terry Watts
9 months ago

Wahoowa!

Noah
9 months ago

4th fastest 50 breast split perfomer ever, didnt Hannah Bach went 25.5 yesterday

Last edited 9 months ago by Noah

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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