Virginia Caps Off 2022 NCAAs With American Record in 400 Free Relay

2022 NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Virginia women capped off their 2022 NCAA title run by winning the 400 freestyle relay in an American, NCAA, US Open, Meet, and Pool Record time of 3:06.91. That time broke Cal’s record of 3:06.96 which stood since 2019.

Virginia 2022 Cal 2019
Kate Douglass 46.62 Izzy Ivey 47.79
Alex Walsh 46.49 Katie McCaughlin 46.62
Reilly Tiltmann 47.79 Amy Bilquist 46.48
Gretchen Walsh 46.01 Abbey Weitzeil 46.07

Interestingly enough, two of the splits on tonight’s relay were the exact same as Cal’s. Virginia’s third leg Reilly Tiltmann swam the same time as Izzy Ivey who led off for Cal in a 47.79. Kate Douglass of Virginia led off in a 46.62, the same exact time that Katie McLaughlin swam for Cal on their second leg.

The consistency in the two relays continued as Alex Walsh swam a 46.49 for Virginia tonight on the second leg which was 0.01 slower than Amy Bilquist swam as Bilquist swam the third leg for Cal in a 46.68.

The biggest difference (although not much) was the anchor legs. Abbey Weitzeil swam a 46.07 for Cal, and Virginia’s Gretchen Walsh split a 46.01 tonight.

Notably, none of the four are seniors so the same relay has the potential to swim again next year.

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Swimfan
8 months ago

Gretchen has split 53.01 at world Jr champs in 2019 would love to see a low 52 from Walsh and douglass

Joe
8 months ago

The symmetry of those splits is amazing.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Joe
8 months ago

Breaking the record because you outsplit Weitzeil has the same energy as the US men breaking the medley relay WR in Tokyo by outsplitting Phelps.

Noah
8 months ago

Who will Virginia’s breastroker be next year?

Snarky
Reply to  Noah
8 months ago

Alex ain’t bad.

Melanie
Reply to  Noah
8 months ago

Probably Zoe Skirboll

Melanie
Reply to  Noah
8 months ago

Skirboll has a 27.9 50

Swimer85
Reply to  Melanie
8 months ago

Alex Walsh. She will take it out faster than 27.9

Yup
Reply to  Noah
8 months ago

Emma Weber, Zoe Skirboll, Anna Keating on the breaststroke squad

If not, you can go
Gretchen – Alex – Kate – Reilly….

or Reilly – Alex – Kate – Gretchen…

or Todd & Company just develop someone else…..

Swimgeek
Reply to  Yup
8 months ago

Lexi Cuomo is more than adequate in fly – with Douglass free. Or vice versa.

Ervin
Reply to  Noah
8 months ago

Anna Keating had a good meet

CavaDore
8 months ago

Reilly Tiltmann really stepped up to the challenge for that relay. So proud of her!

Troyy
8 months ago

It’s gonna be really interesting to see how the 100 free goes at US trials this year. Surely the talent exists to produce the best American 4×100 free team ever.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago

I’d lean towards no. The 2019 team had splits of 52.9, 52.6, 53.4 and 51.9. While we have a bunch of girls seemingly capable of going 53 lows, you need all 4 swimmers to the point of averaging 52.7, which might not be possible if any of them are as slow as 53.mid, even the leadoff. We were almost 2 full seconds slower in 2021, and Weitzel was the only one under that average time. I wouldn’t be surprised if we broke 3:32 this year but I’d be very surprised if we broke 3:31.

Noah
Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
8 months ago

Who was on that team? Simone, Weitzel?

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
Reply to  Noah
8 months ago

Comerford 52.98, Weitzel 52.66, Dahlia 53.46, Manuel 51.92.

anon
Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
8 months ago

recency bias is nuts that’s a ridiculous relay.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
8 months ago

Agreed. This is not based on anything other than a hunch, but feel like there’ll be an entire heat and a half worth of women that could go 52.7ish if everything breaks the right way.

Most likely we’d see 2-3 if we’re real lucky, then a bunch of 53 highs / 54 lows.

Swimfan
Reply to  Troyy
8 months ago

What is Douglass best 100 m free time?

coach
Reply to  Swimfan
8 months ago

Looks like 54.1 at Trials last summer.

Last edited 8 months ago by coach
BearlyBreathing
8 months ago

So that’s it then? No more Cal records?
Ivey was 4 months out of graduating HS. I was so proud of her being a part of that.
Hey — they all gotta fall sometime.
Congrats Virginia. Really amazing what your team has accomplished.

Last edited 8 months ago by BearlyBreathing
Former Cal Student
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
8 months ago

It’s so heartbreaking to see this record fall. That Baker/Bilquist/McLaughlin/Weitzeil core was special, and Ivey adding onto it after Baker turned pro just felt like “Cal back at it again for another couple years.” But as you said, records are made to be broken and it took an equally, if not more, talented quartet to take down an amazing relay. It is so crazy how fast this sport has gotten. I know Cal is currently struggling to keep pace with Virginia, but I’m optimistic that they will be back.

jeff
8 months ago

Scary thing is that all of them are returning and almost certainly are capable of going faster

Tomek
Reply to  jeff
8 months ago

Wenger should be eligible for 5th year?

CavaDore
Reply to  Tomek
8 months ago

I wish! She definitely could but she has said she won’t be coming back. This was her last meet.

jeff
Reply to  CavaDore
8 months ago

wonder if AWalsh will be stepping up as breaststroke leg? Douglass on fly, GWalsh free and Tiltmann back?

Admin
Reply to  jeff
8 months ago

Certainly possible.

Jaycee Yeagher, Emma Weber (59.0 in HS), and Zoe Skirboll (who has Douglass/Walsh style versatility) for next season.

oxyswim
Reply to  Braden Keith
8 months ago

Skirboll is a great recruit, but 54.1/1:00.4/1:00.1/49.6 100s and a a 1:58 IM isn’t Douglass/Walsh versatility.

Swimgeek
Reply to  jeff
8 months ago

Cuomo is a 22-mid and :50 flyer. She’s been doing fly on the 200 relay already.

retiredsprinter
Reply to  Tomek
8 months ago

she is eligible but has said that she will not be taking a 5th year

Admin
Reply to  jeff
8 months ago

Stanford needs to find more Lexi Cuomos and Reily Tiltmanns: swimmers who are not the mega-stars, but who will still chip in a big leg on a relay and score 10-20 points.

Swimgeek
Reply to  Braden Keith
8 months ago

Um, Tiltmann is no role player. She had two A-finals and a 9th place from her 3 indv swims. I.e. exactly the same as Huske and similar to Maggie Mac.

Greg
Reply to  Swimgeek
8 months ago

^^^^^^^
37 individual points for Reilly, which is more than Ruck in the exact event lineup, and similar to Huske and Maggie. And she has three full years left.
She might not get the attention of others yet, but she is a STUD.

Last edited 8 months ago by Greg

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Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Government & Law and Economics at Lafayette College. There she is …

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