Virginia Cavalier Women Smash 400 Medley Relay Records with 3:22.34

by Robert Gibbs 16

February 18th, 2022 ACC, College, News, Previews & Recaps


  • When: Tuesday, February 15th to Saturday, February 19th Prelims 10:00am | Finals 6:00 pm (Tuesday 11:00am/4:30pm)
  • Where: McAuley Aquatic Center, Atlanta Georgia (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champions
    • Women: University of Virginia (17x) (results)
    • Men: University of Louisville (1x) (results)
  • Streaming: ACC Network
  • Championship Central: Here
  • Detailed Timeline: Here
  • Psych Sheets: Here
  • Live Results

We’ve gotten used to seeing relay records go down this week at the ACC Championships, and that streak continued tonight as the UVA women swam the 400 medley relay ever, breaking the pool, meet, ACC, NCAA, American, and U.S. Open Records with a time of 3:22.34.

The signs were there after the Cavalier women demolished the 200 medley record last night with the fastest time ever by over a second, and they made good on that promise tonight, knocking two seconds off of the previous U.S. Open Record of 3:24.78, which NC State set last year at NCAAs with a 3:24.59.

Gretchen Walsh led off in 49.71, one of the fastest swims in history, Alexis Wenger split 56.79 after taking 2nd in the individual 100 breast tonight, then a fresh Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass split 49.59 and 46.25 on fly and free, respectively, as UVA put up the fastest time ever in this event.

Earlier today, we took a look at the insane versatility UVA has, and that was fully on display tonight. The ‘Hoos opted to go with two different swimmers than they did at last year’s NCAAs, where they went 3:25.13. Gretchen Walsh, who finished individually in the 100 back tonight behind NC State’s Katharine Berkoff, took over backstroke duties, and responded by getting below 50 for the first time. Alex Walsh, meanwhile, subbed in for Lexi Cuomo on fly, and promptly put up a 49-mid. Walsh’s best flat start 100 fly is a 51.31 from nearly three years ago.

Here’s a quick look at how tonight’s add up compared to some of the other top swims in history.

UVA, 2022 ACCs NC State, 2021 NCAAs NC State, 2022 ACCs Stanford, 2018 UVA, 2021 NCAAs
Gretchen Walsh – 49.71 Katharine Berkoff – 50.07 Katharine Berkoff – 49.75 Ally Howe – 50.34 Reilly Tiltmann – 50.45
Alexis Wenger – 56.79 Sophie Hansson – 57.01 Sophie Hansson – 56.96 Kim Williams – 58.59 Alexis Wenger – 57.71
Alex Walsh – 49.59 Kylee Alons – 49.29 Kylee Alons – 49.80 Janet Hu – 50.36 Lexi Cuomo – 50.62
Kate Douglass – 46.25 Julia Poole – 48.22 Abbey Webb – 48.27 Simone Manuel – 45.80 Kate Douglass – 46.31
3:22.34 3:24.59 3:24.78 3:25.09 3:25.13

This record could down even further at next month’s NCAA Championships. Last year, UVA won with a 3:26.26 at ACCs, but then the Wolfpack got the better of them at NCAAs. Even if the record doesn’t go down again, swim fans should be in for another epic race in March.

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2 years ago

Holy shit that is 4 seconds faster than the men’s world record 3:26.78 the US Olympic team of Ryan Murphy, Michael Andrew, Caeleb Dressel and Zach Apple swam at Tokyo Olympics 2021!

Last edited 2 years ago by SigmaAlphaBetaMale
2 years ago

49.5 in the fly wow, back in 2016 at Olympics trials Alex Walsh went 61.2 in the 100 back , and I believe she got a Solid Brady stole at well

2 years ago

I forget the 5th year rules (basically anyone in the roster during covid is allowed back, right?). So Wenger could come back for a 5th year?

2 years ago

NCAAs are going to be so great. I think Regan has something to prove, and I could see her drop like a 1:45 2back, but Stanford doesn’t have the relays. We underestimate how much of a force Wenger is, and A. Walsh. Is going to have to take that spot next year, she was 26.5 in high school… get thrown on the relay and split 49 fly… the versatiluty is crazy.

Reply to  Swimmerj
2 years ago

I realize that I spelled that word wrong please attack me it does not discount the fact that Alex Walsh split 49 on fly. Gretchen was awesome breaking 50, but that was coming sooner or later. Alex dropping a 49 fly? Last year after the IM she literally said that was her worst stroke. Stephanie Rice dare I say.

Reply to  Swimmerj
2 years ago

Wenger continues to get away with an illegal stroke.

Reply to  Swimfan
2 years ago

so dramatic. if it were illegal it would be DQed already

2 years ago

The addition of G Walsh to UVA turned their relays from amazing to untouchable… unreal.

Steve Nolan
2 years ago

NC State going the 3rd fastest time ever and getting beat by two and a half seconds is wild.

2 years ago

What’s the difference between the American and US open record?

Reply to  swammer
2 years ago

American record is a time swam by Americans, US open is a time swam by anyone on US soil

Reply to  Robert Gibbs
2 years ago

The ISL’s gotta hold a high profile yard meet and reset the world bests so they’re no longer synonymous with U.S open records.
Best troll of the century.

Last edited 2 years ago by Bud
Reply to  Bud
2 years ago

Yeah but they’d have to find or create a 25 yard pool outside of the US right?

Otherwise, they’re still the same as US Open Records.

2 years ago

nice to have a spare 49.5 fly leg sitting around….

Reply to  Yup
2 years ago

I want to thumbs up, but it has 49 already so I’m commenting instead

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