‘Why we love Virginia Swimming’ – a message from Virginia’s Class of 2019

by SwimSwam 18

July 02nd, 2015 ACC, College, Lifestyle, Opinion

SwimSwam welcomes reader submissions about all topics aquatic, and if it’s well-written and well-thought, we might just post it under our “Shouts from the Stands” series. We don’t necessarily endorse the content of the Shouts from the Stands posts, and the opinions remain those of their authors. If you have thoughts to share, please send them to [email protected]

Below, we bring a unique perspective on the current hazing situation at the University of Virginia – a wound that has been opened again after a civil lawsuit was filed by the alleged victim against the 5 swimmers who were suspended in the fall. The perspective is that of the 9 male class of 2015 recruits who will begin their time in Charlottesville in the fall. The letter has not been edited by SwimSwam in any way, and presents a ‘third side’ of this story.

In light of a few recent allegations and related negative press regarding the University of Virginia men’s swim team, we, the incoming men’s Class of 2019, want to share our perspective.

All nine of us stand by the University, the team and our coaching staff. Every single one of us fell in love with UVa and remain convinced it represents a perfect place to grow and reach our personal, academic and athletic goals. We are excited to come in and work hard, to do what is necessary for the team and for each other.

We are proud of the storied history of this program, one that includes 16 ACC championships. Our class has confidence in the experience and leadership of the upperclassmen, the present state of the team and our coaching staff. And, perhaps most importantly, we remain inspired and optimistic about the competitive future of the UVa Men’s Swim & Dive Team.

Our recruiting trips gave us the best look into the inner workings of the team and what each of us witnessed set UVa apart from every other school. The sense of family that embodies the current team is fantastic. Augie, Sam, Cliff, Cory, Kerry and Jason helped us believe that we are capable of achieving aggressive personal goals, ACC titles and anything we are willing to set our minds to. Our sails caught wind of their aspirations the moment we stepped onto “grounds” and there was no looking back. The class of 2019, men and women, is a special one and will continue to compete as ONE team with the same “V” on our chests. We share one common goal and the bond the Men’s Class of 2019 has already formed is remarkable. Countless hours have already gone into preparation for the season, setting goals for our individual class, and talking about how our class can contribute in every way possible to a UVa team that already has experienced success in the ACC.  Over the next four years, as a team in Charlottesville, we are confident that this group of nine men will become part of a family and will establish a unity that will last long after our time at the University of Virginia. We are excited and honored to be able to represent UVa.

Recently we recounted some conversations about why we committed to the University of Virginia. As individuals, each of us had the option and opportunity to look into and commit to other universities. Ultimately, each of us were drawn to UVa, and a few common themes quickly became apparent. Class of 2019 member Alex Albracht summed it up precisely, “Ultimately, my college decision came down to three main points. My relationship with the coaches, the team dynamic and how I fit in, and the team’s ability to balance their academic, athletic and social lives.”

The men’s Class of 2019 is proud to be part of a great team and honored to have the opportunity to represent the University of Virginia for the next four years and for the rest of our lives.


University of Virginia Men’s Swim and Dive Class of 2019

Alex Albracht
Zach Fong
Dan Golczewski
Brandon Goldstein
Matt Hrabchak
Bryce Keblish
Gust Kouvaris
Sam Magnan
Murat Yildirim

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Steve-O Nolan

“We spent a weekend at UVa and think it’s a really swell place, you guys.”

-This article


is it necessary to attack these young kids who are clearly just trying to support their future school? Lighten up.


Oh, relax. He’s not attacking anyone. Just making light of the fact these kids are so supportive of something they aren’t very aware of. One weekend usually isn’t enough to be able to judge an entire college sports program and it’s dynamics.

Also, it was a joke. Right, OP?

Steve-O Nolan



I attended UVa and swam in the 1980s. At that time the men’s team had the first African American ACC swimmer and two openly gay men’s team members. We had first year events and rituals which did involve immature things an drinking. These gatherings were voluntary and were not fully attended. In my class were two guys who didn’t drink, including our African American teammate, and these events were not attended by either of them. There was an incident involving bullying during my time. A couple of swimmers were disciplined for a confrontation that turned physical after a dual meet when an opposing team member directed a racial slur OUR way. Two of US responded, not in a way that… Read more »


The Maryland Terrapins – winners of the ACC men’s swimming championships in 1965, and co-champions in 1964, had an African-American swimmer on their team both years.

Haze UVA Baes

I hope you guys like goldfish 😉

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