The No. 10 males’s swim and dive end fourth within the 2021 ACC Championships – The Cavalier Each day
The No. 10 Virginia Men’s Swimming and Diving finished their week of the ACC championship competition in Greensboro, NC on Saturday in fourth place and 921 points. The Cavaliers ended up behind Louisville No. 7 – who won the meeting by 1,181 points – NC State No. 5 and Virginia Tech No. 13 in a meeting with top 25 teams including Florida State No. 15, Notre Dame No. 17 , No. 18 North Carolina, No. 22 Georgia Tech, and No. 25 Pittsburgh.
The Virginia swimming started the meet with a bang, hitting a school record in the 200-yard medley relay in Virginia in a time of 1: 23.86. The medley relay team, which included newcomer William Cole on back, senior Keefer Barnum on breaststroke, second Max Edwards on butterfly and newcomer Matt Brownstead on freestyle, finished third overall and gave the Cavaliers a one in the first event of the meeting Podium place. Brownstead’s lightning-fast freestyle split of 18.45 was the meeting’s fastest freestyle anchor.
Shortly thereafter, Virginia’s 800-yard freestyle relay team of sophomore Jack Wright, Senior Sam Schilling, sophomore Sean Conway and junior Justin Grender used the momentum of the 200-yard medley relay team to finish fourth with a time of 6:17.89 and will fall about six seconds from their start time of 6: 24.44. The performance of both seasons on Wednesday brought the Cavaliers to 10th place after the first night of competition with 106 points.
“Excited for the start, our men broke our program record tonight in the first event of the night,” said coach Todd DeSorbo. “Our goal is to get better every year and to get more points. Our two seasons went higher tonight than last year, so we’ve got off to a great start. I look forward to digging deeper into this meeting and watching the struggle our men bring. “
On Thursday, day two of competition, Virginia picked up exactly where they left off, jumping to an impressive five spots to finish the night in fifth overall with 335 points after a 50-yard freestyle title win from Brownstead and a third finish place in the 500-yard freestyle of sophomore Jack Walker. Walker’s time of 4: 13.45 was a season best, while Brownstead’s time of 18.88 sets him apart from the rest of the field as the only swimmer with a time under 19 seconds. Brownstead’s strong performance also broke Virginia’s 50-yard freestyle record in his first solo event in a Cavalier cap.
While Virginia didn’t finish on the podium in the 200-yard individual medley, the Cavaliers had three swimmers in the A-final. Conway, Schilling and Junior Casey Storch finished fourth, seventh and eighth, all the best times of the bathing season. Conway’s time of 1: 44.11 gave him the third fastest time in Virginia history.
At the end of the night, the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Cavaliers from Brownstead, sophomore Konnar Klinksiek, Grender and sophomore August Lamb finished fourth in Virginia with a record time of 1: 16.64, breaking the previous record of the year 2011, bringing Virginia overall school record to three at the meet.
“Another great night for our men, highlighted by an ACC title in the 50 Free from newcomer Matt Brownstead. He is now the fastest newcomer in ACC history, ”said DeSorbo on day two. “We ended the night with another record relay. That was the last relay record that our staff missed, and the men broke it. I’m looking forward to continuing the fast performances tomorrow. “
From there, after the third night of swimming, the Cavaliers rose to fourth overall with 629 points, which was characterized by fourth place and eighth place for Storch and Conway in the 400-yard individual medley. Virginia also got some stronger A-final performances, with Wright finishing sixth in the 200-yard freestyle and freshman Noah Nichols breaking another school record in Virginia en route to second place in the 100-yard breaststroke, while Barnum was fifth took and Grender placed seventh at the 100-yard back to send off the night.
The Cavaliers also saw their 400-yard medley relay of Cole in the backstroke, Nichols in the breaststroke, Edwards in the butterfly and Brownstead in the freestyle race with a season high of 3: 06.88 and another relay run in fourth place.
On the final day of action, Grender’s second place in the 200-yard backstroke and Brownstead’s second win in the 100-yard freestyle were enough to keep Virginia fourth and round out a successful get-together that spawned several new school records and loads of personal bests.
Next up for the Cavalier men is the 2021 NCAA Championships, with diving March 8-10 in Morgantown, West Virginia and swimming March 24-27 in Greensboro, NC