Virginia Women Win Fourth Straight Ncaa Swimming And Diving Championship, Walsh Collects 7 Golds

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Virginia won the women's swimming and diving championships on Saturday night at the Jack Bauerle Pool at Gabrielsen Natatorium.

It was the fourth straight title for the top-ranked Cavaliers, who scored 527.5 points to finish well ahead of the 441 scored by second-place Texas. Florida finished in third place with 364 points, followed by Tennessee (277) and Stanford (250) to round out the top five.

On the final night of the competition, Virginia’s Gretchen Walsh won her sixth and seventh gold medals at the event, taking first in the 100 free with a NCAA record time of 44.83 and later picking up gold in the 400 free relay.

Virginia won seven individual events and four of five relays. It marked the third consecutive year the Cavaliers won 11 titles at the championship.

Alex Walsh took first place in the 200 breaststroke with a personal best 2:02.07, the fourth fastest time. It was her third individual title after picking up the gold in the 200 IM and 400 IM races earlier in the week.

Virginia also won its fourth relay of the championship and its third straight NCAA 400 free relay title with a time of 3:05.89, just shy of its record mark of 3:05.84.

Emma Sticklen won her second consecutive 200-yard butterfly title for Texas, which claimed national runner-up honors for the third consecutive year and placed among the top three for the fourth straight year. It is the longest stretch of success for Texas since 1992-95. The three straight top-two finishes are its best since 1990-92.

Bella Sims won the 200 freestyle for her second national title for Florida. Sims tied her season best of 1:40.90 for the program, Southeastern Conference, and pool record.

Stanford's Akurora Roghair cut five seconds from her previous best with a time of 15:41.11 to finish in second place in the 1,650 freestyle, four seconds behind champion Abby McCulloh of Georgia.

Virginia is just the third program to win four consecutive NCAA team titles and the first since 1996. Stanford won five straight team championships from 1992 to 1996. Texas is the only other program to claim four-or-more consecutive titles after winning the championships in five consecutive seasons from 1984 to 1988.


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