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Virginia swimmer Alex Walsh wins gold at world championship

UVA swimmer Alex Walsh in a pool
Matt Riley/UVA Athletics

As they did last year before the Tokyo Olympics, members of the UVA women’s swimming and diving team again used the NCAA championships as a warmup for international competition, winning seven medals at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest in June.

Alex Walsh (Col ’24) led the way with three gold medals, in the 200-meter individual medley and as a member of the 4x200-meter freestyle and 4x100-meter medley relay teams. Her time of 2:07.13 in the 200 IM was the fifth-fastest of all time, and more than a second faster than the second-place finisher.

Kate Douglass (Col ’23) won three bronze medals, in the 200-meter breaststroke and on the women’s 4x100 freestyle and mixed 4x100 meter freestyle relay teams.

Alumna Leah Smith (Col ’17) also won gold, in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. She added a bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle. Emma Weyant (Col ’24) took bronze in the 400-meter individual medley. Virginia swimmers won a total of nine medals.

UVA head coach Todd DeSorbo guided Team USA to 25 medals overall. The performance came 11 months after UVA women won four medals at the delayed 2020 Olympics and three months after the Cavaliers repeated as NCAA champions.

If winning a second straight NCAA title settled any questions of whether UVA had arrived as a national swimming power, capturing nine medals in Budapest obliterated any doubts that UVA’s best are among the best on the planet.