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Virginia sets NCAA, American record in 200 freestyle relay

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Conference season is underway for many swim teams across the country, with the University of Virginia breaking the NCAA and American records in the 200 freestyle relay at ACC Championships.

They finished in a time of 1:24.47, breaking the previous record of 1:24.55 that had been set by the University of California.

Junior Kate Douglass, an Olympic bronze medalist, led the relay off in a time of 21.10, rattling the American record set by Abbey Weitzel at 20.90. The defending NCAA champion later won the individual event in a time of 21.00, making her the second-fastest woman of all time.

Freshman teammate Gretchen Walsh anchored the relay in 20.58, the seventh-best 50 yard free split ever, and fastest by a freshman. Later on in the meet, she placed second in the individual event with a time of 21.04, breaking the record for the fastest time ever put up by a freshman, which was previously held by Simone Manuel.

Walshโ€™s sister Alex, a sophomore at Virginia and Olympic silver medalist, split a 21.38 on the second leg of the relay but said she wasnโ€™t surprised by the teamโ€™s performance.

โ€œI had no idea that was going to happen tonight, and it did and I wasnโ€™t surprised,โ€ she said. โ€œThis is what we do at Virginia.โ€