Virginia wins 4th straight NCAA women's swimming title, Gretchen Walsh sets 3rd American record

ATHENS, GEORGIA - MARCH 22: (L-R) Alex Walsh, Jasmine Nocentini, Maxine Parker and Gretchen Walsh pose with the trophy after winning the Women's 400 Yard Medley Relay finals during the Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships held at Ramsey Center on March 22, 2024 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Alex Slitz/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
(L-R) Alex Walsh, Jasmine Nocentini, Maxine Parker and Gretchen Walsh hoisted trophies for Virginia at the NCAA championships. (Photo by Alex Slitz/NCAA Photos via Getty Images) (Alex Slitz via Getty Images)

The Virginia women's swimming team won its fourth consecutive title on Saturday. Not coincidentally, the Cavaliers also just wrapped up their fourth season since the Walsh sisters joined the program.

Alex Walsh, a silver medalist in the 2020 Olympics, and Gretchen Walsh dominated the competition over the course of four days, months before the pair are expected to be among Team USA's biggest names at the Olympics in Paris.

The pair combined to have a hand in 10 wins across 18 women's events, with Gretchen setting new American records in three individual events. She got the 50-yard freestyle mark on Thursday, the 100-yard butterfly on Friday and the 100-yard freestyle on Saturday:

When you factor in a record 22.10-second backstroke split in the 200-yard medley relay, Gretchen has set American short-course records in three different strokes at this meet.

Meanwhile, Alex notched wins in the 200-yard individual medley, 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard breaststroke, with the latter coming Saturday.

Both sisters helped Virginia to wins in the 200-yard freestyle relay, the 400-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard medley relay. Gretchen was also part of the victorious 200-yard medley relay team. The only other Virginia gold at the meet was Jasmine Nocentini in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Virginia becomes the third program to four-peat in women's swimming, joining Texas (1984-88) and Stanford (1992-96).

All of this sets up the Walsh sisters to have a very good summer. Alex tasted Olympic glory first in Tokyo with her second-place finish in the 200-meter individual medley at 19 years old, but both sisters figure to have multiple shots at gold in Paris as the next generation of American swimming.