UVA’s Leah Smith Swims to a Bronze Medal at Rio Olympics

Fourth-year student Leah Smith, a four-time NCAA champion at UVA, won a Bronze medal Sunday night.
August 08, 2016

University of Virginia rising fourth-year swimmer Leah Smith captured the bronze medal in the women’s 400-meter freestyle Sunday night at the Rio Olympics – becoming the sixth Cavalier swimmer to earn an Olympic medal and the third to earn an individual medal.

She has two more chances to win medals later this week.

The Pittsburgh native finished third in 4 minutes, 1.92 seconds, behind American Katie Ledecky, who broke the world record in 3:56.46, and Jazz Carlin (4:01.23) of Great Britain.

Smith joined Wendy Weinberg (bronze in the women’s 800-meter freestyle in 1976) and Ed Moses (silver in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in 2000) as the only Cavalier swimmers to win individual Olympic medals.

The Rio Olympics are not Smith’s first international experience. Smith was part of the gold-medal winning American 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the 2015 FINA World Championships and 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. She was also part of the winning relay, and captured the 400-meter freestyle, at the 2015 World University Games.

For Virginia, Smith is a four-time NCAA champion, winning the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle events in both 2015 and 2016. She is an 11-time All-American and 10-time ACC champion.

Smith is scheduled to compete with the American 4x200-meter freestyle relay on Wednesday and in the 800-meter freestyle prelims on Thursday.

This story originally appeared on VirginiaSports.com

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