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“Why We Love Virginia Swimming”- A message from the Class of 2019

Evan Pike-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Men's Swim & Dive incoming class of 2019 sent this open letter to Streaking the Lawn, and other outlets, in defense of Virginia Swimming amidst news of the recently filed federal claims against certain current and former members of the team by a former freshman swimmer. We're publishing the letter in its entirety, and it has not been edited by Streaking the Lawn in any way.

In light of a few recent allegations and related negative press regarding the University of Virginia men's swim team, we, the incoming men's Class of 2019, want to share our perspective.

All nine of us stand by the University, the team and our coaching staff. Every single one of us fell in love with UVa and remain convinced it represents a perfect place to grow and reach our personal, academic and athletic goals. We are excited to come in and work hard, to do what is necessary for the team and for each other.

We are proud of the storied history of this program, one that includes 16 ACC championships. Our class has confidence in the experience and leadership of the upperclassmen, the present state of the team and our coaching staff. And, perhaps most importantly, we remain inspired and optimistic about the competitive future of the UVa Men's Swim & Dive Team.

Our recruiting trips gave us the best look into the inner workings of the team and what each of us witnessed set UVa apart from every other school. The sense of family that embodies the current team is fantastic. Augie, Sam, Cliff, Cory, Kerry and Jason helped us believe that we are capable of achieving aggressive personal goals, ACC titles and anything we are willing to set our minds to. Our sails caught wind of their aspirations the moment we stepped onto "grounds" and there was no looking back. The class of 2019, men and women, is a special one and will continue to compete as ONE team with the same "V" on our chests. We share one common goal and the bond the Men's Class of 2019 has already formed is remarkable. Countless hours have already gone into preparation for the season, setting goals for our individual class, and talking about how our class can contribute in every way possible to a UVa team that already has experienced success in the ACC.  Over the next four years, as a team in Charlottesville, we are confident that this group of nine men will become part of a family and will establish a unity that will last long after our time at the University of Virginia. We are excited and honored to be able to represent UVa.

Recently we recounted some conversations about why we committed to the University of Virginia. As individuals, each of us had the option and opportunity to look into and commit to other universities. Ultimately, each of us were drawn to UVa, and few common themes quickly became apparent. Class of 2019 member Alex Albracht summed it up precisely, "Ultimately, my college decision came down to three main points. My relationship with the coaches, the team dynamic and how I fit in, and the team's ability to balance their academic, athletic and social lives."

The men's Class of 2019 is proud to be part of a great team and honored to have the opportunity to represent the University of Virginia for the next four years and for the rest of our lives.

Wahoowa!

University of Virginia Men's Swim and Dive Class of 2019

Alex Albracht

Zach Fong

Dan Golczewski

Brandon Goldstein

Matt Hrabchak

Bryce Keblish

Gust Kouvaris

Sam Magnan

Murat Yildirim