By Chandler Brandes, ACC Beat Writer
Virginia won an unprecedented ninth-consecutive ACC Swimming and Diving Championship title, finishing with 1332.5 points. NC State was second, while North Carolina finished third.
Read more about the final night of competition here.
Full meet results: 2016 Women’s ACC Final Results – Results
5 Top Takeaways:
1. Leah Smith’s Record-Breaking 1650.
Virginia’s Leah Smith started the meet off by setting a new ACC record in the 200 free, which was later broken as she took second (1:42.97) in the event. She dominated the 500 free (4:30.74), but her most impressive swim of the meet came in the mile where she set two NCAA records. Her 1000 split of 9:20.15 broke the NCAA record of 9:23.78 en route to breaking the NCAA record at the 1650. Her final time of 15:25.30 bested the previous mark of 15:27.84. Watch for Smith at the upcoming NCAA Championships as she looks to defend her titles in the 500 and 1650, with the hopes of setting even more records.
2. Freshman Standout Mallory Comerford.
Louisville’s Mallory Comerford burst onto the scene this weekend. The freshman finished second in both the 500 (4:38.01) and 100 free (48.31). Her biggest race of the meet came in the 200 free, where she beat NCAA champion Smith. She posted a time of 1:42.79, setting a new ACC meet record in the process. She was also a key member of all five of the Cardinals’ relays, including their ACC meet and conference record-setting 200 medley relay (1:35.43). Expect to see more fast times posted from the rookie as she continues to leave her mark on the NCAA.
3. Kelsi Worrell.
NCAA Champion and American record holder Kelsi Worrell had a phenomenal final ACC meet of her career, being named the Most Valuable Swimmer of the Meet. The Louisville senior was a triple-event winner, taking home the title in the 50 free (21.85), 100 free (47.30), and 100 fly (50.06). Her 50 free broke the ACC meet record, while her 100 free set a new ACC meet and conference record. As a member of the Cardinal’s 200 medley relay, she split a 22.42 fly split to help her team set a new meet and conference record. Her most impressive swim of the week was in the 100 fly, where her time was the fourth-fastest ever. All eyes will be on her at the upcoming NCAA Championships.
4. NC State Finishes Second.
Led by sprinters Riki Bonnema, Krista Duffield, and Natalie Labonge, as well as backstroke star Alexia Zevnik, the Wolfpack finished second with 1178 points, their highest finish at the ACC Championships since 1982. While NC State is usually known as a sprinting powerhouse, they showed their depth across all events. Hannah Moore took third in the 500 free (4:38.53) and 400 IM (4:07.64), and she (15:50.46) and Rachel Muller (16:02.15) went 2-3 in the 1650. They also had strong performances on the board as Rachel Mumma won the 1m diving event. They used their depth to their advantage, posting top-3 finishes in all five relays. Their 200 and 400 free relays set new meet and conference marks.
5. Courtney Bartholomew.
Courtney Bartholomew ended her final ACC Championships as Virginia’s most decorated swimmer of all time, winning nine ACC golds during her career. The senior was a triple-event winner this weekend, winning the 200 IM (1:55.63), 100 back (50.74), and 200 back (1:49.90), as well as being a member of the Cavalier’s ACC meet record setting 400 medley relay (3:28.25). The senior has gone eight for eight in the backstroke events, winning both the 100 and 200 since her freshman year. She’ll aim to leave her final mark during her outstanding collegiate career in Atlanta next month.