ATLANTA, Georgia, February 20. A handful of records began to fall in just the first day of the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, held at the Aquatic Center on the campus of Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The University of Virginia, which set a new conference and ACC meet record in the 800-yard freestyle relay, wrapped up opening day at the top of the team standings with 74 points.
Competition was stiff from the start Wednesday night, beginning with the 200-yard medley relay. Virginia held the lead throughout most of the race, but Virginia Tech's Sara Smith pulled ahead in the final stretch to clinch the victory for the Hokies. Smith, Jordan McHorney, Jessica Botzum and Megan Newell combined to register an NCAA "A" mark and a new Georgia Tech Aquatic Center pool record time of 1:40.17.
Virginia and Florida State also posted both pool and NCAA "B" marks in the event, as the Cavaliers trailed .02 seconds behind the Hokies in second place while the Seminoles finished third with 1:40.99.
In the final event, Virginia came from behind in the 800 free relay as the foursome of Stephanie Glover, Jess Lewis, Jenna Harris and Megan Evo finished in first place with an "NCAA" B cut 7:09.12. That time also shattered both the conference and ACC meet records, which was previously set in 2005 by Maryland.
Three other schools recorded NCAA "B" times in the race. Florida State, which started off strong, turned in a runner-up finish with a time of 7:13.85. North Carolina came in third (7:14.87), while Maryland placed fourth (7:19.97).
Individually, Michelle Parkhurst from Clemson had an impressive performance as the leadoff swimmer for the Tigers in the 800 free relay. The junior from Vienna, Va., registered an NCAA "A" time 1:44.74 in the first leg and set both a conference and ACC meet record in the 200-yard freestyle. That time is also the second fastest in the NCAA this year behind a 1:44.52 from Stanford's Julia Smit.
Special thanks to ACC for contributing this report.