DURHAM, North Carolina, February 4. THE ACC Swimming and Diving Championships are just two and three weeks away, respectively, and this week ACC Countdown continues its focus on the six-time defending champions for both the men and women, the Virginia Cavaliers. The Cavalier women are currently ranked seventh in the nation, as they swept their rival UNC Tar Heels in Chapel Hill last weekend as well as the NC State Wolfpack this past Saturday in Raleigh.
The Virginia men, meanwhile, face a much tougher task to win another title, having lost to both of these teams as well as Virginia Tech. If they have a shot at taking a step forward in Greensboro, a lot of responsibility will fall on the shoulders of versatile senior Parker Camp. Camp currently ranks second in the conference in the 200 IM, 200 free, and 200 back after setting blistering times at the Ohio State Invite this winter. In addition to his specialties, he ranks as one of the Cavaliers’ top butterflyers, so his relay contributions will be valuable come championship season.
On the women’s side, Courtney Bartholomew has been one of the major surprises of the year that has catapulted the lady Cavaliers to the highest national ranking in program history. Whereas the national focus in the women’s 100 back at NCAAs will be on whichever backstrokers from their large stable Cal chooses to enter, Bartholomew currently has the top time in the country of 50.73. Her 1:50.55 in the 200 back ranks second behind defending champion and American record-holder Elizabeth Pelton.
Swimming World contributor David Rieder caught up with both Camp and Bartholomew prior to Virginia’s recent dual meet against Duke. Rieder talked with both about their successes in the current season, the transition to a new coaching staff, and their expectations for their respective squads in the upcoming championship meets.