CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina, February 20. Virginia won its third consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference title on Saturday as the 2010 ACC Women's Swimming & Diving and Men's Diving Championships at Koury Natatorium on the University of North Carolina campus drew to a close. The Cavaliers began the day with a 158-point lead and continued to pace the 11-team field on the final day of action. The title is the eighth women's crown in school history — all of which have come under 32nd-year head coach Mark Bernardino — second only to North Carolina.
Cavalier freshman Lauren Perdue was selected by the head coaches as the meet's Most Valuable Swimmer, while Duke sophomore Abby Johnston and freshman Nick McCrory were each picked unanimously to be the Women's and Men's Most Valuable Diver, respectively.
The Cavaliers totaled 877.5 points for the four-day championship, and were followed b yNorth Carolina in second place with 642.5 points, Florida State in third place with 545 points, Maryland in fourth place with 388 points, Virginia Tech in fifth place with 385.5 points, and Duke in sixth place with 283 points. Rounding out the order were NC State (271), Clemson (177.5), Georgia Tech (155.5), Miami (94.5), and Boston College (48).
Perdue raced to a 48.65 finish in winning the 100-yard freestyle to cap off an outstanding individual performance in Chapel Hill. The win was her third of the championship, while her time broke her own pool record set earlier this season.
Maryland junior Annie Fittin (49.22) and Virginia Tech freshman Katarina Filova (49.26) finished in second and third place, respectively.
One night after setting ACC and pool records in the one-meter dive, McCrory set a new ACC mark in the platform dive with a score of 523.95 on Saturday afternoon's diving event, held at Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion on the Duke University campus.
The Blue Devil rookie—who also placed second in the three-meter dive (453.05)—was followed by fellow freshmen Logan Shinholser of Virginia Tech (410.55) and Mike Neubacher of Florida State (381.15).
While the men's diving championship was held this week, point totals will be applied to next week's men's swimming championship, which will also be hosted by North Carolina from Wednesday-Saturday, February 24-27.
NC State freshman Hannah Hopkins (312.35), Florida State senior Aleia Monden (306.05), and Wolfpack freshman Kirstyn Shepler (274.10) took the top-three spots in the women's platform dive.
In relay action, Virginia claimed its fifth relay title of the meet, as senior Mei Christensen, sophomore Kelly Flynn, junior Kristen Moores, and sophomore Meredith Perdue set a pool record with a first-place finish in a time of 3:15.24, just .02 seconds off the league mark. The Terrapin squad placed second (3:17.79), while the Hokies came in third (3:17.97), and each group also clocked in under the Koury Natatorium record.
Finals action between the lanes began Saturday evening with the 1,650-yard freestyle, in which Virginia Tech sophomore Erika Hajnal took her second individual crown of the meet with a first-place finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle in a time of 16:01.99. Hajnal—who also won the 500-yard freestyle—was trailed by Blue Devil junior Ashley Twichell (16:02.48) in second place and Seminole sophomore Charlotte Broadbent (16:16.44) in third place.
Cavalier senior Mei Christensen—the ACC record holder in the 200-yard backstroke—earned All-ACC honors in her third individual event of the meet with a pool-record breaking time of 1:52.98. North Carolina freshman Carly Smith, who broke the former pool record in the 200-yard backstroke in the preliminary round earlier this morning, swam to a second-place showing in 1:53.14. Both Christensen and Smith set national qualifying "A" cuts in the process, while Florida State sophomore Stephanie Sarandos came in under Smith's prelim time in 1:54.14.
Tar Heel sophomore Laura Moriarty and Virginia freshman Christine Olson tied each other for first place in the 200-yard breaststroke, as each set a league record with a national qualifying "A" cut time. With the win, Moriarty joined Perdue as a three-time individual winner. Moriarty, who also won both the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.93) and 400-yard individual medley (4:07.66).
The slate of individual events closed with the 200-yard butterfly, where Virginia junior Liz Shaw clocked a 1:57.17 for first place. Cavalier junior Claire Crippen (1:58.55) and Maryland senior Jen Vogel (1:59.16) also earned All-ACC honors.
A total of nine "A" cuts were hit by ACC student-athletes, guaranteeing them a berth at the 2010 NCAA Championship.
Next week the 2010 ACC Men's Swimming Championship will take place from Wednesday-Saturday, February 24-27 at Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill. Live action can be followed on theACC.com from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
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