ATLANTA, Georgia, February 17. THE Virginia women’s swimming team capped day two of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships with a victory in the 200 freestyle relay to pull ahead of the field through seven events. Senior Katya Bachrouche also set a Virginia record Thursday as the conference meet continued from the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.
The Cavaliers have collected 263.5 points for a slim lead over second-place North Carolina (236) and third-place Florida State (195).
“I’m very pleased with this evening,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “From the very get-go we were a more energized team and came in doing the things it takes to win vs. trying not to lose. That was a big part of what we talked about in our team meeting today. Swim to be the best you can be and don’t worry about the scoreboard. We settled down tonight and did a better job of swimming our races.”
UVa’s Lauren Perdue, Hannah Davis, Kelly Flynn and Emily Lloyd came from behind in the 200 freestyle relay to pull out a winning time of 1:29.21 and set an ACC meet record and a Georgia Tech pool record. The previous meet record was set by the Cavaliers (Mei Christensen, Perdue, Flynn, Davis – 1:29.25) a year ago. The pool record was set by Florida in 2008.
“Relays are so fun to swim and they define our team,” Lloyd, swimming in her first ACC meet, said. “It’s awesome to be a part of such a big thing in this environment. It has been an exciting meet; different than what I expected or anything I have done before.”
Bachrouche broke a 10-year old school record set by former Cavalier and NCAA Champion Cara Lane with her second-place performance in the 500 freestyle. Bachrouche clocked a time of 4:39.09, besting Lane’s previous mark of 4:39.61, set in 2001.
“I’ve had my eye on it since this meet last year,” Bachrouche said of the school record. “I’ve had a healthy two years and I knew after this morning I could still go faster. I didn’t think I would get it by as much as I did – I was pretty shocked.”
Freshman Rachel Naurath just missed all-conference honors with a fourth-place finish (4:41.27) while senior Anne Summer Myers took seventh in 4:43.73. Meredith Perdue recorded a 13th-place finish with a time of 4:50.04 in the consolation final.
“Katya had a brilliant swim,” Bernardino said. “It was exceptionally well-executed. Rachel had two excellent 500s today and Anne Summer and Meredith both had lifetime bests.”
Virginia took two of the top-3 spots on the podium in the 200 individual medley. Seniors Claire Crippen (1:57.56) and Liz Shaw (1:58.70) placed second and third, respectively. Erika Stewart took fifth (1:59.67) while Amanda Faulkner finished 12th (2:01.66).
“It was a special race for Claire,” Bernardino said. “She had an enormous drop from her lifetime best and it was a gutty and powerful performance. All through her career, Liz has been a front-half IMer and this year she has really worked on her breaststroke and freestyle events. You could see that tonight as she came on with a beautiful finish at the end.”
Lauren Perdue picked up all-conference honors in the 50 freestyle with a third-place finish after posting a time of 22.38. She tied her own school record this morning in the preliminaries (22.16). Teammates Emily Lloyd (22.76) and Hannah Davis (22.85) followed in second and third, respectively, while Kristen Moores won the consolation final in 22.79. Also swimming in the B final was Kelly Flynn, who tied for 12th (23.01) and Meredith Cavalier (23.14), who placed 14th overall.
“We were a little bit disappointed in the 50 freestyle but we scored a lot of points in that race,” Bernardino said. “Kristen Moores broke 23 seconds for the first time in her career and that was a huge swim in winning the consolation heat. That to me was an electric moment for the team.”
Day three of the ACC Championships continues Friday with preliminaries in the 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke. Women’s 3-meter diving and men’s 1-meter diving will also be contested.
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