By Dave Lohse
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA., Feb. 22. TWO-TIME defending champion Virginia leads and 16th-ranked North Carolina is second after the first day of the 2001 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Swimming & Diving Championships at the University of Virginia's Aquatic and Fitness Center.
The 11th-ranked Cavaliers lead the field with 256.5 points after the first day of competition which included six events. Coach Frank Comfort's Tar Heels, seeking their first ACC title since 1998, are in second place with 211 points. Florida State is in third place with 142.5 points followed by NC State with 123 points. Maryland is in fifth place with 110 points followed by Clemson with 104 points, Georgia Tech with 96 points and Duke with 49 points.
Virginia swept both relays and Wahoos freshman Ian Prichard won the 500-yard freestyle in an ACC record time of 4:16.32, the fastest time in the nation this year. Florida State won two individual events and Clemson won one individual championship.
Virginia opened the meet by winning the 200 yard freestyle relay in 1:20.20. Florida State was second in 1:20.61 while North Carolina (1:20.82) nipped Maryland for third place by one one-hundredth of a second.
Clemson junior Matt Wilson won the 200 IM in 1:48.10, a touch ahead of Carolina's Matt Helin at 1:48.15.
In a very close 50 yard freestyle, Florida State senior Greg Main-Baillie won in 20.00. Virginia's Luke Anderson was second in 20.10 with North Carolina State's Braden Holloway third in 20.11 and North Carolina's Kevin Erndl fourth in 20.12
The one-meter diving title was won by Florida State freshman Josh Edelman, who scored 283.0 points.
Virginia won the 400 yard medley relay in 3:15.64, followed by Florida State (3:16.10) and North Carolina (3:17.07).
Competition will continue on Friday with seven more events being decided including the 200-yard medley and 800-yard freestyle relays as well as the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard backstroke. Preliminaries Friday are at 11 a.m. with finals at 7 p.m.