GREENSBORO, North Carolina, February 21. THE Virginia Cavaliers continued to steamroll to the Atlantic Coast Conference team title at the women’s championships here in Greensboro, but Notre Dame’s Emma Reaney grabbed some of the top spotlight
Virginia opened the night with a blistering effort in the women’s 400-yard medley relay. The foursome of Courtney Bartholomew (51.90), Laura Simon (58.52), Ellen Williamson (51.42) and Emily Lloyd (48.10) put together a sizzling 3:29.94 for the win. That swim obliterated UVA’s previous meet and conference records from 2010 and 2009. UVA had previously owned the marks with a 3:32.97 in 2010 for the meet mark and a 3:32.74 in 2009 for the conference mark.
Keyed by a scintillating breaststroke leg of 57.71 from Emma Reaney, Notre Dame’s Catherine Mulquin (54.26), Reaney, Courtney Whyte (53.14) and Kelly Ryan (48.82) raced to second in 3:33.93 to also clear the NCAA A cut. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, turned in a 3:35.45 by way of Holly Harper, Weronika Paluszek, Maggie Gruber and Katarina Filova.
The diving break followed with Virginia Tech’s Kalyea Arnett earning the conference title with 395.95 points in three-meter competition. Miami’s Kara McCormack took second with 372.55 points, while teammate Lindsay Lester claimed third with 359.55 points.
North Carolina had a strong outing in the women’s 400-yard IM with a 1-2 effort. Cari Blalock raced her way to a 4:08.96 for the win, while teammate Emma Nunn picked up second-place honors in 4:10.86. That’s back-to-back wins for Blalock in the event. Notre Dame’s Katie Miller wound up third overall in 4:10.92 after a close race with Nunn.
Virginia’s Ellen Williamson unleashed a 52.19 to capture the women’s 100-yard fly title ahead of Florida State’s Chelsea Britt, who took second overall in 52.35. Duke’s Lauren Weaver raced her way to third overall in 53.18.
Danielle Siverling powered her way to another North Carolina victory as she posted a 1:44.43 for the win in the 200-yard freestyle finale. Virginia’s Leah Smith, already a winner in the 500 free earlier this week, took second in 1:44.79, while teammate Caroline Kenney turned in a third-place effort of 1:45.65.
In the fastest individual event of the night, Notre Dame’s Emma Reaney not only posted a 59.09 in prelims to destroy the previous meet (59.81) and conference (59.22) records in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke, she then led Virginia’s Laura Simon under 59 seconds as the first two sub-59 breaststrokers in ACC history.
Reaney went out in 27.72, and came home in 30.74 to win the event with a scorching 58.46, while Simon popped a 28.22 opening split before equaling Reaney coming home with a 30.74 for second in 58.96. Virginia Tech’s Weronika Paluszek earned third overall in 59.95.
Virginia’s Courtney Bartholomew closed the show with a sweltering 51.50 in the women’s 100-yard backstroke. That swim beat Mei Christensen’s meet record of 51.75, but still trails Bartholomew’s amazing conference record of 50.73 from last November. NC State’s Alexia Zevnik hit the wall second in 52.85, while North Carolina’s Carly Smith took third in 53.07.
In men’s diving action, with scores applying to the men’s conference meet next weekend, Duke’s Nick McCrory edged Miami’s Samuel Dorman, 425.70 to 422.10, for the men’s one-meter diving title. Meanwhile, UNC’s John Nyquist checked in with a 398.30 for third.
At the end of day three, Virginia has built an insurmountable lead with 946.5 points, while North Carolina stands second with 767 points. Florida State (706.5), NC State (659) and Virginia Tech (619) round out the rest of the top five.
Notre Dame (543.5), Duke (363), Miami (351.5), Pittsburgh (324.5), Georgia Tech (221.5), Boston College (130) and Clemson (35) also have scored.