GREENSBORO, North Carolina, February 22. VIRGINIA pretty much put away its sixth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference title with one more day to go as the Cavaliers kept piling up points with big team scoring swim after swim this evening.
The Cavaliers lead Virginia Tech, 560-348, in what is an insurmountable lead heading into the final day of competition tomorrow. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has had an incredible meet, and is in a battle for its top finish at ACCs ever. Last year, the Hokies placed fourth. This year, Virginia Tech just has to hold off Florida State and N.C. State to secure a runner-up finish tomorrow.
Virginia Tech swept the medley relays at ACCs. After taking down the 200-yard title on night one, Va Tech's Sabrina Benson (53.66), Weronika Paluszek (1:00.30), Heather Savage (51.65) and Katarina Filova (48.80) raced to victory in the 400-yard event with an NCAA A cut time of 3:34.41. Virginia's Courtney Bartholomew (52.30), Natalie Martin (1:03.21), Ellen Williamson (52.42) and Lauren Perdue (47.65) ripped off a second-place time of 3:35.58, while N.C. State's Hannah Freyman (53.48), Lauren Poli (1:01.77), Zina Grogg (52.86) and Marifrances Henley (48.34) placed third in 3:36.45.
North Carolina's Cari Blalock dominated the field in the distance medley, claiming the 400-yard IM title with a 4:08.48. The NCAA A cut in this event is incredibly swift at a 4:05.98, while Claire Crippen of Virginia owns the ACC record with a 4:07.29 from 2011. Virginia's Shaun Casey touched second in 4:10.71, while Florida State's Julia Henkel placed third with a 4:12.39. Virginia kept piling up team points as well with Haley Durmer (4:15.10) and Hillary Petersen (4:18.52) taking fourth and seventh.
Virginia Tech clinched its second swimming title of the night as Heather Savage smoked the 100-yard fly with a meet-record 51.78. That time eclipsed the 51.98 set by Miami's Lucy Worrall in prelims as both swimmers are now locks for the NCAA championships with A cuts. Worrall took second this evening in 52.25. Virginia's Ellen Williamson raced to third with a 52.79 to wrap up the sub-53 times.
Olympian Lauren Perdue prevailed in the 200-yard free for the third year in a row for Virginia with a sterling 1:43.88 — the first NCAA A cut in the event this weekend. She just missed her 2011 meet record of 1:43.73. She's just the second Cavalier to win two ACC titles three years in a row. Cara Lane is the only other Cavalier to have done so, with wins in the 500 and 1650 free three straight years. North Carolina's Lauren Earp finished a distant second in 1:45.22, while Virginia's Rachel Naurath finished third in 1:45.74 as the Cavaliers continued to amass a huge team lead, now more than 200 points ahead of second-place Virginia Tech after the 200 free.
Miami's Sofia Johansson trumped Duke's Christi Wixted in the 100-yard breaststroke, 1:00.03 to 1:00.49, after Wixted nearly took down Johansson's ACC record of 59.81 with a 59.95 during prelims. Virginia Tech's Weronika Paluszek (1:00.78) and Alyssa Bodin (1:01.03) finished third and fourth in the event. The win gave Johansson her third victory in the event.
Virginia's Courtney Bartholomew then closed out the night with a 52.25 to match her prelim time, and win the 100-yard backstroke. North Carolina's Carly Smith placed second in 53.05, while N.C. State's Zina Grogg took third in 53.42. Charlotte Clarke (53.82) and Emily Dicus (54.52) kept running up the score for Virginia with sixth and eighth-place finishes.
Virginia Tech's Kalyea Arnette captured the one-meter diving title with 327.70 points, while Miami's Carrie Dragland (313.65) and Kara McCormack (313.35) rounded out the top three in the diving event.
Virginia Tech 348
Florida State 340
N.C. State 322
North Carolina 287
Georgia Tech 122
Boston College 80