GREENSBORO, North Carolina, February 23. THE Virginia Cavaliers came out on top of their sixth straight Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Championships with a final day surge to the title.
With NCAA record holder Stephanie Peacock of North Carolina out due to an undisclosed illness, Virginia's Kelly Offutt swept the distance races with a 16:08.65 to win the women's 1650-yard free. She had already won the 500 free earlier in the meet. The Cavaliers picked up some more big team points as Rachel Naurath surged into second with a 16:12.55, while North Carolina's Jackie Rudolph earned third in 16:14.49. Virginia also had plenty of other top eight finishers with Alison Haulsee (16:15.43), Hannah Borgersen (16:18.18), Haley Durmer (16:32.39) finishing fourth, fifth and seventh.
Virginia kept on rolling to the team title with a 1-2-7-8 effort in the women's 200 back. Courtney Bartholomew blasted an NCAA A cut time of 1:53.13 to sweep the backstroke events, while Ellen Williamson took second in 1:54.08. Caroline Kenney (1:57.27) and Charlotte Clarke (1:59.17) placed seventh and eighth, while North Carolina's Annie Harrison earned third-place honors in 1:54.79.
Florida State's Tiffany Oliver completed the sprint free double with a 48.19 to win the 100-yard free after prevailing in the 50 earlier this week. Virginia Olympian Lauren Perdue finished second in 48.45, while FSU's Kaitlyn Dressel took third in 49.10. Virginia Tech's Weronika Paluszek delivered the 200-yard breaststroke title to the Hokies with a school-record 2:10.12 to 2:10.19 touchout triumph over Duke's Christi Wixted. Florida State's Kristin Polley completed the top three in 2:13.32.
North Carolina had a strong outing in the 200-yard fly as Cari Blalock won in 1:54.67, and Meredith Hoover (1:55.29), Emma Nunn (1:56.85) and Katie Nolan (1:58.96) finished second, fourth and seventh. Virginia Tech's Heather Savage placed third overall in 1:56.54.
In diving, Miami's Kara McCormack won the platform title with 298.10 points, while N.C. State's Hannah Hopkins took second with 291.75 points. Miami's Carrie Dragland (287.85) and Lindsay Lester (273.85) earned third and fourth.
North Carolina closed out a monster day that witnessed the pull all the way into third, even without their star in Peacock, as Danielle Siverling (49.48), Lauren Earp (48.58), Hannah Lincoln (48.35) and Ally Hardesty (49.47) raced to victory in the 400-yard free relay with a 3:15.88. Florida State's Kaitlyn Dressel (48.91), Kelsey Buckley (50.38), Katie Cook (50.01) and Tiffany Oliver (47.24) finished second in 3:16.54 with Oliver providing a brilliant anchor leg. Virginia's Rachel Naurath, Emily Lloyd, Ellen Williamson and Lauren Perdue wound up third in 3:16.94 as all three top teams beat the NCAA A cut.
Virginia Tech 536
North Carolina 508
Florida State 497
N.C. State 438
Georgia Tech 158
Boston College 98