@ACCSwimDive: Virginia Relays Strong Opening Night Message

Seventh-ranked Cavalier women set conference records in the 200 medley and 800 free events

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Buoyed by a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference-record performances in the opening relays, seventh-ranked Virginia made a big splash as the 2014 ACC Women’s Swimming Championship got under way Wednesday evening at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

The Cavaliers, seeking their seventh consecutive ACC team title and their 12th overall, completed the 200 medley and 800 free relays with 128 team points, ninth-ranked North Carolina and No. 21 NC State were tied for second place with 108.

Florida State and 24th-ranked Notre Dame shared fourth place with 102 points, followed by Virginia Tech (96), Duke (94). Pitt (90), Georgia Tech (74), Miami (72) and Boston College (66).

The Virginia 200 medley team of Courtney Bartholomew, Laura Simon, Ellen Williamson and Emily Lloyd won the first event in an ACC-record time of 1:36.16, breaking the previous conference and meet record of 1:37.33 set by Virginia at the 2010 ACC Championship. The highly competitive race featured six NCAA ‘A’ cut times, and saw the NC State team of Zina Grogg, Lauren Poli, Ashlyn Koletic and Riki Bonnema claim second with a time of 1:37.18, which also topped the previous conference mark.

Notre Dame, swimming in its first ACC Swimming Championships event, took third place as Catherine Mulquin, Emma Reaney, Courtney Whyte and Kelly Ryan finished with a time of 1:37.61. North Carolina, Duke and Florida State joined the Cavaliers, Wolfpack and Fighting Irish in posting ‘A’ cut times.

Virginia closed out the night by winning its seventh straight 800 free relay title in 7:01.39, bettering the previous mark of 7:01.56 set by the Cavaliers at last year’s ACC Championship. Leah Smith, Caroline Kenney, Kaitlyn Jones and Williamson combined for the gold medal showing,

Both winning Cavalier relay teams earned 2014 All-ACC honors with their victories.

The Championship continues Thursday with the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, and 50-yard freestyle preliminaries at 11 a.m. Finals in those events, along with the 200-yard freestyle relay, will begin at 7 p.m.

Both the ACC Men’s and Women’s Diving Championships begin on Thursday. The men’s 3-meter diving prelims are scheduled for 1 p.m., followed by the women’s 1-meter prelims are at 3:30 p.m., with the women’s 1-meter finals at 6 p.m. The men’s 3-meter diving finals will take place at 7 p.m.

One change of note in this year’s Championship is the addition of the scoring of all 24 competitors competing in a swimming final. In previous years, only the top 16 competitors received points that counted toward their team’s total.

A live video stream of event finals will be available on theACC.com on Thursday through Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m., with Dean Linke handling play-by-play and Frank Comfort adding analysis.
There is no charge for admission to the 2014 ACC Swimming & Diving Championships. Parking is available for $8 or for $15 for a session pass.

All Championship information, including a full event schedule and live results, can be found at the official championship website, http://theacc.co/SDchamp. Fans can also get updates by following along on Twitter, @ACCSwimDive.