@ACCSwimDive: Virginia Keeps Its Distance

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  • Photo by Sara D. Davis, theACC.com

    Three overall league records, one ACC Championship mark fall on third day of competition

    GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – With three more gold medal showings, Virginia continued to maintain a healthy lead as day three of the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships concluded Friday evening at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

    The Cavaliers finished the session with 946.5 team points, while North Carolina moved up to the second-place spot with 767. Florida State held third place at 706.5, and NC State was fourth at 659.

    Virginia Tech held on to fifth place with 619 points, followed by Notre Dame (543.5), Duke (363). Miami (351.5), Pitt (324.5), Georgia Tech (221.5), Boston College (130) and Clemson (35).

    Already riding a record-setting wave, Virginia served notice in the first swimming event that Friday would offer more of the same. The Cavaliers’ 400 medley relay team of Courtney Bartholomew, Laura Simon, Ellen Williamson and Emily Lloyd posted an ACC overall and Championship record time of 3:29.94, nearly three seconds faster than the previous overall mark set by the 2010 Virginia squad.

    In the 400 IM, North Carolina senior Cari Blalock successfully defended her title with a winning time of 4:08.96. Tar Heel teammate Emma Nunn took the silver medal at 4:10.86, and Notre Dame’s Katie Miller the bronze at 4:10.92.

    Virginia’s Williamson took the gold in the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.19, followed by Florida State’s Chelsea Britt at 52.35 and Duke’s Lauren Weaver at 53.18.

    In the 200 freestyle, North Carolina’s Danielle Silvering led the way with a time of 1:44.43. Virginia claimed the sliver and bronze medals, as Leah Smith checked in at 1:44.79 and Carolina Kenney at 1:45.65.

    The women’s 3-meter dive saw Virginia Tech’s Kaylea Arnett claim her second gold medal in as many events with a score of 395.95. Arnett became the first Hokie to win the women’s 3-meter, finishing ahead of silver medalist Kara McCormick of Miami (372.55) and the Hurricanes’ Lindsay Lester (359.55). Arnett now owns four career ACC gold medals.

    Notre Dame’s Emma Reaney claimed her second gold medal of the Championship with a conference and meet record time of 58.46 in the 100 breaststroke, breaking her own marks set during preliminaries on Friday afternoon. Virginia’s Simon followed at 59.36, and Virginia Tech’s Weronika Paluszek took the bronze in 59.95.

    An ACC Championship meet record fell in the final swimming event, as Virginia’s Bartholomew defended her 100 backstroke record in 51.50. NC State’s Alexia Zevnik followed at 52.85 and North Carolina’s Carly Smith took the bronze at 53.07.

    In the men’s 1-meter diving final, Olympian Nick McCrory of Duke captured his fourth career medal in the event – and his ninth ACC Championship gold medal overall – with a score of 425.7. The Chapel Hill, N.C., senior edged Miami’s Samuel Dorman, who posted a strong silver medal showing at 422.1. North Carolina’s Jack Nyquist took the bronze at 398.3.

    McCrory became the 21st four-time winner of an ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship event, and the first four-time 1-meter gold medalist. McCrory is a three-time gold medalist in the 3-meter dive and will be going after his third gold in the men’s platform dive on Saturday.

    Three ACC overall records and one ACC Championship mark fell during Friday’s session, A total of seven overall records and two Championship mark have been set through the first three sessions.

    The final day of the Championship starts on Saturday at 11 a.m. with the preliminaries of the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, and 200 butterfly. Men’s platform diving prelims and finals start at 1 p.m., with the women’s platform prelims starting at 4:30 p.m. and finishing with the finals at approximately 8:20 p.m. The swimming finals, including the 1650 freestyle, start 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.

    Each top-three finisher in each individual event and each member of first-play relay teams earn All-ACC honors.

    A live video stream of event finals will be available 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.