ACC Swimming & Diving Championships: Day 4

Virginia Wins Ninth Straight ACC Title
For the ninth straight year, Virginia is the ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Champion.

The Cavaliers won 10 of the 21 event championships – eight individuals and two relays – and a total of 18 medals en route to the victory, the 14th overall in program history. The title is third straight under current head coach Augie Busch.

“What they did this weekend was nothing short of remarkable and the highlights are too numerous to count,” said Busch. “I am so happy for our fourth-years and so grateful for what they have invested in this program. Their legacies will be forever etched in the illustrious tradition of UVA swimming and diving.

“We will enjoy this championship yet know that what lies ahead (NCAA Championships) is the focus of our team. We are excited to regroup, go back to work and take aim at accomplishing more amazing things in Atlanta.”

Virginia finished the meet in first place with 1332.5 points. NC State came in second with 1178 points, the highest finish for the Wolfpack since 1982.

North Carolina placed third with 1080 points, followed by Louisville (1059.5), Virginia Tech (705), Duke (642.5), Notre Dame (537.5), Miami (502.5), Florida State (444.5), Pitt (425), Georgia Tech (356), Boston College (152), and Clemson (86).

Bartholomew’s Place in the Record Books
Virginia’s Courtney Bartholomew closed out her ACC career at the 2016 Championship and cemented her place in the record books.

The senior became the second women’s swimmer in league history to sweep the 100 and 200 backstroke four times. In addition to her victory in this week’s 200 individual medley, Bartholomew finishes her career with nine individual championships, a Virginia record and tied for the second most in ACC history.

Louisville’s Worrell Named Most Valuable Swimmer
Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell has plenty of fond memories of the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Last year at the GAC, she won the 100 and 200 butterfly at the NCAA National Championship and set an American record in the 100 butterfly.

Her return to the pool wasn’t bad, either.

The senior won five medals – including four gold – and set four records in the process. For her performance, the ACC coaches voted her as the 2016 ACC Championship Most Valuable Women’s Swimmer.

“It’s so special,” said Worrell on winning the award. “It doesn’t just represent that I’ve done but that of our whole team. I’m just so proud of where we have come from. To have won it two years in a row for Louisville with Tanya [Kylliainen] winning last year – to keep that in our name is so special.”

Gold Medals
50 Freestyle (21.85) – Meet Record
100 Freestyle (47.30) – ACC Record
100 Butterfly (50.06) – Meet Record
200 Medley Relay (1:35.43) – ACC Record

Silver Medal
400 Medley Relay (3:28.32)

Layland, Homza Named Most Valuable Divers
Miami’s Wally Layland was voted as the 2016 ACC Championship Most Valuable Women’s diver by the league’s head coaches. The sophomore finished second in the 1-meter, seventh in the 3-meter, and second on the platform to earn 79 points for the Hurricanes.

On the men’s side, Georgia Tech’s Brad Homza was fourth in the 1-meter, sixth on the 3-meter, and closed out the meet with a gold medal on the platform.

Record-Setting Week
The ACC record book will need major revisions after this meet.

Fourteen new marks were set: two NCAA, six ACC, and six meet records. Louisville and Virginia each set six and NC State added two.

Records set at the 2016 ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship
NCAA Records
1000 Freestyle (9:20.15) – Leah Smith, Virginia
1650 Freestyle (15:25.30) – Leah Smith, Virginia

ACC Records
100 Freestyle (47.30) – Kelsi Worrell, Louisville
100 Breaststroke (58.26) – Andrea Cottrell, Louisville
200 Freestyle Relay (1:27.50) – NC State (Bonnema, Koletic, Labonge, Duffield)
400 Freestyle Relay (3:11.90) – NC State (Zevnik, Bonnema, Caldwell, Labonge)
800 Freestyle Relay (6:59.98) – Virginia (Smith, Maroney, Jones, Marrkand)
200 Medley Relay (1:35.43) – Louisville (Kendzior, Cottrell, Worrell, Comerford)

Meet Records
50 Freestyle (21.85) – Kelsi Worrell, Louisville
200 Freestyle (1:42.79) – Mallory Comerford, Louisville
500 Freestyle (4:30.74) – Leah Smith, Virginia
100 Butterfly (50.06) – Kelsi Worrell, Louisville
100 Backstroke (50.74) – Courtney Bartholomew, Virginia
400 Medley Relay (3:28.25) – Virginia (Bartholomew, Simon, Jones, Thomas)

400 Freestyle Relay
The 2016 championship finished out in resounding fashion in the 400 freestyle relay. Three teams – NC State, Virginia, and North Carolina – went under the meet record in the event.

Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell equaled her ACC record in the 100 freestyle (47.30) that she set earlier in the night to grab the lead for the Cardinals.

NC State’s Riki Bonnema, swimming the second leg for the Wolfpack, swam 47.91 to take over first place, a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Courtney Caldwell and Natalie Labonge closed out the race in 3:11.90, an ACC record that broke the previous record by more than a second.

Virginia finished in 3:13.45 for second place, followed by North Carolina in third (3:13.75).

Men’s and Women’s Platform Diving
Both the men’s and women’s platform diving finals were contested during the night session for the first time this year.

On the women’s side, Louisville’s Andrea Acquista won with a total score of 318.15. Miami’s Wally Layland placed second with 300.80, followed by Duke’s Maryellen Targo with 286.85.

On the men’s side, Georgia Tech’s Brad Hozma and Miami’s Tanner Willfong were neck-and-neck through the entire competition. Hozma held less than a 10-point lead going into the last round, and clinched the gold medal on the last dive of the night with a total score of 436.25, ahead of Willfong’s 422.00. Virginia Tech’s Mauro Castro-Silva won bronze with a score of 383.20.

200 Butterfly
Virginia’s Kaitlyn Jones won her second gold medal of the week, taking home the title in the 200 butterfly in 1:54.65.

Fellow Cavalier Jen Marrkand went out in 25.62 and led the race through the halfway mark, before Jones and Virginia Tech’s Klaudia Nazieblo overtook her on the second half.

Nazieblo claimed silver in 1:55.30 and Marrkand placed third in 1:55.87.

200 Breastroke
Laura Simon won the third individual title for the Cavaliers of the night and successfully defended her 200 breastroke title.

The junior won the event in 2:06.86, the second fastest time in the country this year. Louisville’s Andee Cottrell placed second in 2:07.42, followed by Virginia Tech’s Weronika Paluszek in third (2:07.95).

100 Freestyle
Louisville Kelsi Worrell has racked up the hardware this week. The senior won her third individual race of the meet, and has set a record in all three in the process.

In the 100 freestyle, she touched first with a time of 47.30, topping her league record of 47.33 set in the morning prelims.

Teammate Mallory Comerford claimed second in 48.31. NC State swimmers took the next two spots with Riki Bonnema (48.50) grabbing bronze followed by Natalie Labonge (48.51).

200 Backstroke
Virginia’s Courtney Bartholomew successfully finished off the career backstroke sweep in the second event of the night. The senior won the 200 backstroke for the fourth straight year, becoming the second women’s swimmer in ACC history to sweep the 100 and 200 backstroke four times in a career.

Her winning time of 1:49.90 was just shy of her own meet record from last year (1:49.87). NC State’s Alexia Zevnik placed second with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:51.26. North Carolina’s Hellen Moffitt finished in 1:52.35 to earn her third individual medal of the week.

1650 Freestyle
Leah Smith, the ACC record holder in the 1650 freestyle, won the national championship in 2015 by 12 seconds over the closest competitor.

On Saturday, she showed that she’s only gotten faster.

The junior set two NCAA records in the process of winning the 1650 freestyle at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. She passed 1,000 yards in 9:20.15, a new collegiate best, and won the race in 15:25.30, more than two seconds faster the previous record that had stood since 2014.

NC State’s Hannah Moore finished in second in 15:50.46, an NCAA automatic qualifying time, followed by teammate Rachel Muller in third in 16:02.15.

Countdown to the Finals
Virginia holds a comfortable lead over NC State as the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships head into their final day at the Greensboro Aquatic center.

Following this morning’s prelims in swimming events, and men’s and women’s platform diving this afternoon, tonight’s 6 p.m. finals in seven women’s events will determine the 2016 ACC Champion. The Virginia women are seeking their ninth straight ACC championship and 14th overall.

Through three days of swimming and diving, the Cavaliers sit in first place with a 90.5 point lead over NC State. Virginia has 897.5 points, followed by NC State (807), North Carolina (733), and Louisville (707).

Women’s final events scheduled for this evening include the 1650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, platform diving, and 400 freestyle relay. The ACC men’s platform diving finals are also scheduled tonight. The evening session will be broadcast on ESPN3.

NC State’s Ashlyn Koletic leads the individual scoring race with 68 points. Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell and Virginia’s Courtney Bartholomew have each earned 64 points, while Louisville’s Mallory Comerford and Virginia’s Leah Smith have 60 points.

Louisville Kelsi Worrell made noise in the morning session, posting the fastest time in the country in the 100 freestyle and breaking her own ACC record with a time of 47.33.

NC State’s Alexia Zevnik (200 backstroke), Virginia Tech’s Weronika Paluszek (200 breastroke), and Virginia’s Kaitlyn Jones (200 butterfly) also posted top qualifying times this morning.