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8:10 | MORE WOLFPACK MOMENTUM
After setting conference marks in the 50 freestyle earlier in the day during the 2015 ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, NC State’s Riki Bonnema took part in another record-breaking performance Thursday evening.
Bonnema anchored the Wolfpack 200 freestyle relay team that posted an ACC Championship record time of 1:28.18 in taking the gold medal. She was joined on by teammates Lauren Poli, Krista Duffield and Ashlyn Koletic. North Carolina took second place with a time of 1:29.40, and Virginia was third at 1:29.52.
“Any time you break some records it feels good,” NC State Braden Holloway said. “The 50s were a little off today, so to come back and put it together for the relay, really says a lot about the pride they have for that relay and all relays.”
Thursday night’s two gold medals left the Wolfpack in third place in the team scoring heading into the third day of competition on Friday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.
“We’ve gotten going pretty good tonight,” Holloway said. “We’re going to try and keep it up tomorrow morning.”
Seven-time defending champion Virginia leads the field with a team score of 486 through eight events. North Carolina is second at 458, followed by NC State at 383.
Louisville holds fourth place at 369, followed by Virginia Tech at 342, Miami at 267, Notre Dame at 251 and Florida State at 232.
Pitt holds ninth place at 232, and Duke rounds out the top 10 at 207.
Georgia Tech (99), Boston College (60) and Clemson (4) round out the scoring.
7:45 | YOUNG BREAKS THROUGH
Virginia Tech’s Kayle Arnett held a stronghold on the ACC Women’s Swimming and Championship 1-meter dive, but Florida State senior Katrina Young met the challenge on Thursday night.
Young’s cumulative score of 337.60 led the field and gave the Seminoles their first gold medal in the event since Tiffany Manning’s first-place showing in 2004. Miami’s Thea Vock took the silver medal at 333.85, while Arnett – who claimed her second straight 3-meter gold medal during Wednesday night’s competition, settled for the bronze at 333.45.
“It feels wonderful,” said Young, a native of Shoreline, Washington, who took the bronze medal in the 1-meter dive at the 2014 ACC Championships. “Any meet that you do well in feels good but the ACC’s is a really big deal because you represent your school, your team and everyone is watching. So it’s great.”
7:10 | BONNEMA KEEPS ROLLING
NC State junior Riki Bonnema had already set the ACC overall and Championship record in the women’s 50 freestyle during Thursday’s prelims. She fell short of equaling her new mark of 21.87 in Thursday night’s final – but not by much.
Bonnema swam to a gold medal time of 21.97. Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell was next at 22.01, while Florida State’s Kaitlyn Dressel took the bronze at 22.39. Bonnema became NC State’s first ACC women’s freestyle champion since Beth Emery in 1983.
“I try to not think about it and just go – see what happens out there and most importantly just have fun,” Bonnema said of her seemingly effortless sprints.
7:00 | KYLLIAINEN, CARDS STRIKE GOLD
Conference newcomer Louisville grabbed its first gold medal of the ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, as senior Tanja Kylliainen led the field with a time of 1:55.72.
Kylliainen used a strong closing kick to overtake defending champion and ACC record-holder Emma Reaney of Notre Dame, who was originally credited with a time of 1:55.79 but was later disqualified. Virginia sophomore Kaitlyn Jones took the silver medal with a time of 1:56.38, and the Cavaliers’ Courtney Bartholomew the bronze at 156.53.
Kylliainen’s ACC championship is the first for Louisville (team or individual) in any sport since the Cardinals joined the conference last July 1.
“Four years,” she said when asked to elaborate on the training and preparation that went into her stellar showing. “I’m a senior at this point, so just a lot of IM training and sacrifice.”
6:30 | TWO IN A ROW
TWO IN A ROW
Virginia sophomore Leah Smith is the Atlantic Coast Conference 500 freestyle champion for the second straight year. Smith raced to a gold medal finish of 4:35.67 in the opening event of Thursday evening’s finals session at the 2015 ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship.
Smith’s time was slower than her ACC record time of 4:32.61 set earlier this season and her ACC Championship mark of 4:34.65 set last year. But it was still more than enough for the Pittsburgh native to finish comfortably ahead. North Carolina senior Danielle Siverling took the silver medal with a time of 4:40.28, and Virginia freshman Cece Williams the bronze at 4:43.09.
“I knew I was pretty good this morning,” said Smith, referring to the preliminaries in which she swam a field-leading time of 4:37.28. “I know when I’m under 4:40 I'll have a good night swim. My coach just wanted me to swim my own race, which is to just step on the gas pedal and don’t let go.”
Smith’s gold medal was Virginia’s third of the still-young meet, and the seven-time defending champion Cavaliers vaulted into first place during the early going on Thursday night. How can they keep up this pace?
“By rolling one good swim off the other,” Smith said. “We had two really great relays, and we just have to keep winning events and our heats.”
3:30 | 1-METER DIVING CLOSES OUT PRELIMS
The final preliminaries of day two of the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships concluded early Thursday afternoon at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.
North Carolina’s Michole Timm led the way with 335.35 points, followed by Florida State’s Katrina Young at 318.50. Virginia Tech’s Kaylea Arnett – bidding for her fourth straight women’s 1-meter title and her sixth ACC Championship diving title overall – was third at 317.35.
Miami’s Thea Vock (315.95), Pitt’s Meme Sharp (290.25), Notre Dame’s Lindsey Streepey (288.25) NC State’s Rachel Mumma (288.05) and Miami’s Cheyenne Couisineau rounded out the top eight qualifiers.
The 1-meter finals are set for 7:15 this evening. Women’s swimming final action begins at 6 p.m. and will feature the 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay.
12:30 | DAY TWO PRELIMINARIES
The second day of the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Women Swimming Championships began with preliminaries in three swimming events. If the early returns were an indication, fans attending Thursday night’s finals at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center are in for a real treat.
NC State’s Riki Bonnema set a new meet and conference record with a time of 21.87 in the 50-yard freestyle, while two defending champions and meet/conference record-holders took control of their respective events.
Thursday morning opened with prelims in 500 freestyle, where Virginia sophomore Leah Smith found herself in a familiar position. The ACC overall and Championship record holder led a group of eight qualifiers with a prelim time off 4:37.28. Smith will be joined in this evening’s final by North Carolina’s Danielle Siverling (4:40.45), Virginia’s Hanne Bogerson (4:41.93), North Carolina’s Emma Nunn (4:43.58), Pitt’s Kaleigh Ritter (4:44.32), Louisville’s Andre Kneppers (4:44.54), and Virginia’s Alison Haulse (4:44.77) and Cece Williams (4:45.29).
The 200 IM prelims saw defending ACC champion and conference/meet record-holder Emma Reaney of Notre Dame lead the way 1:56.84. She was followed by Lousiville’s Tanja Kyllianien (1:56.62), Virginia’s Courtney Bartholomew (1:57.37) and Ellen Williamson (1:57.52), NC State’s Alexia Zevnik (1:58.04), Louisville’s Eric Belcher (1:58.30), Kaitlyn Jones (1:58.30) and NC State’s Addisynn Bursch (1:58.33).
NC State’s Bonnema topped the previous ACC and meet time of 21.96 set by Virginia Tech’s Sara Smith in 2009. The Wolfpack junior was followed in the 50 free preliminaries by Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell (22.01), North Carolina’s Hannah Lincoln (22.44), Virginia’s Ellen Thomas (22.44), NC State’s Lauren Poli (22.46), Florida State’s Kaitlyn Dressel (22.50), and North Carolina’s Sarah Hitchens (22.52) and Caroline Baldwin (22.55).
Tonight’s final round, which will include all of the above events in addition to 200 freestyle relay and women’s 1-meter dive, is set to begin at 6 p.m.