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Feb. 18, 2012
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. - Powered by wins in 10 events and 22 podium spots, the Virginia women's swimming team won their fifth-straight title at the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Championships at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. It marks the Cavaliers' tenth overall championship, all of which have come under head coach Mark Bernardino.
North Carolina sophomore Stephanie Peacock, the ACC Women's Most Valuable Swimmer, won her third event of the week in taking home the 1650-yard freestyle in ACC-record time of 15:46.12. Having previously won the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races earlier in the week, she finished with her second NCAA `A' qualifying time and won her fourth-career ACC title. She finished the week with five medals (three gold, one silver, and one bronze), two NCAA automatic qualifying times, and two ACC Championship records to become the first Tar Heel to earn ACC Women's Most Valuable Swimmer honors since 1998.
"It is a really great feeling to be able to come out of this meet with three golds and two conference records," said Peacock. "I wasn't expecting that coming into the meet and it is a really great feeling knowing that all of the hard work that I have put in over the past season has paid off."
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Virginia Tech swept the Most Valuable Diver awards, as freshman Kaylea Arnett won the award for the women and Logan Shinholser won it from the men's competition. Arnett was victorious in the one-meter title, finished in fifth in the three-meter, and earned bronze in the platform. Shinholser completed the sweep as he took home the ACC Men's Most Valuable Diver honor after winning the one- and three-meter springboard championships. His last dive of 86.40 in Saturday's platform came up just short of the 87.1 that he needed for first, and teammate Ryan Hawkins won gold while Shinholser grabbed silver, his third medal of the week. Both awards were the first in Virginia Tech history.
The Cavaliers finished the meet with 848 points, followed by North Carolina with 615 and Florida State with 460. Virginia Tech came in fourth with 401 points, ahead of Maryland with 399 and Miami with 313. NC State (247.5), Georgia Tech (195.5), Duke (193), Clemson (137), and Boston College (60) rounded out the field.
Virginia won all three podium spots in the 200-yard backstroke, the second event of the night. Cavaliers Meredith Cavalier, Ellen Williamson, and Caroline Kenney all finished with NCAA `B' times to pick up 53 points for Virginia.
In the 100-yard freestyle, Virginia's Lauren Perdue became just the second swimmer in ACC history to three-peat in the event, winning in a pool-record 48.27. Maryland's Megan Lafferty and NC State's Hannah Freyman finished in second- and third-place, respectively.
Florida State sophomore Katrina Young took home gold in the women's platform, the first Seminole to ever win platform diving and the first to win an ACC swimming or diving title since 2008. Her score of 323.05 in the finals set a new pool record, beating out Virginia Tech's Logan Kline (302.25) and Kaylea Arnett (297.50).
North Carolina senior Laura Moriarty, the 2010 ACC co-champion in the 200-yard breaststroke, defeated Alexa Hamilton and Christine Wixted in the event to improve on last year's second-place finish.
Virginia freshman Megan Fox, who had already won her first ACC title on Friday in the 400-yard individual medley, won the second in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:56.02. North Carolina's Cari Blalock finished in second in 1:56.36 to win her third individual medal of the week, and Virginia freshman Sarah White grabbed bronze.
The Cavaliers closed out their tenth ACC title with a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of Lauren Perdue, Meredith Cavalier, Kelly Flynn, and Emily Lloyd gave Virginia four wins out of the five relays at the championship.
The 2012 ACC Men's Swimming Championship will be held Wednesday, Feb. 22 through Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. Live action will be available on theACC.com Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. For more on the ACC Swimming & Diving Championships, head to http://www.theacc.com/championships/12-swimming-diving-championship.html.