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Feb. 19, 2011
ATLANTA, Ga. - Trailing by 37 points entering the day, Virginia collected eight podium finishes - including three first place spots - to overtake North Carolina and win its fourth-straight title at the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Championship at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. It marks the Cavaliers' ninth overall championship, all of which have come under head coach Mark Bernardino.
Virginia was led by sophomore Lauren Perdue, who captured her second consecutive Most Valuable Swimmer honor. Perdue won two events and registered ACC championship and conference records in both en route to a unanimous selection. Her time in the 200-yard freestyle was also an `A' cut. Additionally, she helped the Cavaliers to a sweep of all three freestyle relay events.
Duke swept the Most Valuable Men's and Women's Diver for the second-straight year. Junior Abby Johnston successfully defended her women's one- and three-meter diving titles, while besting her own ACC championship record in the one-meter. Sophomore Nick McCrory also won back-to-back men's one- and three-meter diving championships. He improved upon both of his own ACC championship and conference-leading marks in the three-meter.
The Cavaliers finished the meet with 776 points, followed by North Carolina in second with 734 and Florida State in third with 417. Maryland (397) and Virginia Tech (358) each moved up a spot to finish fourth and fifth, respectively. Miami placed sixth with 349, while Duke was seventh with 262.5 and NC State was eighth with 159.5. Georgia Tech (ninth, 152), Clemson (10th, 151) and Boston College (11th, 60) rounded out the field.
Duke completed a sweep of women's diving events behind freshman Haley Ishimatsu's first-place finish in the platform dive with a score of 351.65. Her mark now leads the conference. Miami junior Carrie Dragland earned her third podium spot, taking second with a 336.90. Florida State freshman Katrina Young finished third with a 299.95. All three marks were NCAA `Zone' qualifying.
Blue Devil senior Ashley Twichell collected her second title in three years in the women's 1650-yard freestyle. Her time of 15:54.15 bested both the championship record she set in 2009 and the pool record. Virginia senior Katya Bachrouche took second with a 16:09.09, followed by North Carolina senior Katura Harvey in third with a 16:11.25. All three times were `B' cuts.
North Carolina sophomore Carly Smith raced to an `A' time of 1:53.08 to take the women's 200-yard backstroke title. Virginia sophomore Meredith Cavalier finished second, clocking a 1:54.27. Florida State junior Stephanie Sarandos placed third with a 1:55.98. Both Cavalier and Sarandos registered `B' times.
Perdue posted both a championship and conference record with a time of 47.88 en route to her second-straight title in the women's 100-yard freestyle. Maryland swept the final two podium spots as senior Annie Fittin (48.79) and sophomore Megan Lafferty (48.92) finished second and third, respectively. The Terrapins' duo each also met the `B' standard.
The Tar Heels earned their second victory of the night in the women's 200-yard breaststroke, claiming both first and second place. Junior Layne Brodie took top honors with a `B' time of 2:10.56, while her classmate Laura Moriarty finished second with a 2:10.91. Virginia junior Kelly Flynn placed third with a 2:11.97. The top 14 finishers each recorded `B' cuts.
In what proved to be the championship-clinching event, the Cavaliers swept the podium in the women's 200-yard butterfly. Freshman Rachel Naurath paced the field with a 1:55.88, followed by senior Liz Shaw with a 1:57.85. Senior Claire Crippen took third with a 1:57.98. All three met the `B' standard.
Virginia capped the meet and ensured their fourth-straight title with a victorious run in the women's 400-yard freestyle relay. Led by Perdue, seniors Kristen Moores and Hannah Davis and freshman Emily Lloyd, the Cavaliers posted a time of 3:15.68. Maryland came in second with a 3:17.44, followed by North Carolina with a 3:19.11. The top nine teams posted `B' cuts.
A total of five "A" cuts were hit by ACC student-athletes, guaranteeing them a bid to the 2011 NCAA Championship. North Carolina's Carly Smith met standards in both the women's 100- and 200-yard backstroke events.
In the final men's diving event of the championship, Virginia Tech sophomore Logan Shinholser registered a score of 449.15 to win the men's platform dive. Florida State swept the final two podium spots as senior Landon Marzullo (441.25) and sophomore Mike Neubacher (422.90) finished second and third, respectively.
The 2011 ACC Men's Swimming Championship will be held Wednesday, Feb. 23 through Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center as 10 teams vie for the conference title. Live action will be available on the ACC Network on theACC.com Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m.
Fans can follow all the 2011 Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving Championships action at the official championship website, http://www.theacc.com/championships/10-sd-championship.html.