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Feb. 24, 2011
ATLANTA, Ga. - On a night that saw Clemson and Duke claim their program's first 50-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle relay titles, Virginia used the strength of seven podium finishes to take the lead at the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Swimming Championship at Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta. The Cavaliers have claimed at least one top-three finish in all six events this week. Virginia senior Matt McLean also clocked an NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the 500-yard freestyle en route to his fourth-straight title in the event.
Virginia took over first place with 280 points. Florida State jumped two spots to second with 199.5. North Carolina remained at third with 196, followed by Clemson in fourth with 154. Virginia Tech held on at fifth with 148.5, while Duke moved up two spots to sixth with 142. Georgia Tech is seventh with 113, followed by Maryland in eighth with 80. NC State (69) and Boston College (42) rounded out the field.
In the first event of the day, Virginia swept the podium and claimed six of the top eight finishes in the men's 500-yard freestyle. Senior Matt McLean raced to his fourth consecutive title in the event with a time of 4:13.53. His cut automatically qualifies him for the event at the 2011 NCAA Championships. McLean's classmate, Taylor Smith, took second with a 4:19.30, followed by freshman Jon Daniec in third with a 4:19.35. Both Smith and Daniec were among the seven championship finalists who met the `B' standard.
Senior Tyler Harris won North Carolina's first event of the day in the men's 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:44.99. Virginia sophomore Matt Houser finished second with a 1:45.26, while Florida State senior Robby Hayes placed third with a 1:45.81. The eight championship final participants all recorded `B' times.
Sophomore Eric Bruck clinched Clemson's first title in the men's 50-yard freestyle since 1989 with a 19.56 clip. Virginia swept the final two podium spots as junior Peter Geissinger and Scot Robison registered times of 19.71 and 19.72 respectively. The top 14 finishers all met the `B'-qualifying mark.
In the final event of the day, Duke took top honors in the 200-freestyle relay, winning the program's first ever title in the event. Sophomore Ben Hwang, junior Ben Tuben and seniors Spencer Booth and Nick Garvy paced the squad to a time of 1:18.52. Virginia claimed a podium spot in its sixth-straight event of the week, taking second with a 1:18.66 cut, while Clemson finished third with a 1:18.90. The top nine finishers posted `B' times.
The top three finishers in each event and the winning relay team collected All-ACC accolades with their victories.
The 2011 ACC Men's Swimming Championship will continue Friday with the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard backstroke preliminaries, which are scheduled for 11 a.m. The finals in those events along with the 400-yard medley relay begin at 7 p.m.
Live coverage of the finals is available on the ACC Network on theACC.com Friday and Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. Fans can follow all the 2011 ACC Swimming & Diving Championships action at the official championship website, http://www.theacc.com/championships/11-swimming-diving-championship.html.