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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech and Virginia took home relay titles on Wednesday as the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Swimming Championship got underway at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. The Cavaliers registered an NCAA automatic-qualifying mark in the 800-yard freestyle relay, and the Hokies won the 200-yard medley relay for the first time.
Virginia Tech, powered by two top-five finishes, leads after day one with 68 points, ahead of North Carolina with 66 points. Virginia is in third with 58 points, leading Duke, NC State, and Florida State who are tied for fourth with 56 points. Georgia Tech (52), Maryland (48), Clemson (48), and Boston College (28) round out the field.
The 200-yard medley relay team of Senior Charlie Higgins, sophomore Emmett Dignan, junior Greg Mahon, and senior Greg Morgan got the first victory of the championship for Virginia Tech. They posted an NCAA `B' qualifying time of 1:29.34, breaking their own pool record to become the first Hokie squad to win the ACC 200-yard medley relay title.
Duke touched the wall in second in a school-record time of 1:26.46, the highest podium spot in the event in program history. North Carolina came in third in 1:27.26 to earn 32 points for the Tar Heels.
In the second and final event of the night, the Virginia Cavaliers won the 800-yard freestyle relay for the 13th-straight year. The team of Peter Geissinger, Tom Barrett, Parker Camp, and David Karasek automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships with an NCAA `A' standard time of 6:18.35.
North Carolina earned their second podium finish of the night, coming in second in 6:23.30, just ahead of NC State in 6:25.67. The Tar Heels and Wolfpack were two of eight teams that posted `B' cuts.
Both winning relay teams garnered 2012 All-ACC honors with their victories.
The championship continues Thursday with the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, and 50-yard freestyle preliminaries at 11 a.m. Finals in those events, along with the 200-yard freestyle relay, will begin at 7 p.m.
Live coverage of the finals on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday can be seen on theACC.com starting at 7:20 p.m. For more on the 2012 ACC Swimming and Diving Championships, head to the official website at http://www.theacc.com/championships/12-swimming-diving-championship.html. Live stats are also available at http://www.theacc.com/livestats/m-swim/.