Three ACC Teams Finish in Top 10 at NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championship
Worrell, Smith win national titles
ATLANTA – For the first time in history, three ACC women’s swimming and diving teams finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championship as competition concluded Saturday night at the 2016 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, held Wednesday through Sunday at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the campus of Georgia Tech. Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell and Virginia’s Leah Smith both won their fourth career national title and second of the week.
Virginia led the way among the ACC programs in the team race in fifth place with 264 points. No. 8 Louisville (220) and No. 9 NC State (155) also finished in the top 10, and were followed by No. 18 North Carolina (66), No. 25 Virginia Tech (23), No. 40 Miami (6), and No. 42 Pitt (4).
Smith led off the night with a victory in the 1,650 freestyle, topping Georgia’s Brittany MacLean by over six seconds to successfully defend her title in the event. The NC State tandem of Hannah Moore and Rachel Muller finished in fourth and 12th, respectively.
After setting an ACC record in 1:50.61 in the 200 butterfly during the morning prelims, Worrell repeated as champion in the event with a 1:50.96 performance in the finals. Virginia Tech’s Klaudia Nazieblo placed seventh in the event and Virginia’s Kaitlyn Jones placed 10th.
The four career individual national titles for Worrell and Smith tie them with Clemson’s Mitzi Kremer for the second most crowns in ACC history. The eight combined national titles stands as the most in a two-year stretch for ACC programs in league history.
Virginia’s Courtney Bartholomew finished as the runner-up in the 200 backstroke in 1:50.29, her 13th career All-America First Team honor, the most in Cavalier history. NC State’s Alexia Zevnik came in seventh, while Virginia’s Megan Moroney was 11th and teammate Jen Marrkand came in 14th.
Virginia Tech’s Weronika Paluszek and Virginia’s Laura Simon finished 12th and 16th, respectively, in the 200 breastroke, and North Carolina’s Elisa Dawson was ninth in the platform diving finals to earn Honorable Mention All-America honors.
In the 400 freestyle relay, the final event of the meet, NC State led the way with a fifth place finish in 3:12.61. The Wolfpack was followed by No. 7 Louisville, No. 10 Virginia, and No. 12 North Carolina.
Over the four-day meet, 18 individuals and 10 relay squads from the ACC earned All-America honors, while 18 individuals and 11 relays garnered Honorable Mention All-America accolades.