North Carolina Holds Slim Lead After Second Day of ACC Swimming and Diving Championships
Feb. 16, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - North Carolina used its diving depth to climb into first place in the standings at the Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday, and holds a narrow lead over Florida State and Virginia after the second day of competition.
Despite having just one medalist on the day, the Tar Heels ran their total to 198 points, just 1.5 ahead of second-place Florida State (196.5). Virginia is a close third with 191 points, and is followed by Virginia Tech (174), Clemson (160), Maryland (149), Miami (100), NC State (99.5) Duke (73), Georgia Tech (69) and Boston College (38).
Clemson's Kim Routh kicked off the finals portion of the day by defending her crown in the 500 free. Routh, a senior from Sandusky, Ohio, turned in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4:44.77 in the event to win it for the second time in as many seasons.
North Carolina freshman Whitney Sprague touched in 4:46.30 to take the silver medal, while Virginia's Rachael Burke, the 2004 gold medalist in the event, took third in 4:46.57. Both Sprague and Burke's times were good for NCAA provisional qualifying marks.
Virginia Tech freshman Sara Smith earned her first conference title in the 200 IM, touching in an NCAA B standard of 2:00.71. She was followed in the event by Maryland junior Sasha Malanina, who touched in 2:01.54, and Virginia sophomore Anna Steenrod, who posted a time of 2:01.61. Seven of the eight finalists in the 200 IM earned NCAA provisional times.
Florida State turned in a 1-2 finish in the 50 free, with freshman Christie Raleigh touching out teammate Carrie Ellis for first with a time of 22.75. Ellis posted a time of 22.81, just edging 2005 gold medalist Mason Walsh from Virginia Tech, who finished 0.01 second behind her. All three of the medalists earned NCAA A cuts.
Miami had a pair of medalists of its own in the one-meter dive, with senior Melanie Rinaldi taking first and 2005 gold medalist Jenna Dreyer taking third. Rinaldi posted a total of 309.25 points, while Dreyer, a sophomore, turned in a score of 279.20. NC State senior Molly Culberson, who had the top score in the league in the one-meter this season, won the silver medal with her score of 286.35. North Carolina's Mandi Arak, Gia Santoro, Erika Matheis and Lauren Karatanevski were all finalists in the one-meter dive, and they accounted for a combined 52 points to vault the Tar Heels into the lead.
Florida State capped the evening with a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the 200 free relay, as Ellis, Abbie King, Lauren Sparg and Raleigh combined to touch in 1:31.54. With Virginia Tech's squad of Walsh, Smith, Talita Ribiero and Emily Guschke leading after the third leg, Raleigh turned in an impressive effort on the anchor to rally the Seminoles to the win. Virginia Tech finished second in 1:32.42, while Virginia's Brielle White, Jess Lewis, Katy Bland and Stephanie Glover took the bronze medal in 1:32.46. Florida State, Virginia Tech and Virginia, as well as fourth-place finisher Maryland and fifth-place finisher North Carolina, all turned in NCAA B cuts in the event.
Day three of the ACC Championships, which are being held on the campus of the University of Maryland at the Campus Recreation Center Natatorium, begins with preliminaries at 11 a.m. on Friday. Finals will begin at 7 p.m.