North Carolina Clinches Its 16th ACC Women's Swimming and Diving Championship
Feb. 17, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina's determination throughout the week finally paid off, as the Tar Heels shattered three records in the final day of the 2007 ACC Women's Swimming and Diving Championship and clinched a league-best 16th crown.
Florida State gave the Tar Heels a good chase throughout the four-day event, and even won two of the events on the final day of the ACC Championship. However, the Seminoles were unable to catch the Tar Heels as FSU finished second with 642.5 points.
Virginia compiled 475 points over the course of the meet to place third. Virginia Tech and Clemson moved into the top five, tallying 393.5 and 357.5 points for fourth and fifth, respectively.
Rounding out the rest of the field from sixth through 11th are Maryland (332), Miami (299), Duke (150), Georgia Tech (138), NC State (123.5) and Boston College (77).
Three student-athletes were honored for their performances at the end of the ACC Championship, as FSU's Christie Raleigh was voted by the head coaches as the ACC Women's Most Valuable Swimmer. Miami's Jenna Dreyer and Ruben Ross were named the ACC Most Valuable Diver in their respective divisions. Dreyer and Ross won both of their diving events, as Miami sweep both the men's and women's diving competitions for the first time in league history.
The Tar Heels jumped out with a strong start on the evening, as sophomores Whitney Sprague, Lindsay McIlvain and Nicole O'Donnell swept the top three spots in the 1650 freestyle. Sprague, who won the gold in the 500 freestyle the previous day, turned in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 16:10.02 to collect her second individual gold of the meet. She is the first UNC swimmer since 1999 to win the event and seventh overall. Teammates McIlvain and O'Donnell each posted NCAA "B" marks of 16:27.37 and 16:33.36 to finish second and third, respectively.
Florida State's Romy Altmann accomplished a similar feat in the 200 backstroke as she did in the 100 back on Friday. The senior won the 200 back with an NCAA "A" time of 1:57.08, becoming the second Seminole to ever claim the event and the first since 1995. Altmann was also the second FSU swimmer in ACC history to capture the 100 back.
The Seminoles followed up with their second event victory, as Christie Raleigh captured the 100-yard freestyle with an NCAA "B" time of 49.56. Each of the eight swimmers in the championship final recorded NCAA "B" cuts in the race, including Virginia's Jess Lewis and North Carolina's Eliza Butts. The two swimmers finished second and third, respectively.
Jessica Botzum of Virginia Tech became the school's first ACC individual champion in the 200-yard breaststroke as junior from Raleigh, N.C., swam an NCAA automatic qualifying time 2:13.52 to secure a gold. Florida State's Lauren Brick came in at 2:15.51 to pick up her second silver in the meet, while Alison Clemens of North Carolina finished in 2:15.92. The times for Brick and Clemens' were NCAA "B" cuts.
Tar Heel junior Lindsey Marck more than secured the victory for North Carolina, as she successfully defended her 200-yard butterfly title for the second year in a row. The native from Newton, Pa., posted an NCAA "B" time of 1:59.19 to notch her first gold in the ACC meet.
Juniors Lauren Sparg and Lindsay Kenney rounded out the top three for the Seminoles in the 200 fly at second and third, respectively. Sparg recorded an NCAA "B" 1:59.47 time to take the silver, while Kenney also touched in with an NCAA "B" standard mark of 2:00.46.
North Carolina finished strong in the final event, as the UNC foursome of Eliza Butts, Megan Steeves, Aubrette Biegel and Kelsey Morrissy broke the Conference, meet and pool records in the 400-yard freestyle relay with an NCAA "B" mark of 3:19.44. The Tar Heels have won the event 15 times in the last 29 years.
Up next is the ACC Men's Swimming Championship, which takes place Wednesday-Saturday, February 21-24. North Carolina plays host for the second week in a row at Koury Natatorium. ACC Select will offer exclusive coverage of the ACC Men's Championship on www.ACCSelect.com for fans to watch live nightly at 7 p.m. ET from Feb. 21-24.
2007 ACC Women's Swimming and Diving Final Team Results
Women's Most Valuable Swimmer
Women's Most Valuable Diver
Men's Most Valuable Diver