Day Three of ACC Men's Swimming and Diving Championships Ends in Thrilling Fashion
Feb. 23, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Day three of the 2007 ACC Men's Swimming and Diving Championships at Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill ended in Florida State's advantage, as the Seminoles secured a key victory in the final race. The back-and-forth affair between FSU and eight-time defending ACC champion Virginia raged on for the third straight day, with the Seminoles heading into Saturday with 500 points and a solid 87.5 point advantage.
The day also belonged to the defending individual champions, as four of the five held on to their respective titles. Virginia's Pat Mellors and Vanja Rogulj three-peated in their events, while North Carolina's Hank Browning and Virginia Tech's Scott Beard defended their titles for the second straight year.
Virginia sits in second place after tallying 412.5 points through 14 events, with North Carolina following in third with 353.5 points. Virginia Tech totaled 278 points for fourth place, while Clemson rounds out the top five with 240.5 points.
NC State (207), Georgia Tech (201.5), Maryland (163), Duke (97), Miami (73) and Boston College (54) complete the field from sixth through 11th, respectively.
Cavalier sensation Pat Mellors pulled off another three-peat for the second night in a row. The junior, who set three new records the previous night to win the 200-yard individual medley for the third straight year, set a new Koury Natatorium pool record in the 400-yard individual medley. Mellors swam an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 3:45.47 en route to capturing his third consecutive 400 IM title.
NC State's Steve Mellor finished second in the 400 IM with a time of 3:50.49, while Georgia Tech's Ryan Bishop recorded a 3:51.92 for third place. Both times were NCAA "B" cuts.
Virginia Tech's Scott Beard broke an 18-year-old pool record on the night, as the junior repeated as the 100-yard butterfly champion after turning in a 47.40. Virginia would claim the lead in the team standings behind sophomore Pat Reams' second-place finish (48.07), and Clemson's Adam Farnham rounded out the top three finishers in the race with a time of 48.21. All three times were NCAA provisional qualifying marks.
The battle for the lead only intensified as the night went on. North Carolina's Hank Browning rallied down the final stretch, denying the competition the 200-yard freestyle title. The sophomore from Cincinnati, Ohio, won the event for the second straight year with a winning 1:36.43.
Florida State chipped away at UVa's lead after two Seminoles finished in second and third in the 200 free. Kyle Young recorded a 1:37.05 to take the silver, while Alex Kennon came in third with a time of 1:37.42.
UVa's lead slightly increased 10.5 points (382.5-371) ahead of the Seminoles after senior Vanja Rogulj captured the 100-yard breaststroke title for the third year in a row. The native from Zagreb, Croatia, became the second swimmer to record an NCAA automatic qualifying time on the night, as he swam a 53.14.
Billy Jamerson helped keep the Seminoles in the hunt, finishing runner-up in the 100 breast with an NCAA "B" cut 53.98. Virginia also had a swimmer in the top three with Ryan Hurley also recording an NCAA "B" time of 54.93.
In the 100-yard backstroke event, FSU's Jarryd Botha claimed the event with an NCAA "B" cut of 48.26. The junior from Worcester, South Africa, became the second-ever Seminole and first since 1997 to win the event. North Carolina's Keith Laabs posted a 48.70 to pick up the silver, while Joel Johnson followed with a 48.71 for third place.
Much like the night before, the Seminoles gained the lead, 460-412.5, after the 3-meter diving results were added in after the 100 back. Miami's Ruben Ross made a complete sweep of the diving springboard competition, as he tallied 439.15 points to take first place in the 3-meter. The freshman from Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada), became the second Hurricane in ACC history to win both the 1- and 3-meter events at the same league championship.
In the final event of the day, the Seminoles pulled off an upset over UVa in the 400-yard medley relay. An event that had been dominated by the Cavaliers the last seven years, FSU's Jarryd Botha, Billy Jamerson, Alex Kennon and Ed Denton snatched the title away as the squad combined for a season-best 3:14.25.
Clemsons' foursome of Joel Johnson, Attila Ruszka, Adam Farnham and Brian Regone finished runner-up in the 400 medley relay with an NCAA "B" cut time of 3:16.68, while the quartet of Keith Laabs, Aaron Burns, Jared Kleber and Hank Browning from North Carolina came in third with a time of 3:18.10.
The ACC Men's Swimming and Diving Championships will wrap up Saturday, with preliminaries for the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard butterfly, 1650-yard freestyle beginning at 11 a.m. Finals for those events start at 7 p.m., with the ACC Championship concluding with the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Exclusive coverage of the ACC Championship will be available on www.ACCSelect.com for fans to watch live at 7 p.m. ET through Saturday, February 24.