Feb. 25, 2003
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia men’s swimming and diving team will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., for the 42nd annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships which will be held Thursday, February 27 through Saturday, March 1 at Koury Natatorium at the University of North Carolina. Admission to the ACC Championship is free. Preliminaries begin at 11:00 a.m. each day with finals commencing at 7:00 p.m.
Virginia, under the direction of 25th-year head coach Mark Bernardino, is the four-time defending ACC champion. The Cavaliers won the 2002 ACC title with 872 points. Georgia Tech finished second with 580.5 points, and North Carolina placed third, scoring 501.5 points. Prior to UVa winning the last four ACC titles, North Carolina won six consecutive ACC Championships from 1993 to 1998.
The Cavaliers have won the past four ACC Championships (1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002) and with a fifth straight title, UVa would tie the school record for most consecutive ACC Championships won by any team in school history. The men’s soccer team won five consecutive ACC titles from 1991 to 1995 and the women’s outdoor track team won five straight ACC crowns from 1983 to 1987.
Two ACC teams are currently ranked in the February 13 edition of Speedo America’s College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Top 25 Poll. The Cavaliers lead the way with a ranking of ninth, while North Carolina follows at 25th.
The 2003 ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships features six returning individual 2002 ACC champions, who won a total of 12 events. Virginia returns five individual event winners, who combined to win 10 individual titles. Third-year Luke Anderson (Charlottesville, Va./Bolles School), who was named the Most Valuable Swimmer of the Meet in 2002 (and the 2002 ACC Swimmer of the Year), is the only returnee who won three individual titles at the 2002 ACCs. He won the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle events. In addition to his individual titles, Anderson was also a member of four winning relay squads, in the 200, 400, and 800 freestyle relays and the 400 medley relay. Third-year Ian Prichard (Ventura, Calif./Buena) is the two-time defending champion of both the 500 and 1650 freestyle events, but UVa’s first-year Fran Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa./Germantown Academy) comes into the championships with the top times this season in both events. Third-year Luke Wagner (Englewood, Colo./Regis Jesuit) will be defending his titles in the 100 and 200 backstroke. Rounding out the Cavaliers’ returning double-event winners is second-year Bo Greenwood (Manakin, Va./Goochland), the 2002 ACC Rookie of the Year, who won the 200 and 400 individual medleys. The final returning individual champion for Virginia is second-year Michael Raab (Rockville, Md./Walter Johnson), winner of the 200 butterfly.
Florida State is the only other school to return an individual event winner. Louis Gagnet garnered Most Valuable Diver honors at the 2002 ACC Championships for his victories on the one and three-meter boards.
Results for the 2003 ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships will be available on the world wide web at virginiasports.com, theacc.com, and tarheelblue.com.