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Feb. 15, 2005

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia women’s swimming and diving team is set to defend its back-to-back conference titles when competition begins in the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Wednesday (February 16). The Women’s ACC Championships take place February 16-19 at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Ga. Prelims begin at 11:00 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, while finals commence Wednesday through Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Virginia, under the direction of 27th-year head coach Mark Bernardino, is the two-time defending ACC champion as it won the 2003 and 2004 ACC titles. The Cavaliers won the 2004 ACC Championship with 675 points with North Carolina finishing second with 623.5 points. Florida State and Maryland were third and fourth, respectively. Virginia has won the ACC Championship five times, while North Carolina has taken the ACC title 15 times in 26 tries. UVa and North Carolina have combined to win the last seven ACC Championships with the Cavaliers taking the top spot four times.

Three ACC teams are currently ranked within five spots of each other in the February 8 College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Top 25 Poll, which should make for an exciting and closely contested ACC Championship. Maryland leads the way at 12th in the CSCAA Poll, while Virginia is right behind in 13th place and North Carolina is 16th. The Cavaliers finished the dual meet portion of the 2004-05 season with a 10-2 overall record and a 5-1 mark in the conference.

The 2005 ACC Championships feature four returning individual 2004 ACC champions with two of those swimmers representing Virginia. Third-year Brielle White (Philadelphia, Pa./Springside School) set school, pool, ACC and ACC meet records in winning the 100 and 200 backstroke titles at the 2004 ACCs. She also took the 100 back title in 2003. Third-year Rachael Burke (Bethesda, Md./Good Counsel) won the 500 freestyle last year and was also second in the 1650 freestyle. Burke took the top spot in the 1650 free at the 2003 ACCs.

Results for the 2005 ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship will be available on the world wide web via livestats at

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