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Feb. 21, 2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia men’s swimming and diving team is ready to begin its quest for an eighth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference title. The 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship takes place Wednesday, February 22 through Saturday, February 25 at Maryland’s Campus Recreation Center Natatorium in College Park, Md. Finals commence each evening at 7:00 p.m. with prelims being held Thursday through Saturday at 11:00 a.m. The Cavaliers have won the yearly title every season since 1999 and nine overall.

Virginia, under the direction of 28th-year head coach Mark Bernardino, is the seven-time defending ACC champion. UVa and Florida State are expected to battle for the 2006 ACC Championship. The men’s swimming and diving team’s seven straight ACC titles is the school record for most consecutive ACC championships by any Virginia team.

The Cavaliers won the 2005 ACC Championship with 726.50 points. Florida State finished second at the 2005 ACC Championship with 580 points, while Georgia Tech was third with 429 points. Prior to UVa winning the last seven ACC titles, North Carolina won six consecutive ACC Championships from 1993 to 1998.

Three teams are currently ranked in the Feb. 9 addition of the College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Top 25 Poll. Virginia is 13th in the nation and Florida State is 17th, while North Carolina is 21st.

The 2006 ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship features six returning individual 2005 ACC champions who combined to win eight events. Virginia has three returning ACC champions from last season. Fourth-year Fran Crippen (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Academy), the 2003 and 2004 ACC Swimmer of the Year, is the three-time defending champion in the 500 freestyle. He is looking to become only the second ACC swimmer to win four 500 freestyle titles. Former Cavalier Austin Ramirez won four 500 free titles from 1997 to 2000. Third-year Vanja Rogulj (Zagreb, Croatia/Split) is the defending ACC champion in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. He also won the 200 breaststroke in 2004. Second-year Pat Mellors (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) rounds out UVa’s returning ACC champions. Mellors swept the ACC titles in the 200 and 400 individual medleys.

Results for the 2006 ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship will be available on the world wide web via livestats at

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