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Feb. 24, 2006


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Virginia men’s swimming and diving team had a phenomenal day Friday (Feb. 24) to move within six points of the lead after three days and 14 events of the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship. Virginia scored an impressive 239 points Friday to trim its deficit to only six points behind Florida State at the four-day conference championship, which is being held at Maryland’s Campus Recreation Center Natatorium.

Virginia, the seven-time defending champion is second at the 2006 ACC Championship with 456 points with Florida State holding the lead with 462 points. North Carolina is third with 349.5 points, while Georgia Tech is fourth (292.5) and NC State is fifth (269). Virginia Tech (245), Clemson (219.5), Maryland (157.5), Duke (78), Boston College (56), and Miami (37) round out the field.

The Cavaliers began the evening by taking the top two and four of the top eight spots in the 400 individual medley. Second-year Pat Mellors (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) won his second consecutive 400 I.M. title and second I.M. event of the 2006 ACC Championship with a NCAA automatic qualifying and career-best time of 3:45.10. Fourth-year Fran Crippen (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Academy) was runner-up to Mellors and earned All-ACC honors in the 400 I.M. for the fourth consecutive year. Crippen clocked a time of 3:48.16 (NCAA “B”). First-year T.J. Southmayd (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) and second-year Ryan Hurley (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) were seventh and eighth with times of 3:55.74 and 4:00.97, respectively.

In the 100 butterfly, first-year Lee Robertson (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) was UVa’s lone championship finalist and he placed eighth in 49.09. In the consolation finals of the 100 fly, first-year Tony Colella (Austin, Texas/ Westwood) was 11th (49.32) and first-year Pat Reams (North Easton, Mass./Boston College High) took 14th (49.62).

Virginia had a pair of finalists in the 200 freestyle with third-year John Millen (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview) leading the way in fourth place with a time of 1:37.58. Third-year Stefan Hirniak (Highland Park, N.J./Princeton Day) grabbed sixth place in a time of 1:37.75. Both swimmers bettered the NCAA “B” qualifying standard. In the consolation final, fourth-year Ethan McCoy (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville) touched in 1:39.19 to take 10th place overall.

UVa had three swimmers compete in the championship final of the 100 breaststroke with third-year Vanja Rogulj (Zagreb, Croatia/Split) leading the way with his second straight 100 breast title. Rogulj clocked a NCAA automatic qualifying time of 53.31. Fourth-year Ryan Berg (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) was seventh in 55.66, while second-year PJ Sullivan (Franklin, Mass./Bishop Feehan) was eighth (55.91). Hurley swam in the consolation final and took the 10th spot overall with a time of 56.02.

Second-year Bryan Stahl (Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) was UVa’s representative in the finals of the 100 backstroke and he placed fourth with a time of 49.11. In the consolation final of the 100 back, first-year Bjorn Falk (Wilton, N.H./High Moving) finished in 10th place in 49.08, while Colella took 14th place (49.92).

Florida State outscored UVa 32-9 in the three-meter diving competition, which took place last weekend. Friday evening concluded with the 400 medley relay with UVa taking the title with a time of 3:13.15 (NCAA “B”), the fifth fastest time in school history. Stahl, Rogulj, Hirniak and McCoy swam legs for the Cavaliers who won the 400 medley relay for the seventh consecutive year. After initially being disqualified from the 400 medley relay, Florida State’s protest was upheld and it took second place with its time of 3:13.77.

The ACC Championship concludes Saturday (Feb. 25) with preliminaries at 11:00 a.m. and finals commencing at 7:00 p.m.

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