Story Links

Feb. 25, 2006


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Virginia men’s swimming and diving team reclaimed its stake as the top team in the Atlantic Coast Conference as it won its eighth consecutive ACC Swimming and Diving crown Saturday (Feb. 25) at Maryland’s Campus Recreation Center Natatorium. After scoring 239 points Friday night, UVa tallied 238 points Saturday to win the 2006 ACC title by 8.5 points over Florida State. The Cavaliers scored 694 points during the four-day 20 event meet with FSU finishing with 685.5 points. The swimming and diving team extended its own school record with its eighth straight title.

The Cavaliers’ 8.5 point margin of victory marked the closest ACC meet since UVa won the 1999 crown by 6.5 points over Florida State (704-697.5). In addition to Virginia (694) and Florida State (685.5), North Carolina took fourth with 496.5 points and Georgia Tech was fifth (371. NC State (362). Virginia Tech (334.5), Clemson (293), Maryland (222.5), Duke (99), Boston College (70), and Miami (37) round out the field.

Virginia picked up a victory in the 1650 freestyle to begin the final evening. Third-year John Millen (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview) registered his first ACC title by winning the 1650 free with a NCAA automatic qualifying time of 15:03.09. Fourth-year Fran Crippen (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Academy) finished fourth in the mile with a time of 15:09.99 (NCAA B) to help the Cavaliers pull within a point of Florida State.

UVa had three championship finalists and two swimmers compete in the consolation finals of the 200 backstroke and pull ahead of FSU by three points. Second-year Pat Mellors (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) was runner-up in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:45.60 (NCAA B), just six one-hundredths of a second off the winning time. First-year Bjorn Falk (Wilton, N.H./High Moving) and second-year Bryan Stahl (Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) joined Mellors in the championship final and took fourth and fifth place with times of 1:46.28 and 1:48.57, respectively. First-year T.J. Southmayd (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) won the consolation final and finished in ninth place overall with a time of 1:48.35. First-year Pat Reams (North Easton, Mass./Boston College High) was 15th in a time of 1:50.56.

Florida State had a strong showing in the 100 freestyle and regained the lead by 41 points (602-561) with only three events remaining. Fourth-year Ethan McCoy (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville) was UVa’s lone competitor in the 100 free and he finished sixth with a NCAA provisional and career-best time of 44.57.

UVa erased the 61 point deficit and turned it into a 3.5 point lead with an outstanding effort in the 200 breaststroke. Third-year Vanja Rogulj (Zagreb, Croatia/Split) led a top-three Cavalier sweep with his winning time of 1:55.07. Rogulj’s career-best time automatically qualified him for the NCAA Championships. It also marked his third consecutive ACC 200 breast title he also became the first UVa swimmer to win five ACC breaststroke titles. Second-year PJ Sullivan (Franklin, Mass./Bishop Feehan) was runner-up to Rogulj for his best-ever ACC finish, while second-year Ryan Hurley (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) took third in another career best finish. Sullivan and Hurley clocked times of 1:58.85 and 1:59.16, respectively, to establish new career-best performances. Fourth-year Ryan Berg (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) turned in yet another career-best time (2:01.74) to take seventh place.

Virginia stretched its lead to 26.5 points after the 200 butterfly. had a pair of finalists in the 200 freestyle with the way in fourth place with a time of 1:37.58. Third-year Stefan Hirniak (Highland Park, N.J./Princeton Day) was runner-up in the 200 butterfly with a personal-best time of 1:45.30. Reams took fourth place in the 200 fly with a time of 1:48.85. First-year Lee Robertson (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) won the consolation final of the 200 fly with a time of 1:49.30, while third-year Elliott Beaulieu (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Alma) was 12th in 1:49.70 with both swimmers setting UVa bests.

In the final event of the championship, UVa finished eighth in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:00.74 to clinch its eighth consecutive title. Third-year Greg Imboden (Chattanooga, Tenn./McCallie), McCoy, Berg and Mellors swam legs on the winning relay.

Print Friendly Version