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March 16, 2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The 13th-ranked Virginia men’s swimming and diving team has qualified nine swimmers to compete in the 2006 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Atlanta, Ga. The meet will be held at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Thursday March 23 through Saturday, March 25. The Cavalier men are looking to improve upon their 13th-place performance in 2005. UVa has registered seven consecutive top-15 finishes at the NCAA Championship, including a program-best 10th-place showing in 2003.

Virginia, the eight-time defending ACC champion, has entrants in 11 of 13 individual swimming events and is also competing in three relays – the 200 and 400 medley relays and the 800 free relay. The Cavaliers have multiple entrants in six events. UVa has three entrants in the 500 freestyle and the 200 breaststroke. Virginia has two swimmers competing in the 1650 free, 200 and 400 I.M.s, and 200 freestyle. Listed below is an entire breakdown of Virginia’s event entrants.

Fourth-year Fran Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa./Germantown Academy) – 1650 free, 500 free, 400 I.M.Third-year Stefan Hirniak (Highland Park, N.J./Princeton Day) -500 free, 200 free, 200 flySecond-year Ryan Hurley (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) – 200 breastFourth-year Ethan McCoy (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville) – 100 freeSecond-year Pat Mellors (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) – 200 I.M., 400 I.M., 200 backThird-year John Millen (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview) – 1650 free, 500 free, 200 freeThird-year Vanja Rogulj (Zagreb, Croatia/Split) – 200 I.M., 100 breast, 200 breastSecond-year Bryan Stahl (Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) – 100 backSecond-year P.J. Sullivan (Franklin, Mass./Bishop Feehan) – 200 breast

Three Virginia swimmers are seeded in the top 10 in a total of four events. Rogulj is seeded second in the 200 breaststroke (1:55.07) and seventh in the 100 breast (53.31). Mellors is the fifth seed in the 400 individual medley (3:45.10), while Millen is seeded eighth in the 1650 free (15:03.09). Virginia is also seeded in two relays as it is 11th in the 800 free relay (6:27.16) and 13th in the 400 medley relay (3:13.15). UVa will also compete in the 200 medley relay.

Rogulj, Mellors and Millen all earned first-team All-America accolades at the 2005 NCAA Championships. Rogulj was fifth in the 200 breast and sixth in the 100 breast. He was also a member of UVa’s honorable mention All-America 200 free relay team (13th). Mellors was a first-team All-American with his fifth-place performance in the 400 I.M. and he was an honorable mention selection in the 200 I.M. (10th). Millen placed sixth in the 1650 freestyle for first-team All-America honors and he earned honorable mention accolades in the 500 free (16th) and as a member of UVa’s 16th place 800 free relay. Crippen earned honorable mention accolades in three individual events (500 free, 400 I.M., 1650 free) and as a member of Virginia’s 800 free relay. Hirniak placed 15th in the 200 butterfly and swam on the Cavaliers’ 200 free relay and 800 free relay for three honorable mention All-America honors. Stahl rounds out UVa’s returning All-Americans as he swam a leg on the Cavaliers’ 200 free relay.

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