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March 22, 2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The 13th-ranked Virginia men’s swimming and diving team begins competition in the three-day 2006 NCAA Championships Thursday (March 23) at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Ga. A total of nine Cavaliers have qualified for the NCAA Championships. Preliminaries begin daily at noon with finals commencing at 7:00 p.m.

The Cavalier men, who have won eight consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference titles, are looking to improve upon their 13th-place performance at the 2005 NCAAs. UVa has registered seven consecutive top-15 finishes at the NCAA championships, including a program-best 10th-place showing in 2003.

Fourth-year Fran Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa./Germantown Academy) and third-years Stefan Hirniak (Highland Park, N.J./Princeton Day) and John Millen (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview) are the first Cavaliers to hit the water as they compete in the prelims of the 500 free on Thursday, which is the first individual event to be contested. Second-year Pat Mellors (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) and third-year Vanja Rogulj (Zagreb, Croatia/Split) swim the prelims of the 200 individual medley Thursday afternoon. Virginia is also entered in the 400 medley relay during the first day of prelims. Fourth-year Ethan McCoy (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville) and second-year Bryan Stahl (Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) are expected to swim legs on UVa’s 400 medley relay.

The Cavaliers remaining two participants, second-years Ryan Hurley (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) and PJ Sullivan (Franklin, Mass./Bishop Feehan), swim the prelims of the 200 breaststroke Saturday.

Live scoring will utilized throughout the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. The website is

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