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March 23, 2006

ATLANTA, Ga. – The University of Virginia men’s swimming and diving team had a tough first day at the 2006 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships Thursday (March 23) at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. UVa advanced to the evening finals session in only one event, the 400 medley relay, and were disqualified.

Auburn leads the 2006 NCAA Championships with 178.5 points after six events. Arizona is second with 136.5 points and Stanford is third with 132 points. Florida (97 points) and Texas (82 points) round out the top five.

The Cavaliers were disqualified from the consolation finals of the 400 medley relay for an early take-off on a leg. Second-year Bryan Stahl (Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands), third-year Stefan Hirniak (Highland Park, N.J./Princeton Day), third-year Vanja Rogulj (Zagreb, Croatia/Split), and fourth-year Ethan McCoy (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville) each swam legs on the relay. The foursome was 15th in the prelims with a time of 3:15.19.

Virginia had two swimmers compete in the preliminaries of the 500 freestyle. Fourth-year Fran Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa./Germantown Academy) placed 24th with a time of 4:22.72, while third-year John Millen (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview) was 27th in a time of 4:24.82.

In the 200 individual medley, second-year Pat Mellors (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) took 18th place in the prelims with a time of 1:46.67. He missed a spot in the consolation finals by 14 hundredths of a second.

The second of three preliminary sessions for the 2006 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships begins Friday at noon. Friday’s finals events begin at 7:00 p.m. UVa will be competing in the 200 medley relay and the 800 free relay. Cavaliers will also swim the 400 individual medley, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke.

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