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March 25, 2006

ATLANTA, Ga. – The University of Virginia men’s swimming and diving team had four swimmers capture All-America honors Saturday (Mar. 25) during the third and final day of competition at the 2006 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. The Cavaliers scored 19 points during the final day of competition to tally 39 points in the championship and finish in 18th place.

UVa’s 18th-place finish snapped a seven-year streak of top 15 finishes at the national championships. The Cavaliers also failed to have a first-team All-American for the first time since 1995. Auburn won the 2006 NCAA Championships with 480.5 points, while Arizona was second with 440.5 points. Stanford was third with 362.5 points, while Texas (307 points) and Florida (268.5 points) rounded out the top five. Virginia scored 39 points in the three-day, 21-event championship to finish in 18th place.

Virginia began the final evening of the NCAAs by having third-year John Millen (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview) and fourth-year Fran Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa./Germantown Academy) earn honorable mention All-America honors in the 1650 freestyle. Millen claimed 13th place with a time of 15:02.98, while Crippen was right behind in 14th place in a time of 15:03.87.

In the 200 breaststroke, third-year Vanja Rogulj (Zagreb, Croatia/Split) picked up his third All-America certificate with an 11th-place finish. Rogulj posted a time of 1:57.64 to register honorable mention honors. He was 12th in the prelims with a time of 1:57.45. UVa had two other swimmers compete in the prelims. Second-year Ryan Hurley (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) was 20th with a time of 1:59.24, while second-year PJ Sullivan (Franklin, Mass./Bishop Feehan) was 25th in a time of 2:01.01.

Third-year Stefan Hirniak (Highland Park, N.J./Princeton Day) placed 11th in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:45.54 to garner his third honorable mention All-America honors of the NCAAs. Hirniak was ninth in the prelims with a time of 1:45.48, just five hundredths of a second shy of earning a spot in the championship final.

UVa also had swimmers compete in the prelims of the 200 backstroke and 100 freestyle. Second-year Pat Mellors (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) placed 28th in the 200 back with a time of 1:49.23. Fourth-year Ethan McCoy (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville) was 55th in the 100 freestyle in a time of 45.88.

Hirniak and Rogulj both earned three honorable mention All-America accolades at the NCAAs, while Crippen, Mellors and Millen each captured two honorable mention honors. Second-year Bryan Stahl (Woodlands, Texas) and McCoy rounded out UVa’s All-Americans.

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