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ATLANTA The Virginia men’s swimming and diving team started the first day of the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships with a bang Wednesday, winning the first two events at the Aquatic Center on the Georgia Tech campus. UVa currently leads with 80 total points and Georgia Tech is second with 66 points. There is a three-way tied for third.

Virginia’s 800 free relay team set an ACC conference and meet record with an A’ standard of 6:22.93. Swimming for the Cavaliers was a quartet of underclassmen in second-years John Azar and Darren Ankosko and first-years Scot Robison and Matt McLean. That time broke a 15-year old ACC record that was set by North Carolina in 1993 (6:26.71). UVa’s Pat Mellors, John Millen, Stefan Hirniak and Fran Crippen previously held the ACC meet record (6:27.16).

“I am thrilled we came out that strong,” head coach Mark Bernardino said. “It absolutely was the best we could have hoped for. To set two school records, the ACC meet and conference records in the first two swims set a positive tone for every single swimmer on the team. They are really excited and chomping at the bit to get in back in the pool tomorrow and get rolling.”

Virginia beat second-place Georgia Tech (6:31.97) in the 800 free relay by more than nine seconds. The Hokies of Virginia Tech were third, clocking in 6:34.20.

The Cavaliers commenced the event with a win in the 200 medley relay, earning a NCAA B’ qualifying mark of 1:27.11, which broke the previous Virginia school record. Fourth-years Bryan Stahl and PJ Sullivan, along with third-year Lee Robinson and first-year Scot Robison, teamed up to win the crown for Virginia. Florida State finished second (1:27.62) and Georgia Tech was third (1:27.68).

Day two of the conference championships continues Thursday. Finals events, which will be shown live on ACC Select, include the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and 200 free relay.

Team Standings Points
1. Virginia 80
2. Georgia Tech 66
t3. Florida State 60
t3. North Carolina 60
t3. Virginia Tech 60
6. Clemson 54
7. Maryland 48
8. Duke 40
9. NC State 22
10. Boston College 18

Wednesday’s Final Results

200-yard Medley Relay
1st – Virginia (^1:27.11 – Bryan Stahl, PJ Sullivan, Lee Robertson, Scot Robison)
2nd – Florida State (^1:27.62 – Ian Powell, Matt Shead, Corey Swanson, Scott Baker)
3rd – Georgia Tech (^1:27.68 – Matthew Tang, Mickey Malul, Onur Uras, Mauricio Sousa)

800-yard Freestyle Relay
1st – Virginia (*!^6:22.93 – John Azar, Scot Robison, Darren Ankosko, Matthew McLean)
2nd – Georgia Tech (^6:31.97 – Noah Copeland, Onur Uras, Ralph Long, Travis Wagner)
3rd – Virginia Tech (^6:34.20- Zac Czaplicki, Chip Hughes, Kaan Tayla, Scott Beard)

+Denotes NCAA “A” mark
^Denotes NCAA “B” mark
* Denotes conference and meet record
# Denotes Georgia Tech Aquatic Center record

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