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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Virginia women’s swimming and diving team won its second consecutive and seventh overall Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Saturday in College Park, Md. The Cavaliers finished with 848 points, marking the second straight year the team scored 800 or more points. Junior Mei Christensen was tabbed the meet’s most valuable swimmer after winning both the 100 and 200 backstroke events and being a member of four championship relays. The event was being held at the Eppley Recreation Center Natatorium.

Virginia claimed all five relays at the championships, including the 400 freestyle relay title on Saturday. The team of Christensen, Kristen Wallace, Kristen Moores and Megan Evo finished with an NCAA B time of 3:15.22, setting a conference, school and meet record by more than three seconds. That same quartet held the previous record (3:18.61), which they set at the UVa Invitational in December.

“The most exciting thing for me is the fact that we were able to win every relay,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “They were extremely close relays for the most part but to me a relay represents ‘team.’ It defines how members of a team care about one another and respect each other. Those are special moments.”

Christensen broke her own record set this morning in the prelims of the 200 backstroke, taking first-place honors. Christensen touched with an NCAA A time of 1:52.22, besting her prelim time of 1:53.05 to set a conference, school and meet record. The crown was the second individual title for Christensen, who also won the 100 backstroke on Friday. Teammate Lauren Smart finished fifth overall (1:55.82), Erika Stewart was sixth (1:56.87) and Amanda Faulkner was eighth (1:57.70). All three of those times were NCAA B standards.

“The MVP award is a great honor but I share it with the whole team, especially the captains,” Christensen said. “They have led this team to victory. We have been training for this every day since the meet last year. I am so happy we can share this with our coaches and our families.”

After setting the ACC record in the preliminaries, Megan Evo placed second in the 200 butterfly (1:56.69, B) and was followed by teammate Liz Shaw (1:57.33, B), who finished fourth. Claire Crippen also swam in the finals of the event and finished eighth overall (2:00.28). Freshman Joanna Thomas competed in the consolation final and was 10th with a time of 2:00.31.

Senior Kristen Wallace earned a spot on the medal stand with a third-place finish in the 100 freestyle, touching at 49.53, an NCAA B mark. Teammate Kristen Moores followed in fourth with a time of 49.58, another B standard.

Katherine McDonnell also recorded a third-place finish in the 200 breaststroke, finishing with a mark of 2:13.68, while teammate Ellie Freeman placed fourth (2L13.11). Both were NCAA B marks.

In the 1650 freestyle, junior Jen Narum led the Cavaliers with the fifth-place finish, clocking a B time of 16:06.85. Jenna Harris placed seventh (16:19.16, B), Katya Bachrouche was ninth (16:31.6) and Anne Summer Myers finished 10th (16:32.78).

In the meet, 15 of the 18 event conference records fell, Virginia was responsible for 10 of those ACC records.

This year marks the third time Virginia has won back-to-back championships in the program’s history. The Cavaliers also did it in 1998 and ’99 and 2003 and ’04. Christensen was the first UVa swimmer to be named most valuable since Brielle White, also a backstroker, earned the honor in 2006.

“You set goals as a team at the beginning of the year,” Bernardino said. “We started working toward this championship the day last year’s championship was over. This group wanted to join a few other Virginia teams who have gone back-to-back. Needless to say, it is very difficult to win championships; to win two in a row is very special. We really hope to maintain this momentum and do a great job at the NCAA meet this year.”

ACC Select is providing live video streaming of the championships, which can be archived. There is no charge to watch the webcasts. Live results from the championships are available by clicking here.

Final Team Scores

1. Virginia 848
2. North Carolina 602.5
3. Virginia Tech 451
4. Florida State 398.5
5. Maryland 332
6. Duke 307
7. Clemson 302
8. Miami 219
9. NC State 166
9. Georgia Tech 166
11. Boston College 64
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