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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia swimming teams host the 2009 UVa Invitational Thursday through Saturday at the Aquatic and Fitness Center. The meet features a championship-style format with prelims for each event beginning at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, prelims begin at 10 a.m. with finals at 5 p.m. Live results will be linked on

Joining the Virginia squads at the UVa Invitational will be the Kansas women, and both the men’s and women’s teams from Washington and Lee, American and West Chester.

“As with every December Invitational, the goals are really simple – we want to expose our athletes to the format they will race in the ACC and NCAA Championships,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “This meet is an exact replica in terms of prelims, finals, and events. We certainly hope to see each and every athlete perform at least two of their season-best times to this point.”

Both the Cavalier men’s and women’s teams are coming off dual meet wins at Penn State two weeks ago. Against the Nittany Lions, Virginia claimed 31 of the 38 events, including top-2 finishes in 16 of those event victories.

Currently, freshman Lauren Perdue and senior Mei Christensen hold the fastest times (and NCAA ‘B’ standards) in the ACC in multiple events. Perdue is first among conference swimmers in the 50 free (22.88), 100 free (49.64) and 200 free (1:47.26) while Christensen, the 2009 ACC Swimmer of the Year, leads the league in the 100 back (54.18) and 200 back (1:56.43).

The Cavalier women also boast three swimmers among the conference’s top-10 in four events, including the 200 free (Perdue, Jenna Harris – 1:49.51, Kelly Flynn – 1:50.22), 200 back (Christensen, Lauren Smart – 1:59.56, Amanda Faulkner – 2:01.73), 200 fly (Liz Shaw – 1:57.99, Joanna Thomas – 2:02.05, Claire Crippen – 2:02.11) and 400 IM (Crippen – 4:18.38), Shaw – 4:18.85, Christine Olson – 4:23.11).

The Virginia men have two swimmers on the league list in four events (100 free, 200 free, 1000 free, 400 IM) and three listed among the top-10 in the 500 free (Matt McLean – 4:27.66, Taylor Smith – 4:29.86, Garrett Wren – 4:31.94). Both the men and women have a swimmer ranked among the top-10 in every event.

“We have given the swimmers a small amount of rest this week to hopefully give them a little bit more energy and speed as they go into the weekend,” Bernardino said. “I hope they are excited; I hope they are ready. It is important to end the semester on a positive note with a good, fast swim. I think they know that and the importance of that goal.”

2009 UVa Invitational
Schedule of Events

Thursday, Dec. 3
11 a.m. prelims/6 p.m. finals

200 Freestyle Relay
500 Freestyle
200 IM
50 Freestyle
400 Medley Relay

Friday, Dec. 4
11 a.m. prelims/6 p.m. finals

200 Medley Relay
400 IM
100 Butterfly
200 Freestyle
100 Breaststroke
100 Backstroke
800 Freestyle Relay

Saturday, Dec. 5
10 a.m. prelims/5 p.m. finals

1650 Freestyle
200 Backstroke
100 Freestyle
200 Breaststroke
200 Butterfly
400 Freestyle Relay

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