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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Junior Amanda Faulkner and freshman Lauren Perdue each claimed their first career individual titles Thursday as the Virginia women’s swimming team continued competition at the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference championships. Virginia holds first place with 300 points, followed by North Carolina (225) and Florida State (172). The meet, which runs through Saturday, is being held at the Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill, N.C.

“I feel really good about tonight,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “We were positive, focused and excited. We were building energy into the evening and now we are going to leave here hopefully with the energy of winning the last event and carry that enthusiasm into tomorrow. North Carolina is swimming very well and are still in a good position. We can’t afford any blips.”

Faulkner a native of Louisville, Ky., finished with a winning time of 1:57.89 to set a pool record. The previous Koury Natatorium record was set earlier this year (2:00.27) by UNC’s Marie Pesacreta.

“It was awesome,” Faulkner said. “I haven’t felt this excited about my swimming in a long time. It is really refreshing. I shifted it into another gear; I just really wanted to win.”

Classmate Claire Crippen joined Faulkner on the podium after finishing third with a mark of 1:58.79. Liz Shaw (1:59.26) and Katherine McDonnell (2:00.18) placed fourth and fifth, respectively; all four times were NCAA ‘B’ marks. The four Cavaliers combined to earn 65 points in the 200 IM.

Perdue, who already owns the Virginia school records in the 50 free and 100 free, took first-place honors in the 50 free with a winning time of 22.29, breaking her previous school record of 22.40. The Greenville, N.C., native, joined on the podium by Mei Christensen, who earned a third-place finish with a mark of 22.49. Kelly Flynn (22.78) finished sixth and Hannah Davis (22.79) took seventh. All four earned NCAA ‘B’ times and teamed up for 61 points in the 50 free.

“I am beyond words; just so happy and excited,” Perdue said. “I was really pumped up for that race. I wanted to win; I wanted to go under 22 seconds, but I set a best time anyway. Mei is a great teammate and a really hard worker. I was happy to share that with her.”

“For Lauren, as a freshman, to get that first victory in such a competitive and veteran field, was really great,” Bernardino said. “For Amanda, her journey has been an interesting one for the three years she has been here. That to me was such as special moment and to see the joy in her face made it so special.”

In the 50 free consolation finals, Kristen Moores earned an 11th-place finish with a time of 23.20 while Meredith Cavalier took 14th in 23.28.

The 500 free began the evening and again Virginia was represented on the podium. Junior Katya Bachrouche earned a second-place finish to lead the Cavaliers, finishing with a time of 4:41.25. Seniors Jenna Harris (4:46.14) and Jen Narum (4:46.99) placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

“The perfect night would have been to win all four races, and we almost did it,” Bernardino said. “Katya’s second-place finish was every bit as special as Lauren and Amanda’s wins. To us, it’s about the whole team and how each person tries to step up and go beyond herself.”

In the consolation finals, junior Anne Summer Myers came away with a 14th-place finish in a time of 4:48.15. All four of Virginia’s times in the final session were NCAA ‘B’ marks.

Virginia capped day two with its third consecutive relay win, a victory in the 200 free relay. Christensen, Perdue, Flynn and Davis teamed up to set a meet record with a winning time of 1:29.25, an NCAA ‘B’ standard. That beat UVa’s mark set a year ago when Christensen, Kristen Wallace, Megan Evo and Davis finished in 1:29.33.

The third day of the women’s swimming and diving championships continues Friday with the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 400 medley relay. Men’s 1-meter diving and women’s 3-meter diving will also take place. Prelims are slated for 11 a.m. with finals at 7 p.m. on ACC Select.

2010 Women’s ACC Championships
Through Event 7

1. Virginia 300
2. North Carolina 225
3. Florida State 172
4. Virginia Tech 146.5
5. Maryland 133
6. NC State 110
7. Duke 108
8. Clemson 91
9. Georgia Tech 74
10. Miami 50.5
11. Boston College 26
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