Cavaliers Win Four Events on Day Three of ACC Championships
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Lauren Smart (100 fly), Lauren Perdue (200 free) and Mei Christensen (100 back) each claimed individual titles to lead the Virginia women’s swimming team Friday at the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. Virginia continues to hold the lead with 601 points, followed by North Carolina (443) and Florida State (363). The meet, which concludes Saturday, is being held at Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill, N.C.
“It was a great night of swimming, not only for UVa but for the conference,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “We are in a very intense battle; this is probably one of the best meets UNC has swum in the last three years. Their athletes are competing with a lot of energy and I am glad we are responding. We are competing with a lot of emotion and enthusiasm.”
Christensen, a senior from Reston, Va., won her second consecutive title in the 100 back, breaking her own UNC pool record with a winning NCAA ‘A time of 52.09. Smart also earned a spot on the podium after tallying a third-place finish with a time of 52.84, another NCAA ‘A’ mark.
“I was nervous going into it, but then you realize, you’ve been doing this for so long, you just have to trust your instincts,” Christensen said. “I love the 100 backstroke so I just wanted to enjoy it. It was a good swim.”
Perdue, a freshman from Greenville, N.C., earned her second individual crown of the championships with an NCAA ‘A’ time of 1:43.98 in the 200 free. She broke the conference, meet and pool record during the morning prelim session with a mark of 1:43.86.
Smart, a sophomore from Charlotte, N.C., picked up her first career individual title with a win in the 100 fly. She set the pool record with a time of 52.76, good enough for an NCAA ‘B’ mark.
“It was very exciting,” Smart said. “I was nervous because I really wanted to win, and that just kind of makes you tense. I did what I was supposed to do; the last little bit was the most painful thing ever – but it was worth it.”
Virginia earned spots on the podium in the other two individual events of the evening – the 400 IM and 100 breast. Junior Claire Crippen was second in the 400 IM with a time of 4:09.59. Freshman Christine Olson (1:01.40, ‘B’) and senior Katherine McDonnell (1:01.41, ‘B’) placed second and third, respectively, in the 100 breast.
The Cavaliers won their fourth relay in as many tries, setting a meet and pool record in the 400 medley relay, the final event of the evening. Christensen, McDonnell, Smart and Perdue teamed up to take first-place honors with an NCAA ‘B’ time of 3:32.97.
“As I have preached my entire coaching career, if you win relays, that tells you a lot about the character and closeness of your team,” Bernardino said. “Relays make swimming a team sport rather than an individual sport and that is what we are all about.”
Kelly Flynn earned a fourth-place finish in the 200 free (1:47.02) while Jenna Harris and Jen Narum tied for seventh place, recording times of 1:48.41. Kristen Moores won the consolation final to finish ninth overall with a mark of 1:47.70; all those times were NCAA ‘B’ standards.
Olson also placed fourth in the 400 IM (4:13.40) while Katya Bachrouche was fifth (4:13.58) and Amanda Faulkner sixth (4:14.13). All three times were NCAA ‘B’ marks. Additionally, junior Ellie Freeman (1:02.33, ‘B’) finished sixth in the 100 breast while classmate Liz Shaw took eighth in the 100 fly in the event with a ‘B’ time of 54.23.
In the consolation finals of the 100 back, Meredith Cavalier and Erika Stewart were the top finishers in the heat, finishing ninth and 10th overall, respectively. Cavalier clocked a time of 53.46 while Stewart finished in 53.96; both were NCAA ‘B’ cuts. Anne Summer Myers also had an 11th-place showing in the 400 IM with an NCAA ‘B’ time of 4:17.87.
The fourth and final day of the women’s swimming and diving championships wraps up Saturday with the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay. Men’s and women’s platform diving will also be held 1 p.m. at nearby Duke University. Prelims are slated for 11 a.m. with finals at 7 p.m. on ACC Select.
“We have to take care of business tomorrow morning in terms of our qualifying efforts,” Bernardino said. “Then we have to come back tomorrow night and swim like we did tonight.”
2010 Women’s ACC Championships
Through Event 14
|2. North Carolina||443|
|3. Florida State||363|
|4. Virginia Tech||266.5|
|7. NC State||181|
|9. Georgia Tech||115.5|
|11. Boston College||36|