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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Virginia women’s swimming team continued competition Saturday in the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill, N.C. The meet wraps up this evening and the Cavaliers are looking for their third straight conference title and eighth overall championship.

Virginia earned three spots in the finals in the 200 back, 100 free and 200 breast, and two in the 200 fly.

“It was a solid morning,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “We really wanted to get four in the breaststroke or the free. We had two opportunities and hoping we could get four in one of those events. But we just have to hold our positions in those consolation races.”

Defending champion Mei Christensen, along with teammates Lauren Smart and Erika Stewart, will compete in the 200 back. Christensen finished second in the morning with a time of 1:54.79. She has already won the 100 back title during these championships. Smart clocked a time of 1:55.26 while Stewart finished in 1:56.79; all were NCAA ‘B’ times.

The Cavaliers just missed having four swimmers in the 100 free and 200 breast.

Lauren Perdue, a two-time individual champion already in the 50 free and 200 free, had the fastest time in the 200 free of the morning with a time of 48.88. She will be joined by Kelly Flynn (49.82) and Hannah Davis (49.85) in the finals. Kristen Moores will swim in the consolation finals after placing ninth in the morning with a mark of 49.89, as will Meredith Cavalier (50.42), who finished 16th.

Christine Olson (2:11.51), Amanda Faulkner (2:12.89) and Katherine McDonnell (2:14.16) all earned spots in the finals of the 200 breast. Junior Ellie Freeman recorded a ninth-place finish and will compete tonight in the consolation finals. She clocked a time of 2:15.84; all four were NCAA ‘B’ marks.

Virginia had just two swimmers compete in the 200 fly – juniors Liz Shaw and Claire Crippen – and both will swim in the finals tonight. Shaw, who won the event as a freshman in 2008, clocked the fastest time of the prelims with a mark of 1:57.86. Crippen finished in 1:58.52; both were NCAA ‘B’ standards.

“We have to come back and race better tonight,” Bernardino said. “We really had a business-like approach this morning and didn’t swim with a lot of emotion. We have to find away to swim with a lot of enthusiasm and energy. I was concerned after last night that we would have a hard time finding that edge today; we have to make sure they know they can’t go through that at NCAAs. You have to be able to have the energy for every session so I hope it will be a learning experience. We’ll have that energy tonight and we’ll see if we can’t win that fifth relay – that is very important to us.”

Finals begin tonight at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ACC Select.

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