Virginia Set For Dual Meets with North Carolina and Duke
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will compete for the final time at home this weekend with two Atlantic Coast Conference dual meets against North Carolina and Duke.
The 14th-ranked Cavalier men will face the Tar Heels at 12 p.m. Saturday before the No. 9 women swim against UNC at 3 p.m. On Sunday, Virginia’s 16 seniors will be honored prior to the 11 a.m. swimming start time, with diving scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Live results for both meets will be available on VirginiaSports.com.
“Saturday we certainly face the ultimate challenge in the ACC swimming and one of swimming’s great rivalries with North Carolina coming in,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “In my 40 years of association with ACC swimming as and athlete and as a coach, this is the finest collection of individual talent that has ever swum at one time on the North Carolina squad.”
Both Cavalier squads are looking to rebound after suffering dual meet losses Jan. 8 at Tennessee.
The Virginia men (4-1) currently post the ACC’s fastest times in both the 400 freestyle relay (2:56.92) and 800 freestyle relay (6:29.85) and rank second in the league in the 200 medley relay (1:29.29) and 400 medley relay (3:15.92). Individually, seniors Matt McLean (1:34.90) and Scot Robison (1:36.15) are 1-2 in the 200 freestyle, and McLean also paces the conference in the 500 freestyle (4:17.44) followed by teammate Jon Daniec (4:21.09).
The North Carolina men (6-0, 2-0 ACC) rank ahead of the Cavaliers at No. 9. The Tar Heels are coming off a second-place finish at the six-team Dallas Classic, hosted by SMU. UNC leads the ACC in the 400 medley relay (3:14.02) and ranks behind UVa in the 400 freestyle relay (2:57.43) and 800 freestyle relay (6:34.75). Junior Steve Cebertowicz leads the league in the 100 freestyle (43.80), as does senior Joe Kinderwater (9:00.07 in the 1000 free, 14:52.93 in the 1650 free), senior Tommy Wyher (47.79 in the 100 backstroke, 48.15 in the 100 butterfly) and senior Tyler Harris (1:47.87 in the 200 IM, 3:46.54 in the 400 IM).
“The North Carolina men present a monumental challenge,” Bernardino said. “They came into this season as the team that returned the most ACC Championship points and are the most veteran and experienced team in the conference. We are going to compete to the best of our abilities but we know we have a formidable opponent in the UNC men.”
The Cavalier women (2-2) lead the league in three relays, including the 400 freestyle relay (3:16.62), 800 freesyle relay (7:16.85) and 200 medley relay (1:40.14). Individually, Virginia also tops the conference in five individual events. Sophomore Lauren Perdue continues to pace the ACC in the 50 freestyle (22.16), 100 freestyle (48.11) and 200 freestyle (1:44.12); her times in both the 500 and 100 events this season have broken the previous school records she set as a freshman last season. Additionally, freshman Rachel Naurath’s 1:57.76 in the 200 butterfly and senior Claire Crippen’s 4:09.83 in the 400 IM also currently pace the league.
The Tar Heel women (5-1, 2-0 ACC), ranked No. 11 in the latest poll, last competed Jan. 8 and captured dual meet wins against Kentucky and Clemson. UNC’s 400 medley relay time of 3:37.11 leads the ACC and the squad’s 800 freestyle relay (7:17.21) and 200 medley relays (1:40.26) both rank second behind Virginia. Individually, freshman Stephanie Peacock (ACC record 4:38.54 in the 500 freestyle), senior Ashley Miller (9:48.67 in the 1000 freestyle), sophomore Carly Smith (53.34 in the 100 backstroke), junior Layne Brodie (1:00.52 in the 100 breaststroke, 2:11.25 in the 200 breaststroke, 1:58.43 in the 200 IM) also lead the league.
“They have an outstanding team on the women’s side as well,” Bernardino said of UNC. “It’s probably their best team since their championship season of 2007. “They are deep and have an outstanding group of veteran swimmers along with an outstanding freshman class. This is a team that has been flying under the radar. They are dangerous and loaded with talent.”
The Virginia women have claimed the last three dual meets with the Tar Heels, while the men have won the last two. Last season in Chapel Hill, the UVa women came away with a 185-113 victory while the men defeated UNC 168-132.
The Duke men will enter competition against the Cavaliers with a 3-2 dual meet record (1-1 ACC) while the women are 3-3 overall (0-2 ACC). The Blue Devil men are led by sophomore diver Nick McCrory, the 2010 ACC Freshman and Diver of the Year. He currently leads the conference on both the 3-meter (451.88) and 1-meter (413.77) boards. Diver Abby Johnson also tops the ACC in the 3-meter (751.50) and 1-meter (398.65) events for the women. Teammate Ashley Twichell also paces the conference in the 1650 freestyle event with a time of 16:09.86.
Virginia’s 16 seniors – James Barnett, Timmy Hayes, Zach Kohl, Matt McLean, Nathan Parker, Scot Robison, Taylor Smith, John Snawerdt, Katya Bachrouche, Claire Crippen, Hannah Davis, Amanda Faulkner, Jennings Grant, Kristen Moores, Anne Summer Myers and Liz Shaw – will be recognized prior at approximately 10:55 a.m. Sunday.
“It’s a special weekend for our fourth-year athletes,” Bernardino said. “The way they have performed in this facility has been outstanding. They are some of the greatest swimmers that have ever competed for Virginia.”
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