Virginia Men Ready for ACC Championships
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s swimming team will seek its 14th Atlantic Coast Conference championship this week at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Ga. Ranked No. 12 in the nation, the Cavaliers are the highest-ranked school in the ACC and the three-time defending champions. The event begins Wednesday and runs through Saturday; finals of all events will be broadcast live free online at www.theacc.com and live results of each session will be available through VirginiaSports.com.
The Virginia men have won three consecutive championships and will be looking for their fourth straight this weekend. The Cavaliers had a streak of eight consecutive titles from 1999-2006.
“I think the men will really use what the women accomplished last weekend as motivation,” head coach Mark Bernardino said of the Cavalier women overcoming a 37-point deficit entering the final day for its school record fourth straight title. “Unlike the women, though, they have been here before. They have won four in a row and they have lost a dual meet. They won’t have any of that pressure. We are counting on each and every person to swim their own race.”
In 2010, Virginia claimed its third consecutive title with 806 points and claimed four of the five relays to finish ahead of North Carolina (656.5) and Florida State (566.5). It was the third straight year Virginia tallied at least 800 points in the victory.
The Tar Heels enter the meet one spot below the Cavaliers at No. 13 while the Seminoles are No. 20.
Six UVa swimmers return to the championships with individual event wins under their belts, including the 2010 Swimmer of the Championships, Scot Robison. Robison, a senior, will look to defend his titles in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle events. Conference champion Matt McLean (200 freestyle in 2008 and 2009; 500 freestyle in 2008, 2009 and 2010; 1650 freestyle in 2010) also returns; he was named the swimmer of the championships as a freshman in 2008 and as a sophomore in 2009. Senior Taylor Smith, juniors Peter Geissinger and David Karasek and sophomore Tom Casey join Robison and McLean as members of previous championship relay teams.
During the dual meet season, Virginia posted an 8-1 record, with the team’s lone loss coming to SEC foe Tennessee on Jan. 8. The Cavaliers also went 3-0 in ACC dual meets this year with wins over Duke, North Carolina and NC State.
Men’s diving events were held last weekend during the women’s ACC Championships. Junior Briggy Imbrliglia led the way for the Cavaliers, collecting a total of 18 points in three events. He finished 10th overall on both the 1-meter (318.70) and platform (307.60) and was 13th on the 3-meter board (318.70). Teammate Nathan Parker placed 19th on the platform (226.60), 20th on the 1-meter (254.65) and 23rd on the 3-meter (251.10).
Competition will begin Wednesday evening with the 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay.