ATLANTA – The 10th-ranked Virginia men’s swimming and diving team moved into sole possession of first place at the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships following the second day of competition at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. The Cavaliers used a sweep in the 500 free to vault ahead in the standings with 280 points through seven events. Florida State is in second place with 199.5 points while North Carolina is third at 196.
As expected, Virginia dominated the 500 freestyle final. Led by Matt McLean, the Cavaliers swept the top four spots in the event and also piled up additional points with two other competitors in the finals race. McLean’s win marked the fourth time in his career he has won the event. It was the 15th overall ACC title in his career and his seventh individual championship.
McLean finished with a NCAA ‘A’ time of 4:13.53 which was almost six seconds ahead of runner-up Taylor Smith (4:19.30). Jon Daniec was third overall at 4:19.35 and Bradley Phillips placed fourth at 4:19.85. John Snawerdt took sixth place (4:23.42) for Virginia and David Karasek was eighth (4:27.29).
“It was solid,” said McLean of his performance. “There were things I can do to improve on. It was good to have that many teammates in the heat and for everyone to swim well.”
McLean becomes the 10th swimmer in Virginia history to win four consecutive ACC titles in an individual event. It is an accomplishment the UVa senior said will mean more to him in the future.
“It feels good but you can’t dwell on a win,” said McLean. “You take it, move on and do what you can to help the team. We had some good step up swims tonight and best times and the team did really well. It is all about the current team and our current mission and going out there and doing what we need to do.”
“Score wise and team wise we are in a good place,” said Virginia coach Mark Bernardino. “Matt McLean was wonderful tonight and the depth we showed in that 500 free was great.”
In the 200-yard IM Matt Houser used a personal best time of 1:45.26 to finish second. Taylor Grey was seventh in the event at 1:47.39 and Tim Hayes placed 10th at 1:48.48. Tom Casey was 15th at 1:49.31.
The 50 freestyle saw Virginia record second and third-place finishes. Peter Geissinger swam a personal best time of 19.71 for runner-up honors while Scot Robison was third at 19.72.
The Cavaliers finished the day with a second-place effort behind Duke in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:18.05. Robison, Houser, Geissinger and Tom Barrett competed for Virginia.
“I’m very happy with how Peter swam and how Matt Houser swam,” Bernardino said. “I’m a competitive person and I don’t like losing close races and we lost a close IM today and we lost a close relay. The ultimate opponent is the clock and I feel as if we have to do a better job of defeating the clock and swimming a little bit faster. We are going to focus on that Friday and Saturday. The team score will take care of itself if we beat the clock.”
Day three of the ACC Championships continues at 11 a.m. Friday with preliminaries in the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back.
2011 ACC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships
Feb. 23-16 | Atlanta, Ga.
After 7 Events
280 2. Florida State
199.5 3. North Carolina
196 4. Clemson 154 5. Virginia Tech
148.5 6. Duke
142 7. Georgia Tech
113 8. Maryland
80 9. NC State
69 10. Boston College