Cavalier Men Ready for NCAA Championships
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The 10th-ranked Virginia men’s swimming team, coming off its fourth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference championship, heads to Minneapolis to compete at the 2011 NCAA Championships. The event, which runs Thursday through Saturday, is being held at the University Aquatic Center on the Minnesota campus. Live results for all six sessions will be linked on VirginiaSports.com and ESPN3.com will have a live webcast of finals on Friday and Saturday night.
Preliminaries are scheduled to being at 12 p.m. CDT (1 p.m. Eastern) each day with finals slated for 7 p.m. CDT (8 p.m. Eastern).
Virginia qualified 10 swimmers for the meet, including five who are making their NCAA Championships debut.
Representing the Cavaliers will be seniors Matt McLean, Scot Robison and Taylor Smith; juniors Peter Geissinger and David Karasek; sophomores Tom Barrett, Matthew Houser and Matt Murray; and freshmen Jon Daniec and Taylor Grey. Additionally, freshman Jack Murfee will be on hand as an alternate. Barrett, Houser, Murray, Daniec and Grey will each be competing at the national meet for the first time.
“I feel really good about how their preparation, training and mental outlook has been since ACCs,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “We are going into this meet with the very positive outlook that we have the possibility to have some outstanding performances. We want to see if we can string together three consecutive years in the top-10; that has been a goal of this team since the beginning of the season.”
Virginia finished in 10th place at the 2010 NCAA Championships, marking the first time the men’s program has recorded back-to-back top-10 finishes at the NCAA meet after finishing a program-best ninth in 2009. A year ago, two individuals earned All-America or honorable mention All-America status: Robison placed fourth in the 200 freestyle and 12th in the 100 freestyle and McLean was 10th in the 500 freestyle. Additionally, all five UVa relay teams collected All-America or honorable mention All-America honors, led by the 800 freestyle relay’s fourth-place performance. Three of those swimmers – McLean, Robison and Smith – return.
Historically, the Cavaliers have scored points at 26 NCAA Championships since 1981, including 14 consecutive. Over those last 14 years, Virginia has finished in among the top-20 nationally each time.
The Cavaliers have had two individuals win three championships at the NCAA meet. Shanek Pietucha was the first in 1999, claiming the 200 butterfly. Ed Moses was a two-time winner in 2000, taking the 100 and 200 breaststroke titles en route to being named the most valuable swimmer of the championships.
2011 Men’s NCAA Championships
Schedule of Events
Thursday, March 24
200 Freestyle Relay
200 Individual Medley
400 Medley Relay
Friday, March 25
200 Medley Relay
400 Individual Medley
800 Freestyle Relay
Saturday, March 26
400 Freestyle Relay