CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Senior Matt McLean and sophomore Lauren Perdue were tabbed the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s and women’s swimmer of the year, respectively, the league office announced Wednesday. Additionally, Virginia mentor Mark Bernardino was selected as the men’s and women’s coach of the year.
“Everyone associated with the Virginia swimming and diving program is very proud of the honors bestowed upon Matt and Lauren,” Bernardino said. “They both have enjoyed spectacular seasons. From beginning to end, they have been dominant forces in their events, both within the conference and on a national level. Those performances were never more visible than at the NCAA Championships. Not only did they excel in their signature events, their relay contributions were enormous.”
McLean is the men’s swimmer of the year for the second time in his career. He also won the award as a freshman in 2008. In program history, Virginia has had 14 conference swimmers of the year. McLean becomes the fourth men’s swimmer to earn the award twice in his career. The last person to do that was Fran Crippen in 2003 and 2004.
McLean capped his Virginia career with his first NCAA championship in the 500 freestyle. He also captured All-America honors with fourth-place performances in the 200 freestyle and 1650 freestyle events, in addition to leading off Virginia’s 800 freestyle relay team, the national-runners up, and anchoring the All-America 400 freestyle relay team.
At the ACC Championships, McLean led the Cavaliers to their fourth consecutive league title and won the 500 freestyle and 1650 freestyle en route to being named the ACC Swimmer of the Championships for the third time in his career. McLean also swam as a member of UVa’s conference champion 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams.
Perdue wins the women’s swimmer of the year award for the first time in her young career after being selected as the conference freshman of the year in 2010. For the third consecutive year, a Virginia swimmer has won the award after former Cavalier Mei Christensen claimed the honor in 2009 and 2010.
At the NCAA Championships, Perdue was the national runner-up in the 200 freestyle, with a time of 1:42.51, breaking her own ACC record she set a month earlier at the ACC Championships. Perdue also earned All-America honors with an eighth-place finish in the 50 freestyle and honorable mention All-America accolades with a 11th-place showing in the 100 freestyle. She swam as a member of UVa’s All-America 800 freestyle relay and honorable mention 200 and 400 freestyle relay squads.
Perdue is a two-time ACC Swimmer of the Championships, including winning the honor this year after repeating as conference champion in the 100 and 200 freestyle events, setting conference records in the process. She also was an All-ACC selection after finishing third in the 50 freestyle and swam as a member of Virginia’s winning 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams. The Virginia women also won its record-setting fourth consecutive conference crown.
Bernardino, in his 33rd season at the helm of his alma mater, was tabbed the ACC coach of the year for both the men and women for the fourth consecutive season. It marks his 18th honor for men’s coach of the year and his 13th for women’s coach of the year. Bernardino guided both the men’s and women’s teams to their fourth consecutive ACC titles in 2011. The Cavalier men went on to finish eighth at the NCAA Championships, the highest in school history, while the women placed 13th at the national meet.