CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The Virginia women’s swimming team captured its 10th Atlantic Coast Conference crown Saturday, including its fifth consecutive, at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center in Christiansburg, Va.
The Cavaliers finished with 848 points. North Carolina was second (615) and Florida State took third (460).
The class of 2012 – Kelly Flynn, Meredith Perdue and Erika Stewart – become just the second class in UVa history to depart with four titles.
“This group learned how to be a team and really found its own identity, Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “Our seniors were the absolute glue of the team. They made everybody feel welcome and important. They helped our first years through the process of being college athletes. As far as I’m concerned, they grew that group into the swimmers they became as the year developed.”
“Every year has been extremely different and full of ups and downs,” Stewart said. “I am so proud of this team and feel so blessed to be a part of this legacy that we have built for the last five years.”
Virginia capped the meet by edging out Maryland for a win in the 400 freestyle relay. Lauren Perdue, Meredith Cavalier, Flynn and Emily Lloyd teamed up to win the event in a NCAA ‘B’ time of 3:16.50. On the week, Virginia won four of the five relays.
On Saturday, Cavalier, a junior, won her first career individual title leading a Virginia sweep in the 200 backstroke. Perdue, who battled injury the entire season, claimed her third straight title in the 100 freestyle and Fox won her second individual event of the week in the 200 butterfly.
Cavalier was first to the wall in 1:54.70, headlining a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 backstroke. Freshman Ellen Williamson, already an all-conference selection in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly, took second in the event (1:54.85) and sophomore Caroline Kenney was third overall in 1:54.53.
Two more Cavaliers – Charlotte Clarke and Stewart – rounded out the final in the 200 backstroke. Clarke, a sophomore, was fifth in 1:55.84 and Stewart touched in 1:58.60. Additionally, sophomore Riley Flanagan took 14th in 1:58.64. All six Virginia times were NCAA ‘B’ marks.
Perdue won the 100 freestyle in 48.27, her sixth career ACC individual title. Lloyd, a sophomore, finished eighth (50.32) while freshman Emily Dicus was 15th (50.84).
“It never gets old,” Perdue said after the meet. “It’s so great to be able to compete with my team and have everyone supporting each other. We work so hard for each other.”
Junior Christine Olson, who made a significant comeback after missing most of last season, led Virginia in the 200 breaststroke. She placed fourth overall (2:11.86, ‘B) and Flynn took fifth (2:14.94, ‘B’).
Fox picked up the victory in 200 butterfly with a winning time of 1:56.02. She also won the 400 individual medley on Friday, her first career win. Freshman Ellen Williamson joined her on the podium with a third-place performance in 1:57.56 and Alison Haulsee, another freshman in the final, was sixth overall in 1:59.36. All three notched NCAA ‘B’ times.
Haulsee opened the day with an all-conference performance in the 1650 freestyle, placing third in a ‘B’ time of 16:21.56. Sophomore Rachel Naurath was fourth (16:23.76, ‘B’) followed by freshman Kelly Offutt in fifth (16:24.13, ‘B’). Sophomore Hillary Petersen recorded a 13th-place finish with a time of 16:44.14.
2012 ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships
Feb. 15-18 | Christiansburg, Va.
Final Team Standings
848 2. North Carolina
615 3. Florida State
460 4. Virginia Tech
401 5. Maryland 399 6. Miami
313 6. NC State
247.5 8. Georgia Tech
195.5 9. Duke
193 10. Clemson 137 11. Boston College
2012 ACC Champions
Meredith Cavalier, Jr. – 200 backstroke, 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay
Charlotte Clarke, So. – 100 backstroke, 200 medley relay
Emily Dicus, Fr. – 800 freestyle relay
Kelly Flynn, Sr. – 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay
Megan Fox, R-Fr. – 400 individual medley, 200 butterfly
Caroline Kenney, Fr. – 800 freestyle relay
Emily Lloyd, So. – 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay
Rachel Naurath, So. – 800 freestyle relay
Lauren Perdue, Jr. – 100 freestyle, 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay, 800 freestyle relay
Sarah White, Fr. – 200 individual medley