CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The No. 15 Virginia men’s swimming team continued competition Friday at the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships with preliminaries in the 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke. The Cavaliers placed 10 swimmers in championship finals and six more in the consolation races.
“We didn’t start the meet off in the best fashion having a finalist disqualified and then knocking the wedge off the starting block and falling in the pool,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “We cost ourselves 15-20 points before we ever got out of the chute but fortunately, there were some other athletes who picked up the slack and fought their way into the finals. Despite our inconsistencies, we are still in the meet.”
Sophomore Nathan Hart won a swim-off with North Carolina freshman Patrick Myers to earn the last spot in the final of the 400 individual medley. He will join teammates David Ingraham (3:48.98, ‘B’) and Matt Houser (3:51.36, ‘B’) in the championship final. Ingraham’s time was the second-fastest of the morning.
Hart went 3:53.62 in the swim-off ahead of Myers’ 3:56.52. In the prelim heats, they both touched in a ‘B’ time of 3:53.29.
“Nathan’s win was a great way to send us out of the building with some momentum,” Bernardino said. “David Ingraham has been a real bright spot for us. He is a fighter and has done a really nice job.”
Three more Cavaliers will compete in the consolation final of the 400 individual medley, including Jan Daniec (3:53.51, ‘B’), Serge Gould (3:53.54, ‘B’) and Nick Montes de Oca (3:56.55).
Senior Peter Geissinger also posted the second-best time of the morning session with a mark of 46.72 in the 100 butterfly. Junior Matt Murray finished in 48.21 to gain a spot in the consolation final; both times were ‘B’ standards.
Virginia highlighted the morning by posting the three fastest times in the 200 freestyle, led by senior David Karasek’s 1:35.87. Junior Tom Barrett was second in 1:36.20 and sophomore Parker Camp was third in 1:36.45. All three Virginia times were NCAA ‘B’ cuts.
“Our 200 freestylers were quite stellar,” Bernardino said. “They were steady and consistent.”
Sophomore Taylor Grey clocked a ‘B’ time of 54.88 to earn a berth in the championship final of the 200 breaststroke while junior Tom Casey went 55.98 in the morning and will swim in the consolation final.
Murray and junior Brady Fox, who both swam in the 100 butterfly, came back and swam their way into the championship final of the 100 backstroke. Murray finished in 48.12 while Fox tallied a time of 48.14. Meanwhile, freshman Kyle Dudzinksi, who also swam in preliminaries of the 100 butterfly, went 49.09 to earn a spot in the consolation race.
“It was a good swim for Matt in the backstroke, especially coming out of the short turnaround,” Bernardino said. “That was a critical performance. Brady bounced back from his starting block disaster in the butterfly to do a decent job in the backstroke as well.
“The only thing that has been consistent about this meet is the inconsistency of our performances. We are up and down. We somehow managed to do a lot of the things we needed to do today to put ourselves back in contention. It’s going to be a three-day meet. It’s going to go down to the final couple of events in the last session.”
Finals begin at 7 p.m. and will be available via a live webcast. Points from men’s 1-meter diving will be added in and the 400 medley freestyle relay will also be contested this evening.