Virginia Wins Eighth-Consecutive ACC Championship
Feb. 21, 2015
ATLANTA-The No. 8 Virginia women’s swimming and diving team won an unprecedented eighth-consecutive ACC Championship Saturday (Feb. 21) at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. It is the program’s 13th conference championship.
The Cavaliers finished with 1,308.5 points, 53.5 ahead of North Carolina, who finished with 1,255 points. Virginia Tech was third with 1,018 points, followed by Louisville (918), NC State (874), Notre Dame (644), Florida State (577), Pitt (501), Miami (490.5), Duke (478), Georgia Tech (203), Boston College (125) and Clemson (36).
“I am extremely proud of the way our women performed tonight,” UVa head coach Augie Busch said. “We knew it was going to take a lot to defeat teams who were performing at a high level like North Carolina. To have performances like we did in such a tight battle will only make us better in four weeks at the NCAA Championships.”
In the first event of the evening, sophomore Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) captured her third individual ACC title this weekend, winning the 1,650 free in a time of 15:52.00.
“I love that I can dip down to the 200 free because it is a really fun event,” Smith said. “I would say the 500 free and the mile (1,650 free) are my better events. It is pretty hard to compete in all three and I have had trouble balancing that (in the past), but I think I am finally getting into a groove where I can be successful at all three.”
Junior Hanne Borgersen (Frederick, Md.) earned silver in the 1,650 free in 16:10.84, while senior Alison Haulsee (Glen Allen, Va.) and Kelly Offutt (Reisterstown, Md.) also placed in the top eight, finishing fifth (16:24.19) and eighth (16:31.00). Junior Haley Durmer (Decatur, Ga.) was 11th in 16:35.02.
“We knew we had to jump out of the gates and I wanted to do everything possible to put my team in a good place for the fight tonight,” Smith said.
Junior Courtney Bartholomew (Holland, Mich.) broke the Virginia and conference record in winning the 200 back in 1:49.87, the seventh-fastest time in the history of the event. It is Bartholomew’s third-consecutive win in the event and her sixth individual ACC crown (100 back, 2013-15).
In the 200 breast, sophomore Laura Simon (Simmern, Germany) outdueled defending national champion Emma Reaney of Notre Dame to win in a time of 2:07.48, a new Georgia Tech Aquatic Center record.
The 400 free relay team of sophomors Kaitlyn Jones (Newark, Del.) and Ellen Thomas (Guildford, United Kingdom), freshman Caitlin Cooper (Atlanta, Ga.) and Bartholomew placed second in 3:15.25, the third-fastest time in school history.
Thomas touched fifth in the 100 free in 48.92, becoming just the fourth Cavalier to break 49 seconds in the event. In the consolation final, Cooper placed 10th overall in 49.34, which ranks sixth on UVa’s all-time top-10 list.
In the final individual swimming event, Jones placed fifth in the 200 fly in 1:56.83, while Marrkand was sixth in 1:57.22 and senior Ellen Williamson (Ft. Mitchell, Ky.) placed eighth in 1:58.49.
Senior JB Kolod (Pittsburgh, Pa.) became the first UVa diver to earn All-ACC honors in all three diving events, placing second with a school-record score of 405.25.
Junior Jordan Sacks (Wilmette, Ill.) placed 12th with a score of 288.75, while fellow juniors Colby Shinholser (Burtonsville, Md.) and Carl Buergler (Arlington, Va.) finished 17th and 18th with scores of 262.25 and 262.20, respectively.
“It was a great day for our divers,” UVa head diving coach Jason Glorius said. “I’m glad Becca and Corey could contribute points on tower. All four men scored on tower today, highlighted by a solid performance by Jordan and a great performance by JB. We are really looking good and ready for the NCAA Zone Championships.”
Next up, the UVa men’s swimmers will compete at the ACC Championships, to be held in Atlanta, Feb. 25-28.
The meet was part of the Commonwealth Clash between Virginia and Virginia Tech. Virginia earned a point in the competition with its win this weekend and holds a 6.5-2.5 lead overall.
The Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529 is a head-to-head, points-based competition between the athletic teams at University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Commonwealth Clash encourages a friendly, statewide rivalry between the two schools across all school-sponsored sports with 21 individual event points on the line. Fans are also encouraged to support their team through a fan-based point. The school that accumulates 11.5 points or more will be crowned the winner and take home the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash trophy. Visit www.TheCommonwealthClash.com for more information and updated standings.