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March 20, 2015


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GREENSBORO, N.C.–The Virginia women’s swimming and diving team moved up into fourth place on the second day of the NCAA Championships Friday (March 20) at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The Cavaliers finished in the top eight in four events.

The Cavaliers sit in fourth place with 168 points, behind California (383.5), Georgia (299.5) and Stanford (264). Texas A&M is fifth with 153.5, while Louisville is sixth with 151.

“Our objective at the beginning of the season was to have the best team finish in team history, which is seventh back in 1988,” UVa head coach Augie Busch said. “So top-six has been the goal all along and we are in position to accomplish that goal. Now, we just need to get together tomorrow morning, have a little meeting and make sure we are ready to fight our tails off this last day.”

In the 100 back, junior Courtney Bartholomew (Holland, Mich.) touched second in a time of 50.51, earning All-America honors. It is Bartholomew’s best individual finish at the NCAA Championships after finishing third in the 200 back in 2014. She placed fifth in the 100 back in 2014 and ninth in the event in 2013.

“I thought my medley relay split was very good, so I thought I could go out faster tonight in the 100 back,” Bartholomew said. “That did not play out, but that was okay because I brought it home well. I have been able to keep moving up that ladder, going from ninth (in 2013) to fifth (in 2014) and now to second, which is a big deal. Knowing I had the full support of my teammates was fantastic.”

“I am very proud of Courtney as she has had a very busy schedule for us, having raced on a couple of relays she may not have anticipated,” Busch said. “I know she may be a little disappointed tonight because she came into the season wanting to win this race, but I think that potentially the 200 back may be her best event. I think we are going to see something special out of her tomorrow and one thing I know is that she will not stop fighting.”

Sophomore Laura Simon (Simmern, Germany) earned All-America honors in the 100 breast, placing fourth in a school-record time of 58.53. It is Simon’s best NCAA individual finish after placing 11th in the 200 breast in 2014.

The 200 medley relay of Bartholomew, Simon, senior Ellen Williamson (Ft. Mitchell, Ky.) and sophomore Ellen Thomas (Guildford, United Kingdom) finished fourth in a time of 1:36.84. The foursome completed the prelims in a time of 1:36.59, the fourth-fastest time in school history.

Sophomore Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) placed seventh in the 200 free in a time of 1:44.00, earning All-America honors. Her prelim time of 1:43.80 ranks second on UVa’s all-time list. It is Smith’s first All-America honor in the event after placing 17th in 2014. Smith captured the 500 free national title Thursday.

The 800 free relay of Smith, junior Hanne Borgersen (Frederick, Md.), sophomore Kaitlyn Jones (Newark, Del.) and freshman Cece Williams (Tallahassee, Fla.) placed ninth in a time of 7:03.48.

The meet concludes Saturday (March 21) with the 1,650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, platform diving and 400 free relay events being contested. Prelims begin at 11 a.m. with finals set for a 7 p.m. start.

200 medley relay
4. Courtney Bartholomew, Laura Simon, Ellen Williamson, Ellen Thomas – 1:36.84

200 free
7. Leah Smith – 1:44.00

100 breast
4. Laura Simon – 58.53 – UVa record

100 back
2. Courtney Bartholomew – 50.51

800 free relay
9. Leah Smith, Hanne Borgersen, Kaitlyn Jones, Cece Williams – 7:03.48

200 medley relay
4. Courtney Bartholomew, Laura Simon, Ellen Williamson, Ellen Thomas – 1:36.59

400 individual medley
29. Shaun Casey – 4:12.26
31. Kaitlyn Jones – 4:12.61

100 fly
30. Jennifer Marrkand – 52.76
36. Ellen Thomas – 53.09
41. Ellen Williamson – 53.15

200 free
8. Leah Smith – 1:43.80
22. Hanne Borgersen – 1:45.83

100 breast
3. Laura Simon – 58.69

100 back
1. Courtney Bartholomew – 50.67

3-meter diving
47. Becca Corbett – 260.45

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