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April 6, 2015

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GREENSBORO, N.C.–Virginia swimmer Jennifer Marrkand has been named the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Freshman of the Year and UVa head coach Augie Busch has been tabbed 2015 Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year, the conference announced Monday (April 6).

In his second season at the helm, Busch led the Cavaliers to their eighth-consecutive ACC Championship, a conference record, and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the highest team finish in program history. It is the second year in a row Busch has earned the honor.

“I am honored to receive this year’s award,” Busch said. “What makes it special is that it is voted on by the other ACC coaches, a group that does an incredible job relentlessly pushing this conference to higher levels of excellence. I want to thank the team and my coaching staff for their efforts this year. It is easy to come to work everyday when you are surrounded by people who believe in you and have faith in the direction of the program. These young people are special and took us on an incredible ride this year. That being said, we feel like we are just scratching this surface and the best is yet to come.”

Marrkand (Westford, Mass.) earned honorable mention All-America honors in the 200 back with a 16th-place finish. She also swam as part of the 400 medley relay that finished with the top time in prelims. At the ACC meet, Marrkand qualified for the championship finals in three events, placing sixth in both the 200 back and 200 fly and seventh in the 100 fly.

“I could not be happier for Jen to win this honor,” Busch said. “She has been such an energizer for our team this year. The versatility and toughness she put on display all year long was impressive, especially for a first-year student-athlete. What I am so proud of is that she is such a team player. She always has a great attitude and has a work ethic that is second to none. I know this is just the first of many great accolades to come in her time here at UVa.”

Marrkand becomes the ninth Virginia swimmer to be named ACC Women’s Freshman of the Year. Cavaliers have earned the honor four-straight years, as senior Ellen Williamson (Ft. Mitchell, Ky.), junior Courtney Bartholomew (Holland, Mich.) and sophomore Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) were honored in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively.

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