No. 5 Virginia Wins Ninth-Consecutive ACC Title
Feb. 20, 2016
GREENSBORO, N.C.-The No. 5 Virginia women’s swimming and diving team captured its ninth-consecutive ACC Championship Saturday (Feb. 20) at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
UVA finished with 1,332.5 points, ahead of NC State (1,178), North Carolina (1,080) and Louisville (1,059.5). Virginia Tech was fifth with 705, followed by Duke (642.5), Notre Dame (537.5), Miami (502.5), Florida State (444.5), Pitt (425), Georgia Tech (356), Boston College (152) and Clemson (86).
“What an amazing group of women we have on this team,” UVA head coach Augie Busch said. “They epitomize ‘team’ on a daily basis with their attitude, effort and unwavering support for their teammates and their incredible enthusiasm for their teammates’ achievements. To say they are a special group to coach is an understatement.
“What they did this weekend was nothing short of remarkable and the highlights are too numerous to count. I am so happy for our fourth-years and so grateful for what they have invested in this program. Their legacies will be forever etched in the illustrious tradition of UVA swimming and diving. We will enjoy this championship yet know that what lies ahead (NCAA Championships) is the focus of our team. We are excited to regroup, go back to work and take aim at accomplishing more amazing things in Atlanta.”
To lead off the night, junior Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) broke the NCAA record in the 1,650-yard free in a time of 15:25.30, which also moves Smith into third all-time in the event, behind only Olympic medalists Katie Ledecky and Katie Hoff. During the race, Smith recorded a 1,000 free split of 9:20.15, which is also a new NCAA record.
“My goal this year was to break the NCAA record in this event and now that I’ve done that my focus is go faster at NCAAs and get as many points as I can for the team,” Smith said.
It is Smith’s seventh ACC individual event win, tying her for the third-most in school history. Smith has won the 1,650 free and the 500 free three times each and had a win in the 200 free in 2015.
Also in the 1,650 free, senior Hanne Borgersen (Frederick, Md.) placed fourth with a time of 16:07.60, which is seventh on UVA’s all-time list. Fellow senior Haley Durmer (Decatur, Ga.) was ninth in 16:20.98.
Following that, senior Courtney Bartholomew (Holland, Mich.) became a four-time champion in the 200 back, clocking a time of 1:49.90. It is Bartholomew’s ninth ACC individual title, which is the most in program history and is tied for second in conference history. Bartholomew also became the fifth ACC swimmer, male or female, to win two individual events four times. She won the 100 back for the fourth time Friday.
Freshman Megan Moroney (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) placed fourth in the 200 back in a time of 1:52.65, which ranks third on UVA’s all-time list.
The final individual swimming event, the 200 fly, was won by junior Kaitlyn Jones (Newark, Del.) in a time of 1:54.65. Her prelim time of 1:54.64 ranks second on UVA’s all-time list, while sophomore Jennifer Marrkand (Westport, Mass.) placed third in 1:55.87, which ranks fourth on UVA’s all-time list.
In the final event of the meet, the 400 free relay, the team of Moroney, juniors Ellen Thomas (Guildford, United Kingdom) and Shannon Rauth (Glenmoore, Pa.) and Bartholomew placed second in a school-record time of 3:13.45, which ranks second nationally.
In the 100 free, Rauth placed sixth in a time of 48.97, while Thomas was eighth in 49.29.
Two Virginia divers made the championship finals, as senior Carl Buergler (Arlington, Va.) finished 7th in men’s platform diving with a score of 339.15 while fellow senior Becca Corbett (Louisville, Ky.) placed eight in women’s platform diving with a total mark of 228.15.
“I am really happy with the divers’ performances today and this week overall,” UVA head diving coach Jason Glorius said. “Becca and Carl did especially well today. We are excited to get it going again at Zones.”
Next up, the UVa men’s swimmers will compete at the ACC Championships, to be held in Greensboro, Feb. 24-27.
The meet also signified the women’s swimming and diving matchup between Virginia and Virginia Tech in the Commonwealth Clash, sponsored by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of University of Virginia Athletics. By way of its team victory, UVA earned one point in the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash, the point rivalry series between UVA and Virginia Tech. The school that finishes higher in the meet will receive a point in the competition. Virginia now leads the 2015-16 Commonwealth Clash, 5-3.5. Learn more about Virginia529 and this competition at thecommonwealthclash.com.