March 2, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-The No. 5 Virginia women’s swimming and diving team qualified 12 student-athletes for individual events at the 2016 NCAA Championships, which will be held March 16-19 at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta.
The Cavaliers will be represented by seniors Courtney Bartholomew and Hanne Borgersen, juniors Kaitlyn Jones, Shannon Rauth, Laura Simon, Leah Smith and Ellen Thomas, sophomores Caitlin Cooper and Jennifer Marrkand and freshmen Eryn Eddy, Megan Moroney and Vivian Tafuto.
UVA has qualified at least 10 student-athletes for the ninth-consecutive year and it is also the eighth-straight season that all five Virginia relays have qualified. The Cavaliers’ highest finish at the NCAA meet was fifth in 2015.
With 12 student-athletes being selected, Virginia is tied with Georgia and California for fourth-most in the country. Tennessee, Texas A&M and USC tied for the most with 13 swimmers selected.
Bartholomew and Borgersen will be making their fourth appearances at the NCAA Championships. Bartholomew is a 12-time All-American and was the 2015 national runner-up in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events, as well as part of the second-place 400 medley relay. Borgersen is a three-time All-American, including a 16th-place finish in the 1,650 freestyle in 2014.
Jones, Simon, Smith and Thomas qualified in individual events for the national meet for the third time in their careers. A seven-time All-American, Smith captured NCAA titles in the 500 and 1,650 free in 2015 and holds the NCAA record in both events. Simon, a six-time All-American, was the national runner-up in the 200 breaststroke in 2015. Thomas is a five-time All-American who, along with Simon, was a part of the second-place 400 medley relay at the 2015 national meet.
Cooper and Marrkand have qualified for the second time in their careers. Cooper is a two-time All-American after swimming with the 200 free relay and 400 free relay in 2015, while Marrkand placed 16th in the 200 back.
Rauth, a four-time All-American with Cavalier relays, qualified in an individual event for the first time. Eddy, Moroney and Tafuto will be making their NCAA Championship debuts.
Virginia captured its ninth-consecutive ACC Championship Feb. 20 in Greensboro, N.C. The Cavaliers won eight individual events and two relays.
A total of 281 swimmers from 65 schools qualified for the meet. Diving competitors will be determined at the NCAA Zone Diving Championships. The Cavalier divers will compete at the NCAA Zone A diving meet in Annapolis, Md., March 7-9.
Virginia’s Individual Qualifiers
Courtney Bartholomew, Sr. – Holland, Mich.
100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, 200 individual medley
Hanne Borgersen, Sr. – Frederick, Md.
500 freestyle, 1,650 freestyle
Caitlin Cooper, So. – Atlanta, Ga.
Eryn Eddy, Fr. – Loveland, Colo.
Kaitlyn Jones, Jr. – Newark, Del.
200 butterfly, 200 individual medley, 400 individual medley
Jennifer Marrkand, So. – Westport, Mass.
200 backstroke, 200 individual medley, 400 individual medley
Megan Moroney, Fr. – Deerfield Beach, Fla.
200 freestyle, 200 backstroke
Shannon Rauth, Jr. – Glenmoore, Pa.
Laura Simon, Jr. – Simmern, Germany
100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke
Leah Smith, Jr. – Pittsburgh, Pa.
200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 1,650 freestyle
Vivian Tafuto, Fr. – Hummelstown, Pa.
Ellen Thomas, Jr. – Guildford, United Kingdom
50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly