Virginia captures 14 medals, triumphant in ACC Championship for 16th time
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Virginia claimed its sixth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, capturing 14 medals during the week and clinching the title on Saturday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The championship is the 16th in program history, all of which have come under head coach Mark Bernardino.
The victory is Bernardino’s 27th conference championship combined between the men and the women, passing North Carolina’s Frank Comfort for the most in ACC history. The 16 titles by the men rank as the most by a coach in the 60-year history of the conference.
Florida State’s Pavel Sankovich was named the ACC Men’s Championship Most Valuable Swimmer, the second year in a row a Seminole has taken the honor and the seventh overall. Sankovich finished the meet with six medals – four gold, one silver, and one bronze. A two-time Olympian, Sankovich set new conference records in the 100 backstroke and as a member of the 200 medley relay and set a meet record in the 200 individual medley. He also won gold in the 200 back, claimed silver on the Florida State 400 freestyle relay team and took bronze on the 400 medley relay team.
Virginia finished with a winning score of 759.5 points. Virginia Tech came in second with 597 points and North Carolina placed third with 549 points. Florida State (534), NC State (481), Georgia Tech (269.5), Duke (268), Boston College (120), and Miami (Fla.) (13) completed the field at the 2013 championship.
Jan Daniec improved on his silver in the 500 free earlier in the week with a gold medal in the 1,650 freestyle in the first race of the night. He steadily increased his lead the whole race and touched in 14:53.48, ahead of Florida State’s John Jessell (14:58.89).
Florida State’s Sankovich grabbed his third individual gold medal of the meet in the 200 backstroke. With 50 yards remaining, Sankovich sat in fourth but was able to overtake the leaders on the last lap and finish with a winning time of 1:41.83. Virginia’s Luke Papendick earned silver (1:41.90), followed by Virginia Tech’s Zach McGinnis with bronze (1:42.34).
Paul Murray made it back-to-back wins for the Seminoles with a victory in the 100 freestyle, out-touching the field in a tight race with a winning time of 42.94. NC State’s Jonathan Boffa and Virginia’s Tom Barrett both posted 43.04 to tie for the silver medal.
The Cavaliers earned two podium spots in the 200 breaststroke with Taylor Grey claiming gold. He finished in 1:55.68 ahead of silver medalist Hunter Knight of Duke (1:56.78). Virginia freshman Yannick Kaeser (1:57.32) took home bronze.
North Carolina’s Tom Luchsinger took first place in the 200 butterfly to become the seventh male swimmer in ACC history to win the event three times in a career. Luchsinger set a meet record with a time of 1:43.17, ahead of Virginia Tech’s Morgan Latimer (1:43.85) and NC State’s Christian McCurdy (1:44.56).
In the last event of the meet, NC State won its first 400 freestyle relay since 2000, finishing just .03 seconds off the conference record in 2:51.29. Florida State led going into the anchor legs, but NC State’s Jonathan Boffa grabbed the lead and the gold. Florida State claimed second with an automatic qualifying time of 2:52.74, and North Carolina won bronze (2:54.88).