Virginia wins 11th ACC title, Perdue named Most Outstanding Swimmer
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Virginia captured its sixth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Championship on Saturday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Senior Lauren Perdue was named the ACC Championships’ Most Outstanding Swimmer for the third time in her career.
The Cavaliers, who won their 11th ACC title overall, finished with 832 points, followed by Virginia Tech (536), North Carolina (508), Florida State (497), NC State (438), Miami (389), Duke (246), Georgia Tech (158), Boston College (98) and Clemson diving (12).
“We got off to a wonderful start on Thursday and carried that momentum into the rest of the meet,” UVa head coach Mark Bernardino said. “We won a couple of events on Friday and had a bunch of top-three finishes. We had a bunch of top-time performances and what’s pretty cool about this team is that there is only one senior [Perdue] on the scoring team.
“We had a lot of first-year girls that hit some incredibly high levels and a bunch of second and third-year swimmers who continue to improve and work hard. I didn’t know we would have as many young bodies at this meet as we did, but they turned out to be pretty darn good, worked pretty darn hard, faced adversity and raced like veterans.”
For Virginia, the six consecutive titles matches North Carolina (1981-86 and 1991-96) for the most consecutive women’s ACC Championships. For Bernardino, this is his 26th conference title at the helm of Virginia. He has won 15 men’s titles in addition to the 11 women’s crowns.
“One of the most important things is that this team has kept a legacy alive of the squad that started this streak six years ago,” Bernardino said. “We talk about winning the championship as much for the teams that preceded us as much as this group because that keeps those athletes connected to the program in a special way. We get to try and do it again next year and try and do something that has never been done in ACC women’s swimming and diving history.”
Sophomore Kelly Offutt won her second individual event of the meet, claiming the 1,650 free in a time of 16:08.65, the sixth-fastest time in school history. Junior Rachel Naurath earned silver in 16:12.55, while sophomore Alison Haulsee was fourth in 16:15.43. Freshman Hanne Borgersen touched fifth in 16:18.18, while classmate Haley Durmer was seventh in 16:32.39. Junior Hillary Petersen placed 12th in 16:40.14.
“It’s really exciting to win two titles this week,” Offutt said. “My first year was about finding my place in the team and the transition to collegiate training. Having a bunch of teammates in the race with me really helped because I get confidence from training hard with them everyday and it makes it a lot easier [in big races].”
Freshman Courtney Bartholomew swept the backstroke discipline, winning the 200 back in 1:53.13, while sophomore Ellen Williamson earned silver in 1:54.08. Bartholomew won the 100 back on Friday. Juniors Caroline Kenney (1:57.27) and Charlotte Clarke (1:59.17), placed seventh and eighth, respectively.
In the consolation final, sophomore Emily Dicus placed first in 1:55.57, the eighth-fastest mark on UVa's all-time list.
“It felt good [Saturday] because I wasn’t as nervous as [on Friday],” Bartholomew said. “It was awesome to have Caroline [Kenney] and Ellen [Williamson] on either side of me, Charlotte [Clarke] a couple lanes over and for all of us be in the final together.”
Perdue claimed silver in the 100 free in 48.45, while junior Emily Lloyd was sixth in 49.26. Perdue, who won the 200 free on Friday and captured silver in the 50 free, finishes her ACC career with seven individual titles and 12+ crowns.
The 400 relay of Naurath, Lloyd, Williamson and Perdue finished third in 3:16.94, an NCAA automatic qualifying time.
In the women’s platform diving, freshman Becca Corbett placed 10th in 237.35, while classmate Katie Warburg was 17th with a score of 173.55