Feb. 17, 1998

Women Set for ACC Championships

UVA TO HOST ACC CHAMPIONSHIP: The University of Virginia Aquatic and Fitness Center, located in the Carl Smith Center, will serve as the site for the 1998 Atlantic Coast Conference swimming and diving championships. The women's championship will be held from Feb. 18-21, followed by the men's championship from Feb. 25-28. This year marks the first time since 1986 and only the fourth time overall the ACC women's championship has been held in Charlottesville. This will also be the first-ever ACC Championship at the Aquatic and Fitness Center.

THE 1997 ACC CHAMPIONSHIP: In last year's ACC meet, held at the University of North Carolina, Clemson claimed the ACC title for the first time since 1989, finishing with a total of 708 points. North Carolina claimed second place with 661, while Virginia finished third with 658.5 (less than 50 points out of first place). The meet marked only the second time in ACC history the top three teams finished within 50 points of each other (along with the 1985 meet where North Carolina scored 791, Virginia 782 and Clemson 745). Rounding out the field in last year's meet, Florida State placed fourth (488.5), North Carolina State was fifth (395), Maryland finished sixth (328) and Duke was seventh (131).

MCCUBBINS BREAKS SCHOOL RECORD IN 50 FREE: Sophomore Meghan McCubbins broke the UVa record in the 50 yard freestyle during the last dual meet of the season, against Duke and Maryland. She posted a time of 23.01, breaking Rebecca Cronk's old record of 23.11 by a tenth of a second. At the ACC Championship, McCubbins has a chance to become the first women's swimmer in school history to to swim the 50 free in under 23 seconds. In addition to her school record in the 50 free, McCubbins also has UVa's fastest time this season in the 100 free at 50.38 (fourth-best in school history).

CAVALIERS ENTER ACCS WITH ANOTHER STRONG DUAL-MEET RECORD: Virginia has an overall record of 7-2 on the season, with a 3-2 mark against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents. This should come as no surprise, as the Cavaliers have posted a winning record in dual meets each of the last 11 years. In addition, UVa has recorded at least seven victories for the sixth straight season.

UVA IN THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP: In the 19-year history of the ACC women's swimming championship the Cavaliers have won only one team title, with that coming in 1990. Virginia has finished as the runner-up at ACCs nine times, including four straight second place finishes from 1993 through 1996. The Cavaliers have also finished in the top three at the ACC Championship each of the last 16 seasons.

UVA'S ACC CHAMPIONS: A number of current Cavaliers have won ACC individual or relay titles during their collegiate careers, and will look to add to their lists of victories this weekend. Sophomore Emily Carrig claimed two ACC titles last season, winning both the 500 yard freestyle and the 200 yard butterfly, while sophomore Sharon Reidlinger was the 1997 ACC champion in the 1,650 yard freestyle and sophomore Katie Caratelli was last year's ACC titlist in the three meter diving (Caratelli also earned Most Valuable Diver honors at the meet). Junior Valerie Zammitti has also won a pair of ACC titles during her career, claiming first both the 100 and 200 yard butterfly at the 1996 ACC Championship. In addition, Virginia returns every member of two relay teams which won ACC titles last season: the 400 yard freestyle relay team of Rebecca Cronk, Emily Carrig, Emily Trakas and Meghan McCubbins; and the 800 yard freestyle relay team of Rebecca Cronk, Emily Trakas, Sharon Reidlinger and Emily Carrig (which set an ACC meet record with a time of 7:21.13 last season).

CARRIG HAS ANOTHER STRONG SEASON: Sophomore Emily Carrig has been one of the top all-around swimmers for the Cavaliers' this season, recording the teams' fastest times in five different events: the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 yard freestyle, the 200 yard butterfly and the 400 yard individual medley. Carrig, who is the defending ACC Champion in both the 200 fly and 500 free, set a school record in the 200 fly (2:00.10) at last year's ACC meet. She should once again contend for the top spot in the conference in a number of events.

UVA DIVERS LOOK FOR STRONG SHOWING: Sophomore Katie Caratelli is the defending ACC Champion on the three meter board and also won Most Valuable Diver honors at last season's ACC meet. Although she should once again contend for top honors this season, Caratelli will be pushed by some of her teammates in pursuit of the ACC titles. Freshman Ashley Smith has UVa's top score this season on the one meter board (381.05), while freshman Laramie Hill has the Cavaliers' top score on the three meter board (449.10).

ACC TIDBITS: UVa swimmers have combined to win at least four individual titles in each of the last five ACC Championships ... A Cavalier has been named Most Valuable Diver at the ACC Championship each of the last two seasons: Laurie Wagner in 1996 and Katie Caratelli in 1997 ... A Cavalier has been named Most Valuable Swimmer at the ACC Championship four times during the 1990s: Melanie Valerio in 1990, Karen Burgess in 1991 and 1993, and Nicole Rutkowski in 1994.