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Virginia Wins 800 Free Relay on First Night of ACCs

800 free relay team

Feb. 13, 2017

ACC Championship Central | Results: Day 1

ATLANTA – The No. 8 Virginia women’s swimming and diving team won the 800 free relay on the first night of the 2017 ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships Wednesday (Feb. 13) at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta.

Virginia is in ninth place with 102 points after the first day of action. North Carolina (153), Louisville (149), Duke (144), Virginia Tech (134) and Miami (127) are the top five.

After a tough start to the night with a disqualification in the 200 medley relay, Virginia bounced back by cruising to a win in the 800 free relay in an ACC record, and the second fastest time in the country this year with a time of 6:56.21. It was UVA’s 10th-straight victory in the event.

Senior Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) led off the relay with a 1:43.60 split to give the Cavaliers a lead they would never relinquish. Junior Jennifer Marrkand (Westford, Mass.) followed with the second leg and freshman Morgan Hill (Olney, Md.) swam the third to keep the Cavaliers out front. Senior Kaitlyn Jones (Newark, Del.) anchored the relay with a 1:42.96 split to pull away from the rest of the field and secure a three second win over second place NC State (6:59.73).

Sophomore Kylie Towbin (New Canaan, Conn.) highlighted women’s diving after qualifying as the top-seed for finals in the women’s three-meter with a score of 341.30 in prelims. Towbin finished the event in seventh place with a 280.80 in finals.



UVA’s group of Jones, Laura Simon, Ellen Thomas and Caitlin Cooper touched the wall third in the 200 medley relay, but were disqualified for an early takeoff during an exchange.

Rounding out the three-meter diving, freshman Sydney Dusel (Naperville, Ill.) placed 12th (282.75), sophomore Kirsten Parkinson (Stamford, Conn.) was 29th (232.25) and junior Corey Johnson finished 30th (230.90).

In men’s diving, freshman Bryce Shelton (Vienna, Va.) finished 11th on the one-meter with a score of 289.80 and fellow freshman Samson Miller (Fairfax, Va.) placed 26th with a score of 254.80.

Tuesday’s (Feb. 14) events will feature the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, women’s one-meter diving and the 200 free relay. Prelims begin at 10 a.m. and finals are set to start at 6 p.m. and will be streamed live on the ACC Network Extra.


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Jeff White

Director of News Content

A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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