March 2, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C.—The Virginia men’s swimming and diving captured its sixth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Saturday night (March 2) at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C. It is the Cavaliers’ 14th ACC title in the last 15 years.
UVa finished with 759.5 points, followed by Virginia Tech (597), North Carolina (549), Florida State (534), NC State (481), Georgia Tech (269.5), Duke (268), Boston College (120) and Miami (13 – diving only).
“This one feels really good mainly because of the chemistry our guys have developed over the last 365 days,” UVa head coach Mark Bernardino said. “They’re a very special team to me. I can’t say enough about their character and work ethic; they came to practice every day with a positive attitude. They’re not a team of superstars, they are just a flat-out awesome team.
“We pride ourselves on being a consistently good team. Our swimmers work hard every day to make each other better and that’s makes a team with strong, strong depth. Teams can come at us in waves, but we can respond because of our depth and character.”
“We didn’t come into this year thinking about individual achievements, it was about being a cohesive unit and winning that sixth straight title,” senior Tom Barrett said. “I’ve never been a part of a team like this and I’m going to miss it.”
Virginia becomes the first ACC school to win both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving titles six consecutive years.
With this title, Bernardino now has 27 ACC Championships, passing Frank Comfort of North Carolina for most ACC swimming and diving championships. This is also Bernardino’s 16th men’s title, which passes Don Easterling of NC State for the most ACC men’s swimming and diving crowns. He also has 11 women’s titles, which is second-most in the conference.
Bernardino, who is in his 35th year at Virginia as head coach, now sits in fourth place in ACC history for coaching titles in any sport, behind only track and field/cross country coaches Dennis Craddock (40 for UNC and Virginia), Rollie Geiger (40 for NC State) and Jim Kehoe (38 for Maryland).
In the 1,650 free, junior Jan Daniec claimed gold in a time of 14:53.48, the sixth-fastest mark in UVa history. Classmate Brad Phillips was fourth in 15:04.82, while freshman Chris Webb was fifth in 15:05.97. Junior Jonathan Buerger placed 13th after recording a time of 15:30.21 in the early heats.
“It means so much (to win) because UVa has such a tradition of winning this event with guys like Fran (Crippen) and Matt (McLean),” Daniec said. “I’m just happy to win the event for the team.”
Junior Taylor Grey won the 200 breast in a time of 1:55.68, while freshman Yannick Kaeser earned bronze in 1:57.32. Grey's prelim time of 1:54.89 ranks fourth all-time at UVa, while Kaeser's prelim swim of 1:56.98 is eighth. In the consolation final, senior Nick Montes de Oca placed seventh in 2:00.82.
Barrett tied for second in the 100 free in 43.04, the third-fastest mark on UVa's all-time list.
Sophomore Charlie Rommel placed fifth in the consolation final in 44.44. His prelim time of 44.36 in the morning ranks ninth in UVa's record book.
The 400 free relay of Barrett, Rommel, Camp and freshman Nick Alexiou finished fourth in 2:55.45, the fifth-fastest time in school history.
Next up, the Cavalier divers will head to the NCAA Zone Diving Championships in Christiansburg, Va., March 15-17. The women’s NCAA Championships will be contested March 21-23, while the men’s national meet is March 28-30. Both meets will be held in Indianapolis, Ind.
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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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