Virginia is running away with the ACC Women’s title, but if the country’s recruits are paying attention, their ACC counterparts might have some big recruiting classes on the way. The wins have been spread out among a lot of teams that are getting it done, including those meet leaders the Cavaliers, so even with the score being out of reach already, there’s still plenty of reasons to watch.
Women’s 400 Medley Relay Final
Virginia Tech completed a sweep of the medley relays on Friday night, albeit this one in much more comfortable fashion than the nail-biter 200 medley on Wednesday. With a 51.65 from All-American Heather Savage, the Hokies rushed to an NCAA automatic qualifying in 3:34.41. Savage was the only senior on that relay that should place at NCAA’s this season.
Virginia took 2nd in 3:35.58. They used freshman Natalie Martin on the breaststroke leg, where she split a 1:03.3, but the rest of the relay was lights-out. Freshman Courtney Bartholomew was a 52.30 on the backstroke leg, and Lauren Perdue anchored in 47.65. North Carolina State took 3rd in 3:36.45, with another amazing swim and a 48.3 anchor from Miffy Henley on the back-end.
Women’s 400 IM Final
Virginia has been dominant in this 400 IM in recent ACC memory, though in the early days of the conference it was the Tar Heel women who shone brightest. North Carolina’s Cari Blalock ended a run of 5 UVA titles in 6 years by taking the top spot in 4:08.48, using a great breaststroke leg to pull ahead of Virginia sophomore Shaun Casey (4:10.71).
Florida State’s Julia Henkel took 3rd in 4:12.39, with the rest of the field spacing back pretty far from there.
Women’s 100 Fly Final
Another great battle was shaping up in this women’s 100 fly final, like we saw from Virginia Tech’s Heather Savage and Miami’s Lucy Worrall in the preliminary rounds where both cleared the ACC Record.
The two turned nearly simultaneously again, but the veteran Savage came off of the midway turn with a vengeance. She was reaching just a few inches ahead on every stroke, and on the closing 25 yards started pulling away just enough to get a comfortable win in another new ACC Record of 51.78. Worrall was just a bit slower than her record-breaking swim in prelims with a 52.25 for 2nd place.
Virginia’s Ellen Williamson, choosing against the double on night 3, took 3rd in 52.79, while North Carolina freshman Hannah Lincoln was 4th in 53.27. North Carolina’s Katie Nolan is taking on this double, and though that cost her an A-Final in the 100 back, her 100 fly was stellar in 53.33.
Women’s 200 Free Final
Virginia’s Lauren Perdue once again turned on her jets big-time for the finals session, putting up a 1:43.88 to easily win the 200 free ACC Championship. She either eased off, or ran out of gas, on the last 50, which left her about two-tenths short of her season-best from the Ohio State Invite.
North Carolina’s Lauren Earp was 2nd in 1:45.22. She’s another piece of a great freshman freestyle group for the Tar Heels. Rachel Naurath had a good back-half to take 3rd in 1:45.74, just beating-out North Carolina’s Danielle Siverling in 1:45.88.
North Carolina State’s Marifrances Henley went out hard in 51.26. She didn’t hold on to that early speed, though ultimately the risk didn’t ultimately cost her much as she was 5th in 1:46.59.
Women’s 100 Breast Final
After Duke’s Christine Wixted put up a terrifying challenge in prelims of the 100 breaststroke by dipping under a minute, the defending champion, Miami senior Sofia Johansson, came out motivated in the final. Wixted put up another challenge coming hot off of the blocks, but this time Johansson responded, taking her way to a win in 1:00.03. Wixted still had the fastest time of the day, but in finals was a 1:00.49 for 2nd.
Virginia Tech’s Weron Paluszek, just a freshman, took 3rd in 1:00.78, followed closely by teammate Alyssa Bodin in 1:01.03. This is the one big weakness on the Virginia roster, as they didn’t have any scorers in the A-Final. That allowed Tech to cut the lead to under 200 points, likely for the last time in this meet.
Women’s 100 Back Final
With the way Virginia set up their lineup for this meet, they didn’t dominate the scoring quite as big as we’ve seen them in some events this week, but at the top-end, freshman Courtney Bartholomew was very fast in 52.25.
North Carolina’s Carly Smith, returning from an injury that cost her the 2011-2012 season, was 2nd in 53.05, while another relatively-unknown member of the North Carolina State team, Zina Grogg, was 3rd in 53.42.
The top 14 finishers in this race were all underclassmen.
Team Standings with 1 Night To Go
Virginia Tech has pulled ahead in what has become a back-and-forth-and-back-again battle for 2nd place.
1. Virginia, University of 560
2. Virginia Tech 348
3. Florida State University 340
4. North Carolina State Universit 322
5. University of Miami (Fl) 288
6. University of North Carolina 287
7. Duke University 174
8. Georgia Institute of Technolog 122
9. Boston College 80
10. Clemson University Diving Team 9