The Virginia women should win this meet running away, but they weren’t the stars of the show on night 1. The first day of action at the 2013 Women’s ACC Swimming & Diving Championship featured an incredible medley relay battle between the top five teams that probably didn’t go just as anyone expected it. We saw a big DQ in either relay that will drastically alter the final team standings. Relays aren’t always hugely significant at conference championship meets, unless you DQ. For top teams, that eliminates a near-guaranteed 30+ points.
Women’s 200 Medley Relay Final
This relay came down to a final touch between five different teams, but at the end it was a surprising victory for Virginia Tech’s quartet of Sabrina Benson, Alyssa Bodin, Heather Savage, and Katarina Filova who took the win in 1:38.30. Other than Savage (who split 23.00 on the butterfly), that’s a largely unknown group of swimmers, but all four legs being on their game was enough for the victory.
They just out-touched Florida State by .01 seconds, but the Seminoles were DQ’ed – erasing a School Record off of the books. That’s a heartbreaking turnaround to what could have been a big momentum-builder. Of note, Tiffany Oliver split 21.69 on their anchor.
The disqualification left Miami, with a 22.84 butterfly leg from Lucy Worrall, with second-place points in 1:38.45. North Carolina State was another tenth behind them in 1:38.52, followed by the defending meet champions from Virginia in 1:38.70. Virginia’s saving grace from that 4th-place finish will be that they didn’t have to use their Olympian and superstar Lauren Perdue to get it, and still got a very solid 22.02 anchor from Emily Lloyd. That should pay off later in the meet.
Note: Official results showed that Virginia had an early departure as well, by .18. But, as the Florida State Twitter account pointed out, because it was outside of .09 seconds, it needed an official to call for a DQ as well, which it did not have, so the Cavaliers were safe.
Women’s 800 Free Relay Final
The Virginia women ran away with this 800 free relay with a very strong 7:01.56: a new ACC Record, clearing the 2011 mark that they also held at 7:03.00. This relay was bookended by the same two swimmers who bookended the old record: Rachel Naurath leading off in 1:45.21, and Lauren Perdue anchoring in 1:43.62. That Virginia relay is really good, but this result really highlights just how good the SEC meet is out in Texas this year: four SEC teams were better than that time on Tuesday night.
Just like in the 200 medley, we saw a big relay disqualification shake up the standings in this race. North Carolina touched 2nd, but were disqualified for an early start, despite being three seconds clear of the new runner-up Florida State (7:08.84).
That bumped North Carolina State, who this season has already seen the school’s three fastest 200 freestyles go off, up to third in 7:11.99. Not surprisingly, that’s their school record by roughly three seconds, as they continue to just destroy their school records time-after-time for the last 12 months. Miami was very good again, swimming out of the slower heat for 4th in 7:17.60.
Team Standings after Day 1
With no diving on night 1 of this meet, there’s nothing really to break up the top teams, other than those DQ’s. Virginia’s balanced approach, saving Perdue, still sees them in the lead after night 1, with Virginia Tech close at their heels. Night 2, where we really see some points going in, could be very interesting as Florida State and North Carolina now play catchup.
1. Virginia, University of 70
2. Virginia Tech 66
3. University of Miami (Fl) 64
3. North Carolina State 64
5. Georgia Tech 52
5. Duke University 52
7. Boston College 44
8. Florida State University 34
9. University of North Carolina 26