Women’s 200 Free Relay Finals
The North Carolina State Wolfpack were thrilled after day one of this meet, where they broke a maximum of three school records (two relays, plus a relay leadoff) and scored two third-place finishes.
But not so happy that they were willing to sit back and let the rest of the meet just happen as it would. They came out hot in the 200 free relay on Thursday evening and broke another School Record, and added an ACC Championship to their trophy case in 1:29.60. That makes them just the 11th team this season to go under 1:30 in that relay. Marifrances Henley, the record-breaker on Wednesday in the 200 freestyle, showed her impressive speed as well with the Wolfpack’s fastest split: a 22.13 on the 2nd leg.
This relay was not easily-won, however. Freshman Riki Bonnema was a 22.15 on their anchor to take them from third to first, running down both Florida State (1:29.76) and Virginia (1:29.82), with both of those teams front-loading their relays.
Other splits of note include a surprising 22.1 from Virginia’s Rachel Naurath, and a 22.0 from Florida State’s Kaitlyn Dressel.
Women’s 1-Meter Final
ACC diving is stacked this year, and that showed in this women’s 1-meter final, and that showed here where the top three scores were all 364 or better. It only took a 354 to win at NCAA’s last year; though it’s always hard to compare diving scores across meets, that should at least be an indicator that even if the judges were scoring high, this was an awesome competition.
The winner was Florida State’s Ariel Rittenhouse, a former USC Trojan. She bested Virginia Tech’s Kaylea Arnett 369.55-364.90 for the conference title: her first since coming to Florida State.
Miami’s Carrie Dragland was jut half-a-point back of Arnett with a 364.65, and another Miami diver Carrie Dragland took 3rd in 348.65.
Though Virginia did get a diver into the top 8, freshman Becca Corbett who is a part of the diving youth revolution for the Cavaliers, that was not enough to hold off Miami from taking the lead at this point of the meet, followed by Virginia Tech.
Women’s 500 Free Final
That temporary Miami lead would vaporize almost instantaneously in the 500 free, where Virginia bounded out to a monster lead that they won’t give back for the rest of this meet. They took the top three spots, with Kelly Offutt winning in 4:39.05 and Rachel Naurath taking 2nd in 4:41.66. Naurath was very good early, showing her improved speed this season; that was badly needed as her sophomore teammate Alison Haulsee closed very fast, in 55 seconds, for 3rd. Her final time was 4:41.81.
Florida State freshman Madison Jacobi was victim to that Haulsee finish; she took 4th by .04 seconds in 4:41.85.
Virginia’s Caroline Kenney also won the B-Final in 4:46.35. At this point, the UVA lead was already blossomed to 62 points. North Carolina took 6th and 7th in the A-Final with Danielle Siverling and Jackie Rudolph both not quite as fast as they were this morning; that started to dig them out of the big hole they were left in when they DQ’ed their 800 free relay.
Stephanie Peacock, who would have likely won this event for North Carolina, is absent from this meet. The official answer from the school is that “she is simply out for this meet,” without any word as to whether or not she will be available for NCAA’s.
Women’s 200 IM Final
Virginia doubled their lead on Virginia Tech with more domination in this 200 IM. They went 1-4, plus 6th, for a huge 81 point event. That was led by sophomore Ellen Williamson in 1:57.00. She was out in almost an identical split as this morning through 100 yards (54.25), but pushing her breaststroke and her freestyle even a little better took her to another new lifetime best.
Her teammate and classmate Shaun Casey was 2nd in 1;57.56, while a third Cavalier sophomore Sarah White added half-a-second from prelims to place 3rd in 1:58.03. Freshman Haley Durmer finished off the top-four sweep in 1:58.16.
Women’s 50 Free Final
Perhaps spurred on by her team’s momentum coming into the race, Virginia’s Lauren Perdue got off of the blocks well and took the early lead in this women’s 50 free. That was a good sign, after two lackluster sprint performances earlier in the day.
Florida State’s Tiffany Oliver, though, hit a nearly perfect turn, and came home to win this 50 free in 22.17 for her first individual ACC Championship. Lauren Perdue, who won this event as a freshman but never since, was 2nd in 22.29, while Duke junior Lauren Weaver was 3rd in 22.34 – a new school record for the Blue Devils.
NC State, coming off of their 200 free relay win, had two in this A-Final, with freshman Riki Bonnema touching 4th in 22.43. She was the only freshman in the A-Final. Miffy Henley was 6th in 22.68.
North Carolina had nobody in the A-Final, but they did have three freshman in the B-Final, giving bright hopes to the future of a depleted sprint group. That included Hannah Lincoln winning the B-heat in 22.69.
Women’s Team Standings
Virginia is clearly out in front, but the battle for 2nd shapes up to be a great one. Day 2 of this conference format is a great day for Florida State, with sprint events and diving, but they’ll need Rittenhouse to continue to perform if they want to hold off an en fuego NC State Team.
North Carolina has clawed their way back up to 6th after being 9th on day 1. Still, Florida State actually extended the margin on this day. With the 100 fly and 100 back on Friday, though, it should be a very good day for the Tar Heels; expect them to be right back in the thick of the battle.
1. Virginia 309
2. Florida State 177
3. North Carolina State 166
3. Virginia Tech 166
5. Miami 159
6. North Carolina 113
7. Duke 107
8. Georgia Tech 79
9. Boston College 62
10. Clemson (Diving only) 8