2016 ACC Women’s Championships
- Wednesday, February 17 – Saturday, February 20
- Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greenboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: Virginia (8x) (results)
- Psych sheets
- Live results
- Live Video (if available)
- Championship Central
- Fan Guide
The Virginia Cavaliers begin their quest for a 9th-straight ACC women’s swimming & diving title on Wednesday in Greensboro, Connecticut with the 200 medley and 800 free relays, along with the women’s 1-meter diving final.
Note that men’s diving competes during the women’s combined meet; we won’t report those diving results in our recaps, but will round them up after the meet’s conclusion.
Women’s 200 Medley Relay – Timed Final
- Louisville, 1:35.43
- Virginia, 1:35.57
- North Carolina State, 1:36.43
The women’s 200 medley relay was one of the most anticipated in the entire ACC women’s championship meet, with the Virginia and Louisville women both contenders for NCAA titles next month. The result lived up to the hype, with the Cardinals topping the Cavaliers by a margin of 1:35.43-1:35.57. Those times would’ve placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively, at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.
Both teams were dominant on their respective stars; Virginia got a huge lead on the opening leg with a 23.98 from Courtney Bartholomew in the 50 back, while Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell split 22.42 to make that margin back.
- Louisville splits: Alina Kendzior (24.78), Andee Cottrell (26.35), Kelsi Worrell (22.42), Mallory Comerford (21.88)
- Virginia splits: Courtney Bartholomew (23.98), Laura Simon (26.76), Ellen Thomas (22.99), Caitlin Cooper (21.84)
With both teams having matching freestyle anchors, that left the difference on whether Louisville’s All-America breaststroke Andee Cottrell could catch-up enough to Virginia All-America breaststroker Laura Simon to give her team a chance, and she did just that.
Other noteworthy splits was a 21.60 in the 50 free from North Carolina State anchor Riki Bonnema, and a 22.74 on the fly leg from North Carolina’s Hellen Moffitt.
The top 4 teams, including UNC in 1:37.04, earned NCAA Qualifying Standards.
Women’s 1 Meter Diving- Final
- Rachel Mumma, NC State: 331.85
- Wally Layland, Miami: 318.65
- Carolyn Chaney, Miami: 318.05
North Carolina State senior Rachel Mumma took the title in the women’s 1 meter, finishing at the top of the medal stand after fourth place finish last season. Her performance rocked the competition, coming in 23 points ahead of second place with 331.85.
Her win marks a comeback for the NC State’s women’s diving program: their first ACC title since 2010. Until recently, North Carolina’s dive program was much stronger, and historically they hold more total ACC diving titles than any other school. This win is the tenth 1 meter win in the history of the program to match ten 3 meter wins.
A pair of Miami underclassmen took the silver and bronze medals, scoring a total of 55 team points for the Hurricanes. Wally Layland, a sophomore, finished with 318.65 points and Carolyn Chaney, a freshman, scored 318.05.
Elisa Dawson of UNC (304.65), Meme Sharp of Pitt (296.70), Maria Lohman of UNC (290.95), Andrea Acquista of Lousiville (288.00), and Emma Gaboury of Notre Dame (271.50) rounded out the field. Sharp was the only other repeat-finalist from last season, after finishing 8th last year.
Women’s 800 Free Relay- Timed Final
The 800 free relay shaped up to be another exciting race all the way through the finish, when Jen Marrkand of the University of Virginia just outswam Natalie Labonge of North Carolina State to take the title and the ACC record.
The UVA team was the first in ACC Championships history to go under 7:00, clocking 6:59.98 to break their own ACC record from last season. North Carolina State also came in under the mark with 7:00.53, but they just weren’t fast enough. The relays would have placed 3rd and 4th at last year’s NCAA meet.
The old ACC record was a 7:00.93 set by Leah Smith, Hanne Borgerson, Kaitlyn Jones, and Cece Williams. Smith was the only returner to the relay this year.
The most exciting split of the race was a flat-start 1:43.15 from Leah Smith, which would have been quick enough for fourth place at NCAA Championships last year. And, with both Simone Manuel and Missy Franklin out of the picture this year, that leaves Stanford’s Lia Neal as Smith’s main competition going into the meet next month.
- Virginia splits: Leah Smith: 1:43.15, Megan Moroney: 1:45.96, Kaitlyn Jones: 1:45.31, Jen Marrkand: 1:45.56
- NC State splits: Rachel Muller: 1:44.61, Alexia Zevnik: 1:44.21, Michelle Craddock: 1:45.81, Natalie Labonge: 1:45.90
The fastest overall splits from the event came from Smith (flat: 1:43.15), Muller (flat: 1:44.61), Zevnik (1:44.21), and Louisville’s Abbie Houck (1:44.97).
Louisville’s Andrea Kneppers, Abbie Houck, Marah Pugh, and Mallory Comerfield finished third in 7:01.01.
Last year, the same top three teams took home the ACC medals. Last season’s Virginia team finished ninth at NCAAs with 7:03.79.
The top five teams, Virginia, NC State, Louisville, and the University of North Carolina (7:05.23), came in under the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 7:06.77. Smith was the sole first swimmer to hit the individual ‘A’ cut in the 200 free, a 1:43.82.
Team Scores After Day 1
- Miami – 155
- North Carolina – 154
- Louisville – 146.5
- NC State – 142
- Virginia – 140
- Notre Dame – 138
- Duke – 118
- Virginia Tech – 101
- Pitt – 99
- Florida State – 95
- Georgia Tech – 85.5
- Boston College – 60
- Clemson – 28