Virginia Women Take 7 of Top 10 Spots in ACC 200 Free

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 9

February 16th, 2018 ACC, College, News

2018 WOMEN’S ACC Championships

In a single race, the 2018 ACC women’s swimming & diving championship went from “hotly contested” to “blown wide open” for the Virginia Cavaliers. After a big 4-in-the-top-8 result in the 50 free on Thursday, the Virginia women put 4 swimmers in the top 5 of the women’s 200 free, and 7 out of the top 10 finishers.

Scores before 200 free:

  1. Virginia – 520.5
  2. NC State – 513
  3. Louisville – 508.5

Scores after 200 free:

  1. Virginia – 685.5
  2. Louisville – 571.5
  3. NC State – 519

Virginia score 165 points in a single race (which, incidentally, is more than 2 teams had scored in the entire meet to that point). They more-or-less held that lead through the end of the session, going into Saturday with 112-point margin over meet favorites Louisville.

If Virginia wins this year’s ACC title, in the first year of head coach Todd DeSsorbo’s tenure, it would be their 10th conference title in 11 seasons – the lone exception being NC State’s win last season. If they do win, this 200 free will stand as the turning point where they opened up a 114-point lead on Louisville in spite of Louisville’s Mallory Comerford winning the race.

The Cavaliers have some good races on Saturday, and some weaker races. They have 2 of the top 3 seeds (and 4 of 6) in the 200 backstroke – all of whom are freshmen. They also have the top seed in the 200 fly (Jen Marrkand), and will have high hopes in the 100 free after their success in the 50 and the 200.

In the 200 breaststroke, however, Virginia’s top seed is 10th-place Mary Claire Tansill, whereas Louisville have the #4, #5, and #6 seeds.

The Cavaliers’ surge is the story-of-the-weekend for the women’s half of the NCAA as Division I conference meets get underway.

Cavaliers’ Finishers, Women’s 200 Yard Free:

2. Megan Moroney, So., 1:43.60
3. Eryn Eddy, Jr., 1:44.10
4. Jen Marrkand, Sr., 1:44.36
5. Kyla Valls, Fr., 1:44.56
8. Laine Reed, Sr., 1:45.66
9. Paige Madden, Fr., 1:44.00
10. Morgan Hill, Fr., 1:44.79

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3 years ago

Crazy depth! Can you imagine being the 5th 1:44 freestyler and NOT making the 800 free relay? !!

Reply to  Swimsquare
3 years ago

Seriously. Paige Madden and Taylor Hill who barely missed out on finals then went 1:44.0 and 1:44.7 at night to win the B Final. Incidentally they were both on the winning relay. Kyla Valls and Megan Moroney went 1:44.5 and 1:43.6 respectively and didn’t even swim the relay!

Joel Lin
3 years ago

Urbanchek always said you’re team is exactly as good as how many on it can put up a great 2 free. That event defines the mixture of speed & endurance that parlays into great team depth. He was right.

Reply to  Joel Lin
3 years ago

😀 There is another view exists that can be as much true as your is:
the 200 race is a consolation niche for those who doesn’t have neither speed nor endurance. It is a very tactical race that isn’t associated with any specific biological features like muscle fiber type or respiratory or endocrine system. In many cases it is an outskirts either of great sprinter or great long distance swimmer.

3 years ago

Not sure how they can have seven of the top ten when Michigan had three girls under 1:44.

Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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