By Jan Allen
The 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference men’s swimming and diving championship meet began Wednesday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta. After a win in the 200-yard medley relay and a bronze medal finish in the 800 free relay, the Clemson Tigers walked out of the building after day one tied for first with 72 points with the University of Virginia Cavaliers, the ACC defending champions. UNC has 68 points.
“We are real excited about that one,” Clemson head coach Christopher Ip said of the winning medley. “What a great way to start off the meet for our team. The goal was to get this relay to NCAAs.” The win was the first ever for Clemson in that event in ACC championship history.
The Tiger team of Chris Dart, Mark Schindler, Seth Broster and Eric Bruck smashed the old Clemson school record by two seconds, turning in a 1:26.34, just .16 ahead of the University of North Carolina who finished with a 1:26.50. Both of those teams are less than a second off of the NCAA automatic cut. The same four from UNC (Josh Hafkin, Vinny Pryor, Tommy Wyher, and Steve Cebertowicz) won the event last year with a 1:26.63. The University of Virginia’s team of Jack Murfee, Taylor Grey, Peter Geissinger, and Tom Barrett finished third with a 1:27.48.
In the 800 free relay, UVA’s Matt McLean, Taylor Smith, David Karasek and Scot Robison won by over seven seconds, touching the wall with a 6:16.75, defending the team’s 800 free title from last year, decimating the NCAA automatic time. The four split 1:34, 1:35, 1:34, and 1:33, respectively.
UNC’s Evan Reed, Tom Luchsinger, JT Stilley, and Tyler Harris took second with a 6:24.07, just off the A cut. Clemson’s David Gordon (SR), Chris Reinke (JR), Lucas Gerotto (FR), and Chris Dart (JR) swam in the first heat and earned the bronze medal from there with a time of 6:30.37. Florida State was fourth with a 6:30.73.
In the three men’s diving events held last week during the women’s competition, Florida State amassed 156 points. Virginia Tech earned 114 points, Duke had 79, Georgia Tech scored 46 points, UNC had 36, and UVA had 18. The three events are 1- and 3-meter springboard and platform, and the first set of points will factor in at Event 6 tomorrow evening.
Team scoring at the end of Day One is as follows: Clemson 72, UVA 72, UNC 68, FSU 56, VA Tech 54, NC State 50, GA Tech 50, Duke 46, Maryland 40, and Boston College 28.