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Swimmers Finish Strong at UVa Invitational

Swimming, courtesy UVa Media RelationsFreshman Lauren Perdue set the Aquatic and Fitness Center pool record in the 100 free Saturday as the Cavalier swimming teams concluded the UVa Invitational.

Perdue won the 100 free, finishing with a time of 49.13. Then, in the final event of the night, she led off the 400 free relay with a split of 49.08 from the individual event.

"I was focused on breaking that record the whole meet," Perdue said. "It was exciting and I feel like I can still go faster. I was really pumped for the relay and it's awesome to get a best time."

Perdue's time broke an 11-year old record, set by Richelle Fox of North Carolina in 1998.

"Lauren had another outstanding evening," Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. "She broke the record of one of the ACC's all-time greatest swimmers in Richelle Fox. She probably doesn't even realize the historical significance of the record of such a great athlete she just took down."

For the three-day meet, the Cavalier women set three pool records. Junior Claire Crippen and the 800 freestyle relay team of Perdue, Jen Narum, Jenna Harris and Kristen Moores set marks on Friday.

"In the big picture, we had a good meet, across the board, for almost every swimmer on the team," Bernardino said. "We accomplished our minimal goals. I wish we could have been a little bit better, a little bit faster. That goes back to coaching and perhaps we didn't really give them enough true speed work leading up to the meet, and that was reflected more in the men's performances that the women's performances."

The 400 free relay team of Perdue, Mei Christensen, Moores and Kelly Flynn took first-place honors with an NCAA 'B' time of 3:19.35.

Virginia had their top five finishers accomplish NCAA 'B' cuts in the 1650 free, led by Narum's winning time of 16:26.36. She was followed by teammates Anne Summer Myers (16:26.36), Crippen (16:28.25), Katya Bachrouche (16:29.60) and Harris (16:29.74).

Christensen won the 200 back (1:55.11) and junior Liz Shaw took the 200 fly (1:56.84); both were NCAA 'B' times. Crippen placed second in the 200 fly with a time of 2:00.91.

The men's 400 free relay team of Scot Robison, John Azar, Peter Geissinger and McLean capped the meet with a winning time of 2:59.74, an NCAA 'B' mark.

Freshman Tom Casey also nabbed an NCAA 'B' cut in the 200 breast (1:59.44) to lead a 1-2-3 finish for the Cavalier men. Azar was second in 2:00.71 and Doug Eden placed third in 2:06.74.

The Cavaliers also went 1-2-3 in the 200 back, led by senior Daniel Johnson, who finished in 1:47.38. David Wren (1:48.49) and Matt Murray (1:51.02) placed second and third, respectively.

"To go 1-2-3 shows we are strong in that event," Johnson said. "It is something we need to be strong in and we can be because we have a great group of guys swimming that event."

Junior Taylor Smith paved the way in the 1650, clocking a winning time of 15:18.65, followed by classmate John Snawerdt (15:32.24). Both were NCAA 'B' cuts.

McLean went on to win the 200 fly (1:50.16) while teammate Matt Houser was second (1:50.83).

"We made some B cuts so we got those out of the way," Bernardino said. "We are going to go into exams and train consistently through the exam period. We have to keep training to the best of our abilities."

Both the Cavalier squads won the meet. The women finished with 1542 points, ahead of Kansas (799), West Chester (472), Washington and Lee (218) and American (207). The men earned 1561 points to place in front of West Chester (685), Washington and Lee (587) and American (245).

"All-in-all they can feel pretty good about what they accomplished this semester," Bernardino said. "Hopefully they can take this weekend and use it to move forward."

The Cavaliers are back in action Jan. 9 at home against Tennessee. The Virginia divers, who did not compete in the UVa Invitational, will head to the Georgia Diving Invitational Jan. 3-5 in Athens, Ga.

Courtesy VirginiaSports.com