By Nancy Worley, University of Louisville Staff Report
The University of Louisville women’s swimming and diving picked up two more gold medals and Cardinal star, Kelsi Worrell, was named the ACC Most Valuable Swimmer after the fourth and final night of competition at the ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
“It was another day of great performances with two more school records, an ACC record, and two ACC titles, including our first ACC diving title in Platform,” said UofL coach Arthur Albiero. “Even though the final team scores did not break out way, I am proud of how we performed all week. We learned a bit more about our team, and that will help us for NCAAs.”
But it was the Cavaliers of Virginia who won the team crown, winning 10 of the 21 events event championships – eight individuals and two relays – and a total of 18 medals en route to the victory, the 14th overall in program history. The title is third straight under current head coach Augie Busch. Fourteen new marks were set on the week: two NCAA, six ACC, and six meet records. Louisville and Virginia each set six and NC State added two.
Virginia finished the meet with 1332.5 points in first place. NC State came in second with 1178 points, the highest finish for the Wolfpack since 1982. North Carolina placed third with 1080 points, followed by Louisville (1059.5), Virginia Tech (705), Duke (642.5), Notre Dame (537.5), Miami (502.5), Florida State (444.5), Pitt (425), Georgia Tech (356), Boston College (152), and Clemson (86).
Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell was voted her as the 2016 ACC Championship Most Valuable Women’s Swimmer by the ACC coaches after winning five medals – including four gold – and setting four records in the process.
“It’s so special,” said Worrell on winning the award. “It doesn’t just represent that I’ve done but that of our whole team. I’m just so proud of where we have come from. To have won it two years in a row for Louisville with Tanya [Kylliainen] winning last year – to keep that in our name is so special.”
In the first event, Virginia’s Leah Smith set the NCAA, ACC, and meet record in the 1650 freestyle tonight, clocking a 15:25.30 to break Brittany Maclean’s 15:27.84 set in 2014. She dropped more than nine seconds of her previous best time of 15:34.46 from last year’s NCAA championships. Uofl’s Marah Pugh took 10th place in 16:33.20. Freshman Emily Moser was14th in 16:40.59.
In the 200-back, freshman Alina Kendzior touched in eighth in the A Final, boarding a time of 1:56.25. Ashley LeClair dropped more than a second from her preliminary time to get the win in the B Final with a 1:55.18. Hannah Magnuson finished seventh in 1:57.46 in that heat.
Louisville star, Kelsi Worrell, set a new meet and conference record in the women’s 100 free. Her time of 47.30 shaved time off her record from this morning, and put her on back top of the podium tonight. Her freshman teammate Mallory Comerford made it a Louisville 1-2 sweep, swimming a personal best 48.31 to win the silver medal. Louisville’s Andrea Kneppers also cut time from her prelim to get the fifth place in the 100 for C final in 49.90.
Virginia’s Laura Simon brought home the ACC championship title in the 200 breast. Simon touched the wall in 2:06.86 to secure the gold. Louisville’s Andrea Cottrell was also under the 2:10 barrier to take home the silver as she took 2nd place with a 2:07.42. Louisville freshman Rachael Bradford Feldman touched fifth in 2:11.55 for a new personal best. Her teammate Lauren James tied for second in the B Final in 2:13.30, dropping 0.6 from her morning time for a personal best time. In the C- final, Lucy Kramer took the fifth place in 2:16.75, and Manuela Sampaio was seventh in 2:17.31.
In the 200-fly, UVAs Kaitlyn Jones posted a 1:54.65 to earn the gold. Abbie Houck touched in 6th position in the 200 Fly A Final in 1:57.08. UofL’s Devon Bibault finished 3rd in the C-Final in 2:00.15 dropping 2.5 seconds.
Diver Andrea Acquista pulled the upset of the meet when she won the platform diving with a score of 318.15 and Miami’s Wally Layland (300.80) and Duke’s Maryellen Targnoski (286.85). Favorite Elisa Dawson of UNC, fell out of medal contention and finished fourth with 265.40. Senior Mady Ingmire was 11th with 238 points.
Miami’s Wally Layland was voted as the 2016 ACC Championship Most Valuable Women’s diver by the league’s head coaches. The sophomore finished second in the 1-meter, seventh in the 3-meter, and second on the platform to earn 79 points for the Hurricanes.
On the men’s side, Georgia Tech’s Brad Homza was fourth in the 1-meter, sixth on the 3-meter, and closed out the meet with a gold medal on the platform. UofL’s Sean Piner finished 19th on the platform (10m) diving competition with 286 points. Dan Fecteau is 24th with 267 points.
In the final event of the evening the 400-free relay, the fastest split of any relay belonged to Kelsi Worrell, who swam the leadoff leg, tying her meet and conference record of 47.30 set earlier in the session. The Louisville foursome of Kelsi Worrell (47.30), Abbie Houck (49.67), Andrea Kneppers (49.44) and Alex Sellers (49.18) touched fourth with a time of 3:15.59.