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Cari Blalock earns All-ACC honors in swimming

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CHRISTIANSBURG,VA (news release from ACC) -- Behind six podium finishes in four races, the Virginia Cavaliers increased the lead at the 2012 ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships Thursday at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.

Through two days of events, Virginia leads with 311 points. North Carolina is second with 197, and Florida State sits in third with 166. Miami and Virginia Tech are tied for fourth place with 130 points. Maryland (118), Georgia Tech (105.5), NC State (96.5), Duke (86), Clemson (73), and Boston College (36) round out the field.

Virginia Tech freshman Kalyea Arnett won the first event of the day, scoring a career-best 348.90 in the women’s one-meter diving final and picking up 20 points for the Hokies. Florida State’s Ariel Rittenhouse (325.40) and Miami’s Thea Vock (318.55) also earned podium spots.

The Virginia 200-yard freestyle relay team of Lauren Perdue, Meredith Cavalier, Kelly Flynn, and Emily Lloyd finished in 1.29.95, the fourth fastest time in school history. The win was the fourth straight in the event for the Cavaliers and made Virginia a perfect three-for-three in relay events in the first two days of the championship. The Maryland squad touched the wall in 1:30.02, and NC State set a new school record with a 1:30.61 finish.

North Carolina sophomore Stephanie Peacock defended her 500-yard freestyle title from last year with a finish of 4:36.48 to grab the first win of the week for the Tar Heels. The time broke the meet record that she set last year and was an NCAA ‘A’ qualifying time. Virginia Cavaliers took up the other two spots on the podium with a second-place finish by sophomore Rachel Naurath and freshman Alison Haulsee grabbing third place.

Two Virginia freshmen – Sarah White and Ellen Williamson – finished one-two in the third final of the night and earned the Cavaliers 37 points. White’s time of 1:57.74 in the 200-yard individual medley ranks as the third-fastest in Virginia history, just edging out Williamson’s 1:57.79, the fourth-best. North Carolina sophomore Cari Blalock earned the bronze medal and All-ACC honors with a third-place finish.

In the final event of the night, Miami senior Kelsi Hall won the 50-yard freestyle in a career-best 22.03. Lauren Perdue, the 2010 conference champion in the same event, came in second in 22.17, while Maryland junior Megan Lafferty touched the wall in third in 22.50.

In men’s diving action on Thursday night, Logan Shinholser took home only the second diving title in Virginia Tech history and first ever on a springboard by winning the three-meter men’s championship with a career-best score of 435.40. Shinholser took home the school’s first diving title last year when he won the platform.

The championship continues Friday at 11 a.m. with the 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and 100 backstroke preliminaries, with the finals in those events on Friday night at 7 p.m. The women’s three-meter diving prelims start 1 p.m. with the finals at 7 p.m. The men’s one-meter prelims are at 3:15 p.m. and the finals start at 5 p.m.

Live coverage of the finals on Friday and Saturday can be seen on theACC.com starting at 7 p.m. For more on the 2012 ACC Swimming and Diving Championships, head to the official website at http://www.theacc.com/championships/12-swimming-diving-championship.html.

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