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Women finish 8th at ACCs

Freshman Katie Ness broke three individual records and an all-freshman relay team toppled a 25-year-old school record as the women's swimming team finished eighth at the ACC championships held over three days at the Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill.

Beginning Thursday Ness broke school record in the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes. The freshman began by breaking the 200 mark with a time of 2:00.06; she then shattered the school 100-meter mark, leading off the 400 medley relay, crushing the old time by over a second.

The next day Ness continued, swimming to a Blue Devil record of 54.86 in the 100 butterfly.

Saturday she came within 11-hundreths of a second of breaking the school's 200 butterfly time.

Both backstrokes are NCAA B-cut as well as Senior National qualifying times; however, Ness missed the cut in the 200 fly.

All told, Ness finished second in the 100-meter backstroke, fourth in 100 and second in the 200 butterfly.

However it was the 400-meter freestyle relay team of Nora Stupp, Alison Sundberg, Julia Lewis and Ness that finished fifth in the competition, qualified for Senior Nationals and tore apart a 25-year old school record Saturday.

The Blue Devils also got impressive performances from juniors Lauren Cornet, Lauren Hancock and Amy Halligan.

Cornet qualified for the finals in both the 100 and 200 breastroke, while Hancock and Halligan both made the finals of the 100 and 200 butterflys.

Virginia won the meet with 710 points--101 more than its next closest competitor, North Carolina.

Those Blue Devils who qualified will now move on to the NCAA championships March 20-22 at Auburn. The men's team, meanwhile, will compete in the ACC this weekend.

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