Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Men's ACC Championships

Conference championship season has arrived. The best college swimmers in the country have geared up for the pre-game show to the NCAA Championships. What’s that? The first bunch of conference championships already happened? Indeed; Florida ended the 16 year winning streak of the Auburn men at SEC, where Breeja Larson and the Georgia women set American records, and Marcelo Cherighini, Kyle Owens, and Elizabeth Beisel all ripped off fast swims. Virginia extended its winning streak to six at the women’s ACCs, and that’s just the beginning of it. This week features the women’s Pac-12 championships – a conference very likely to contain the eventual national champion, men’s Big-10 championships, and the Big-12 champs, or as I like to call the meet, the University of Texas time trials.

With big-time swimming on the horizon once again, the time has come for me to make a return to the deck. However, this time, I won’t be travelling halfway across the country by plane; instead, I get to go one-fifth of the way across the state of North Carolina by car to the men’s ACC Championships in Greensboro. I will be at the meet tweeting and writing daily event recaps for Swimming World and also helping out with the media for the Duke team, which already has some points on the board thanks to junior Olympian Nick McCrory’s sweep of the three diving events at the women’s meet last week.

Just like on the women’s side, UVA comes in having won five in a row, but this meet will be exciting, as always, with the likes of long-time rivals Virginia Tech and UNC looking to end that reign. I’d try to explain the competition, but I’d be better off sharing the words of a former UVA swimmer. “They say that the Cal-Stanford rivalry is the biggest in the swimming world, but I argue that that’s the west coast. On the east coast, UVA-UNC is the biggest rivalry in the country. I checked the results on Thursday (during the women’s meet), and UVA was in first place, and UNC was in last, and I couldn’t have been happier.”

As much as I hate to disturb my perception as an all-knowing swim geek, I really don’t know what will happen; I just want to see some awesome racing and competition. I’ll be in Greensboro for finals on tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday, and I’ll be writing full recaps of each finals session for Swimming World, and you can follow up-to-the-minute race results on my Twitter page. I’ll also be helping out with Duke Swimming and Diving’s coverage of the meet. Should be an awesome meet; the ACC may not be the SEC or the Pac-12, but there will be some speed in that building this weekend.

Greensboro Aquatic Center, home of the ACC Championships

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