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The Daily Tar Heel
Women's Swimming Takes Lead in ACCs

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The North Carolina women's swimming and diving team took the lead after one day of competition at the ACC Championships at Virginia on Thursday.

The defending ACC champion Tar Heels, No. 8 in the nation, lead all teams with 247 points, followed by Virginia in second place with 210 points. Maryland is third with 153 points, while Florida State is fourth with 139 points.

North Carolina finished second in the 200-yard freestyle relay to Maryland in 1:31.74. The Tar Heels' effort was a school record in the event as Erika Acuff, Jessi Perruquet, Summer Mack and Christy Watkins went one-tenth of a second faster than UNC did at last year ACC Championships.

The Tar Heels' Jessi Perruquet was third in the 500 free with a time of 4:48.05. UNC also took the 5-6-7 spots in the event as Kelly Weeks, Molly Sullivan and Melissa Fiss turned in times of 4:51.61, 4:52.50 and 4:52.79, respectively.

Acuff set a new ACC record, ACC meet record and pool record as she won the 200-yard individual medley in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:59.88. Acuff broke her own records of 2:00.36 (ACC) and 2:01.55 (UVa pool). UNC's Katie Hathaway finished third in 2:00.92.

In the 50-yard free, UNC's Christy Watkins edged out Maryland's Suzy Catterson to earn her second straight ACC Championship. Watkins set a UVa. pool record of 22.74 seconds, an NCAA automatic qualifying time.

UNC diver Ashley Benner was 10th in the one-meter competition with 223.6 points.

In the night's final event, UNC beat Clemson in the 400-yard medley relay. Tar Heel swimmers Christy Watkins, Katie Hathaway, Summer Mack and Jessi Perruquet won in a time of 3:43.39.

The meet continues today with prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 7 p.m.

Indoor Track Competes At ACC Championship

The University of North Carolina track team will compete in the ACC Indoor Championships in Blacksburg, Va. this weekend. The meet begins Friday at 11 a.m. and concludes Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

The UNC women enter the weekend as the defending champion. UNC won last season's crown by 30 points, distancing Florida State 158-128. The women have won eight straight ACC Championships and 12 of the last 14.

The men have been edged out of the ACC title for the past four seasons, placing second each year. Last season, they finished second with 89 points behind Clemson with 168. The men's last ACC title came in 1996.

Several UNC athletes are looking to defend their individual championships from last season. Trish Nervo is the defending champion in the 3,000-meter run, and Ola Sesay is the defending champion in the long jump. Ian Douglas and Brent Callaway return as defending champions in the shot put and the pole vault.

Joy Ganes, currently ranked first in the conference with a NCAA provisional leap of 6 feet, is a three-time defending champion in the high jump. Ganes would become the second female track athlete to sweep an individual event at the ACCs if she captured gold this weekend.

Lutisha Shittu holds the top spot in the ACC in the 60-meter hurdles with an NCAA provisional time of 8.42.

Jeff Ellis has held the top spot in the 800 meters throughout the season with a time of 1:51.30. Ian Douglas is first in the conference in the shot put with a provisional qualifying throw of 59 9.

Baseball Travels to Face Top Teams in Alabama

The North Carolina baseball team

(4-0) travels to Mobile, Ala., today for this weekend's Coca-Cola Classic at South Alabama.

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The Tar Heels face South Alabama on Friday at 6 p.m., Auburn on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and Minnesota on Sunday at 11 a.m. UNC's pitching rotation is still to be determined.

Of North Carolina's three weekend opponents, the only team UNC has previously faced is Auburn. The Tar Heels hold a 1-0-1 all-time record against the Tigers, having last played against one another at the 1978 South Regional at Auburn.

UNC won that game 3-2 en route to its third College World Series appearance in school history. The only other meeting between the two schools produced a 3-3 tie in 1923.