CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina, November 1. LOUISVILLE sprinters Caryle Blondell and Joao de Lucca put on a clinic today at the first half of a dual meet against the North Carolina Tar Heels, posting the first swims under 44 seconds this season in the 100 freestyle.
Despite the swims by Blondell and de Lucca, the Louisville men’s team is two points behind North Carolina after the first of two days of competition. After nine events, the Tar Heel men lead 83-81, with the UNC women enjoying a much more comfortable cushion with a score of 100-67 over Louisville.
Blondell posted his first win of the season over teammate de Lucca — maybe his first ever over the NCAA champion — with a 43.85 to win the 100 free today. De Lucca wasn’t far off, posting a blazing 43.91 to give the Cardinals the two fastest times in the nation so far this season.
De Lucca’s credentials as a 100 freestyler are pretty much well-known. He was third in the 100 free at this past season’s NCAA championships with a 42.27 a day after winning the 200 free in 1:31.51, the third-fastest performance in history. As for Blondell, he’s making his name known this season with consistently fast swims. The native of Trinidad was 14th in the 100 free with a 43.31, though he holds a lifetime best of 42.93 from a relay leadoff. These two were instrumental in getting Louisville into the NCAA final in the 400 free relay, and could make the Cardinals a contender for a top-three finish with the two showing in-season improvements of nearly one second over last year.
Tanja Kylliainen, who posted a remarkable 200 fly-200 IM double at the SMU Classic, won the same two events today — with decidedly more rest. She took the 200 IM with a 1:59.92, then won the 200 fly 10 races later with a 1:56.90. Though not as fast as what she swam at the SMU Classic, both present solid swims considering that at the SMU Classic, she wore a high-tech racing suit, as compared to the “normal” suits worn in dual meets.
Did Stephanie Peacock know that Elizabeth Beisel and Lindsay Vrooman had put up amazing times in the 1000 free earlier today? Whether or not she was aware, she only raced the 500 free today, putting up a 4:42.12 that portends a promising swim tomorrow in the 1000 free. It beats her previous season best by four tenths, which keeps her second in the nation behind Vrooman’s 4:38.11 from the SMU Classic, where Peacock also swam her season best. The 500 free was the only women’s event where a school took the top three spots. Behind Peacock were Emma Nunn with a 4:49.19 and Danielle Silverling with a 4:50.25.
Also posting a 1-2-3 sweep were the Tar Heel men in the 200 fly. Dominick Glavich led the way with a 1:45.76, three tenths slower than his season best that holds him fourth in the nation after today’s swims at the Georgia-Florida dual meet. Taking second and third were Ben Colley (1:49.15) and Matthew Conway (1:49.66) to keep the Tar Heels in command of the meet.
Another impressive swim came from Louisville freshman Grigory Tarasevich, who posted a 1:45.90 to win the men’s 200 back and jump up into the top 10 nationally.
Click the link below for complete results from day one’s competition.