CHAPEL HILL, NC, November 5. AFTER a two-day dual meet at UNC's Koury Natatorium that concluded Saturday, the 15th ranked North Carolina women's swimming and diving team emerged victorious over 16th ranked Michigan. The final score was 238-132 in favor of Coach Frank Comfort's Lady 'Heels, defending ACC champs.
UNC's 24th ranked men fell to No. 5-ranked and double-defending Big 10 champs Minnesota, 257-110. Both UNC's men and women competed against Harvard, but only as a scrimmage.
The UNC women swept the 400 individual medley against the Gophers with junior Becky Acker touching first in 4:23.33, Whitney Smith followed closely in 4:23.42 and Kathleen Quinn finished in 4:24.93.
Smith, a junior from Richmond, VA, swam a career-best to win the 500-yard freestyle in 4:53.21. Senior Laura Collier won the 200 yard back with her 2:02.62, the fifth fastest time in UNC history. Collier's pr is 1:59.63, done at the ACC Championships two years ago at Koury.
The Carolina and ACC record is 1:58.223 by Summer Mack that won her the conference title in 2000.
Junior Eric Poitras won the men's diving competition with a score of 321.85. Sean Quinn placed second in the 200 breaststroke, finishing eight hundredths behind Minnesota's Jeff Hackler with a time of 2:00.75. Hackler's pr is 1:56.25 from last year's NCAAs, making him No. 2 on the all-time Golden Gopher list to teammate Martin Gustavsson — a Swedish Olympian — whose pr/school-rcord is 1:56.04, also from the '01 NCAAs at College Station.
Quinn's pr/UNC record is 1:56.39 from this year's ACCs at Maryland. As a senior he'll try and go out on top by breaking the conference record of 1:54.79 by Virginia's Gary Marshall, also from the meet at College Park last February. Of course Marshall, whose time ranks him 11th-fastest (perforamnces) and sixth on the all-time performers' list, may have a few ideas of his own — like perhaps winning NCAAs and breaking the American-collegiate record held by Texas' Brendan Hansen (1:52.88 — only sub 1:53.0 clocking ever).
UNC senior Stephen Mohr swam the 400 individual medley in 3:59.17, his pr, against Minnesota.
Other notable wins by UNC women were in the 200 yard freestyle relay, where the team of Christy Watkins, Jessi Perruquet, Meghan Nystrand and Jessie Brosch clocked 1:34.44; the 400 yard freestyle relay, where the 'Heels' foursome of Kelly Weeks, Jessi Perruquet, Virginia Hanson and Leila Martin finished first in 3:29.25. Senior Christy Watkins was second (50.97) in the 100 freestyle.
Watkins won the ACC 50 free last season with a pr 22.45, just .05 off the Carolina and ACC record of 22.40 by Richelle Fox from the mid-'90s. Then known as Richelle Depold, she's now married to former North Carolina State sprint star David Fox, who won the NCAA 50 as a senior for the Wolfpack in '93 at Indianapolis.
Mme. Fox's 100 pr (48.89) is also the UNC record, and that is .05 off the ACC standard of 48.84 by Clemson's Mitzi Kremer, '89 NCAA 200 free champ. In addition to his national-collegiate title, David Fox swam on the United States' gold-medal-winning 400 free at the Atlanta Olympics.
– Bill Bell