DURHAM, North Carolina, December 1. THE North Carolina Tar Heels travelled north to Durham and came away with a sweep of the Blue Devils in both teams’ final dual meet action of the season. On the women’s side, the ninth-ranked Tar Heels triumphed 157-234, while the 16th-ranked men won 172-120 as Duke celebrated its senior day.
Speaking after the win, North Carolina coach Rick DeSelm told Swimming World, “Coming off last night, we swam NC State at home, our senior night; [it was] pretty emotional. We got two nice wins out of that, so we used this as a challenge to rehearse… having to get up and be ready to go early the next morning. Everything was off what we were last night and last week against Virginia, but we focused on splitting our races well, having good relay exchanges, staying focused, so overall it was good.”
Meanwhile, Duke coach Dan Colella spoke of the challenge of facing tough ranked squads such as those from Chapel Hill. “They have a tremendous amount of depth, and I felt like we did what we wanted to do. We won some events. Several years ago they would just [finish] 1-2-3 in all the events, and to be able to win some events is really important as we continue to push, and our ultimate goal in the future is that we’re not going into the meet with the idea of just competing but the idea of winning.”
Catherine Hulsey led the way for North Carolina with a sweep of the women’s 500 (4:59.15) and 1000 free (10:12.74), while Danielle Siverling took the win in the 200 free in 1:48.90. UNC took both relays, but neither came easy after a pair of competitive finishes. Carly Smith, Katherine Rechsteiner, Cari Blalock, and Allyn Hardesty took the win in the 400 medley in 3:46.12, while Hardesty, Sarah Hitchens, Hannah Lincoln, and Siverling edged out Duke in the 200 free, 1:33.71 to 1:33.94.
Erin Purdy swept the one and three-meter diving events for the Tar Heels, while Smith took top honors the 100 back (55.48), while Emma Nunn won the in the 200 fly (2:01.13).
Christine Wixted and Emily Barber dominated the breaststroke events for the Blue Devils. Wixted won the 100 breast (1:03.18), 200 breast, (2:18.23), and 200 IM (2:07.81), while Barber came in second in both the 100 (1:03.76) and 200 breast (2:18.79). Freshman Maddie Rusch also doubled up, winning both the 100 free (51.13) and 100 fly (55.95). Lauren Weaver won the 50 free in 23.14, while Liza Bragg used a huge final 50 to edge out Hitchens in the 200 back, 2:04.07 to 2:04.10.
On the men’s side, Dominick Glavich paced UNC with wins in the 200 free (1:40.27) and 100 fly (49.49). Teammate Eugene Tee won the 1000 free (9:45.90) and 200 IM (1:54.70), while Patrick Myers earned first place in both the 200 fly (1:50.36) and 200 back (1:48.16). Other event winners for UNC included Brad Dillon in the 100 back (50.05), Logan Heck in the 100 free (45.92), Matthew Conway in the 500 free (4:37.70), and Nic Graesser, who touched out teammate Sam Lewis for the 50 free win, 21.12 to 21.14.
The Tar Heels finished 1-2 in both relays. The team of Dillon, David Speese, Ben Colley, and Chris Gondek won the 400 medley relay in 3:21.54, while Dillon, Gondek, Kyle Ficker, and Glavich won the 200 free relay to end the meet in 1:23.22.
For Duke, Hunter Knight doubled up with wins in the 100 (55.76) and 200 breast (2:02.48), while Nick McCrory swept the one and three-meter diving competitions. McCrory, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the synchro platform event, posted pool records in both events, including a Duke school record score of 519.00 points in the three-meter.