CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina, September 11. TAR Heel alumnus Chip Peterson is working his way up the open water swimming ranks, and has earned a big coaching promotion as well, named volunteer assistant coach for the University of North Carolina swim team today.
Peterson was a standout open water swimmer in his teen years, capturing the gold medal in the 10-kilometer swim at the 2005 world championships, as well as silver in the 5K. He capped that off with a national title in the 1500 freestyle at the 2005 nationals.
Peterson continued to excel in the pool and open water when he arrived at Chapel Hill, taking All-American honors in distance events at the NCAA championships and winning the 2007 Pan American gold medal in the 1500 free and silver in the 10K. He would go on to claim the 10K swim at the Pan Pacific championships in Long Beach, California.
Peterson’s success was derailed shortly after Pan Pacs with an illness that affected his ability to train for a spot on the Olympic team. He took time away from the water for part of 2011, but has been racing again with ever-increasing success. He placed sixth in the 10K and eighth in the 5K at this summer’s national championships, earning a spot on the USA Swimming national team for the first time in three years.
“We are elated to announce that Chip Peterson will serve as a volunteer swimming coach with us at North Carolina,” Peterson’s longtime coach Rich DeSelm said. “Chip was a highly accomplished member of the UNC team, excelling in the classroom and pool. He is currently on the USA Swimming National Open Water team and earned many accolades both prior to arriving at UNC as a freshman in 2006 and during his highly successful career at UNC. Our swimmers will definitely benefit from Chip’s input.”