CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina, November 16. THE North Carolina women took first place in three of the seven events of the Janis Hape Dowd Nike Cup Swimming and Diving Championships Friday, giving them a total of 723 points after the second day of competition. The men took first in one event, and finished in the top three in three others.
Behind the first-place Tar Heels is Virginia Tech with 633.50 points. Clemson is third with 444, Kentucky is fourth with 362, East Carolina is fifth with 236, Syracuse is sixth with 160 and Yale is seventh with 57.50.
On the men's side, Virginia Tech remains in first with 652 points. Clemson is second with 559 points. North Carolina is third with 502, Kentucky is fourth with 457, Yale is fifth with 229, Syracuse is sixth with 130 and East Carolina is seventh with 104.
Virginia Tech won the first event of the evening, the women's 200-yard medley relay, with a time of 1:41.39. The time was a Nike Cup record and also a "B" qualifying time for the 2008 NCAA Championships. The Hokies' team included Jordan McHorney, Jessica Botzum, Megan Newell and Sara Smith. Both teams from North Carolina placed in the top four. The team of Megan Steeves, Alison Clemens, Lindsey Marck and Kelsey Morrissy finished second with a time of 1:43.17. The Tar Heels' second relay team finished fourth behind Kentucky.
The Hokies continued their winning ways in the men's 200-yard medley relay, with a time of 1:29.76. Swimming for Virginia Tech were Scott Beard, Jake Bova, Ian deToll and Kaan Tayla. Kentucky took second place with a time of 1:30.52. The Tar Heels finished third with a season-best time of 1:30.62. The team included Josh Hafkin, Robby Swendiman, Tommy Wyher and Zach Swartz. The second North Carolina relay team finished seventh.
North Carolina's Alison Clemens won the women's 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:21.07. Clemens's time was a "B" qualifying time. Natalie Mazzetta from Syracuse finished second with a "B" qualifying time of 4:23.25. Virginia Tech's Allison Luttermoser rounded out the top three. UNC's Aubrette Biegel finished fourth with a time of 4:25.56, and fellow Tar Heel Taylor McFarlane finished sixth. Biegel, McFarlane and Lindsey McIlvain all posted season-best times.
UNC's Yi-Khy Saw took first place in the men's 400-yard individual medley with a season-best time of 3:56.33. Fellow Tar Heel Jason McLaughlin finished second with a time of 3:58.92, also a season best. Kentucky's Grant Nelson took third, followed by Clemson's Matt Angelini. North Carolina's Josef Kinderwater finished ninth with a time of 4:05.13, his best so far this season.
In the women's 100-yard butterfly, Virginia Tech's Megan Newell finished first with a "B" qualifying time of 54.48. Kentucky's Megan Pulskamp finished second with a time of 55.61. The Hokies' Sara Smith and Becky Horning finished third and fourth consecutively. UNC's Lindsey Marck finished sixth with a time of 56.43. Fellow Tar Heel Sarah Scott finished ninth, posting a season-best time.
Virginia Tech also took first place in the men's 100-yard butterfly, its fourth top finish of the day. Scott Beard finished with a Nike Cup record and "B" qualifying time of 47.57. Kentucky's Warren Grobbelaar finished second with a time of 48.64. North Carolina's Tommy Wyher took third with a time of 48.94, a season best. Clemson's Adam Farnham finished fourth.
North Carolina had six of the top eight finishers in the women's 200-yard freestyle. The Tar Heels' Whitney Sprague continued her domination of freestyle events taking first place with a season-best and "B" qualifying time of 1:48.36. Her teammate Kelsey Morrissy was the runner-up with a time of 1:48.45, also a season-best and "B" qualifying time. Eliza Butts took fourth with a "B" qualifying time of 1:49.21. Clemson's Michelle Parkhurst took third. UNC's Ashley Howard took fifth, Rebecca Kane sixth and Katura Harvey eighth.
Kentucky's Tyler Reed took first place in the men's 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:38.33. Fellow Wildcat Kyle Greene finished second. Clemson's Dan Mengering and Brian Possee took third and fourth. North Carolina's Philip Owen finished seventh with a season-best time of 1:40.97.
Virginia Tech's Jessica Botzum took first place in the women's 100-yard breaststroke with an "A" qualifying time of 1:01.84. Kentucky's Lindsay Myhre and Lindsey Graessle took second and third with "B" qualifying times. North Carolina's Alison Clemens finished fourth with a time of 1:04.20. Fellow Tar Heel Kathryn Marsh finished seventh with a season-best time of 1:04.56.
In the men's 100-yard breaststroke, Syracuse's Kuba Kotynia finished first with a time of 56.09. Clemson's Attila Ruszka, Eric Lane and Andy Bergren claimed second, third and fourth. UNC's Vinny Pryor finished seventh with a season-best time of 56.89, and Robby Swendiman finished ninth with a time of 58.32.
Clemson's Michelle Parkhurst took first place in the women's 100-yard backstroke with a "B" qualifying time of 54.53. North Carolina's Megan Steeves finished second with a time of 56.29. Virginia Tech's Jordan McHorney took third, and Catrina Roth of Syracuse took fourth. The Tar Heels' Ashley Howard finished sixth with a time of 56.81.
Yale had its first top finish of the evening in the men's 100-yard backstroke. Alex Righi had a "B" qualifying time of 48.15. Virginia Tech's Scott Beard took second with a "B" qualifying time of 48.59. Shane Eliason of Kentucky took third. North Carolina's Tommy Wyher took fourth with a season-best time of 49.20. Four other Tar Heel swimmers finished in the top nine with Josh Hafkin taking fifth, Keith Laabs sixth, Jeff James seventh and Zach Swartz ninth. All four Tar Heels posted season-best times.
The North Carolina women finished the evening on a high note, taking first and second place in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The team of Kelsey Morrissy, Eliza Butts, Katura Harvey and Whitney Sprague posted a season-best and "B" qualifying time of 7:21.34. The team of Megan Steeves, Rebecca Kane, Ashley Howard and Aubrette Biegel finished second with a time of 7:27.96. Kentucky took third, and Clemson took fourth.
Kentucky finished first in the last event of the evening, the men's 800-yard freestyle relay. The team of Tyler Reed, Warren Grobbelaar, Grant Nelson and Kyle Greene finished with a time of 6:41.53. The Wildcats also took third place, finishing right behind Virginia Tech. North Carolina finished fifth with a time of 6:47.14. Swimming for the Tar Heels were Jeff James, Alex Ismail, Robert Grimmett-Norris and Philip Owen.
Saturday is the last day of the invitational with preliminaries at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. at Koury Natatorium
Special thanks to UNC for contributing this report.