ACC Weekly Recap: North Carolina Sweeps, Florida State & Virginia Draw Splits

alvin-jiang-north-carolina
Photo Courtesy: Jeffrey A. Camarti-UNC Athletics Communications

South Carolina vs. North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Koury Natatorium was brought to life Friday night as the North Carolina swimming and diving teams battled for the Carolina name against the South Carolina Gamecocks. With numerous event sweeps and standout performances, the Tar Heel women defeated No. 19 South Carolina, 157 to 143, and the men upset the favored Gamecocks, 159.50 to 140.50.

“I’m very pleased with tonight’s results,” UNC head swimming coach Rich DeSelm said. “More so with the team’s spirit and energy and enthusiasm. Some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. It’s something we’ve been talking about and working on and they came to swim and dive today. It was really awesome to see. Very, very proud of them.”

Though the Tar Heels led at each break, the Gamecocks certainly made them work for the win. UNC’s men led by just one point at the first intermission and the women held just a six point through 22 events. In thrilling fashion, the teams secured the wins in the final two relay events with the men snatching first and second place and the women second and third.

A promising sign for North Carolina’s future, underclassmen riddled the leaderboards. Sophomore Alvin Jiang and freshman Sophie Lindner each winning three individual events and swimming a leg of the first-lace finishing 200 yard medley relays. Both Tar Heels won the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly competitions while Lindner took the 200-yard backstroke title and Jiang the 100-yard freestyle to top off their stellar performances. Jiang’s 100-yard backstroke time of 47.21 is the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA this season.

“The main thing I’ve been focusing on is just sleeping and making sure I get really good fuel before and after practices” Lindner said. “Really just coming into practice every day and giving it my all and making sure that every day I’m getting better at least at one thing. I think the main thing at the meets is definitely the team. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without all these people behind me cheering me on and getting really excited about my races.”

Returning Tar Heels — including Valdas Abaliksta, Brooke Bauer, Robyn Dryer, Zhada Fields, Jack Messenger and many more — also helped their teams secure key points in the sweep with first-place honors. With encouraging showings from all of the classes, North Carolina is certainly eager to see what they can continue to do in the water.

On the other end of the pool, Carolina’s divers were looking to repeat their success from East Carolina. Redshirt senior Sean Burston made his first appearance back after recovering from a late summer injury, finishing second in the men’s three-meter competition with a score of 315.38 and fourth in the three-meter with 317.70 points. On the women’s side, freshman Emily Grund matched her results from the season opener and won the women’s three-meter with a score of 336.38 while scoring 272.55 in the one-meter for the runner-up spot.

“Honestly, I just try to go into every practice pretending that it’s a meet and just mentally preparing myself every single day,” Grund said. “Not just the day before, not just the day of, every single day because that’s the best thing you can do for yourself.”

“I think the divers did well,” UNC diving coach Abel Sanchez said. “They were consistent and they stayed composed. We were working on our hurdles. It’s still really early, but we have a big meet coming up in November out at Georgia Tech so that will be a really good challenge to see where the divers really stand out. South Carolina has an amazing team, a great coach, a lot of great divers and we were fortunate we had some good diving. Our divers worked hard so we’ve got to get back to the drawing board and start working harder.”

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with North Carolina Swimming and Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

Auburn vs. Virginia

Results

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 16 Virginia men’s swimming and diving team (3-0) cruised to a 200-129 victory over Auburn (0-1), while the No. 7 Virginia women’s swimming and diving team (2-1) fell, 196-139, to No. 17 Auburn (2-0) on Friday (Oct. 26) at the Aquatic and Fitness Center.

“Really pleased with how both teams swam today against Auburn,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “It was really great to see Gary Taylor, Auburn’s head coach. He and I spent a lot of time together at our previous stop before we took the head coaching jobs here at Virginia and Auburn. They are a fantastic team. They came in and really pushed us. For us October doesn’t define you, practice every day and where you are at the end of the season in March does. I have said it often, and will continue to say it, the goal is to get better week-to-week and both our men and women were better this week than we were last week. We are on the right track.”

On the day, the men swept the top three spots in three events and had top-two finishers in eight events, including two relays with 14 wins in 16 events. The men built a 107-to-41 lead on the Tigers after the first session, then carried that momentum into the second session to take the win.

The Cavaliers took the top two spots in the 200-yard medley relay, paced by the team of Joe Clark (Worcester Park, Great Britain), Keefer Barnum (Louisville, Ky.), Bryce Keblish (Fairfield, Conn.) and Lewis Burras (Dubai) with a time of 1:28.09.

Burras led the field in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.48, then added a win in the 100-yard free in 44.98 in the second session. Brendan Casey (Santa Monica, Calif.) took the top spot in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:13.03 then followed with a win in the 500-yard freestyle (4:25.95) in the afternoon. Matthew Otto (Newark, Del.) grabbed wins in the 100-yard breaststroke (54.77) and the 200-yard breaststroke (1:59.10).

Zach Fong (Moorestown, N.J.) recorded a time of 1:47.14 in the 200-yard butterfly to win the event. In the 100-yard backstroke, Clark (48.44) led a top-three finish for the Cavaliers. Ted Schubert (Ashland, Va.) won the men’s 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:49.34. In the final individual event, the Cavaliers went one-two-three-four in the 200 back, with Justin Grender (Cincinnati, Ohio) leading the way in 1:46.92.

Virginia closed the morning with the top two finishes in the 400-yard medley relay, with the group of Clark, Otto, Keblish and Burras clocking in first in a time of 3:14.77. The UVA men picked up right where they left off after the break, taking first place in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The group of Clark, Burras, Samuel Schilling (Excelsior, Minn.) and Ryan Baker (Arlington, Va.) clocked a time of 2:57.61 for the top spot.

UVA picked up a couple of second place finishes in diving. Bryce Shelton (Vienna, Va.) placed second on the 3m with a score of 366.68 and Jake Greenberg (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) scored 293.40 to take second on the 1m for the Cavaliers.

On the women’s side, Megan Moroney (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) took the top finish in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:47.17 and added a win in the 200-yard backstroke (1:54.26) in the second session. Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) picked up a win in the women’s 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:45.11. Kaki Christensen (Darien, Conn.) placed first the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:14.47. Eryn Eddy (Loveland, Colo.) won the 100-yard free, finishing in 49.97. The Cavaliers took second place finishes in six events, including four relays.

In diving, Sydney Dusel (Naperville, Ill.) took first on 3m board and second on the 1m to pace the Cavaliers.

“We have some people out on both the men and women’s side, several of our top swimmers, so that hurt us a bit,” DeSorbo said. “We are hopeful to get everybody back healthy going into Louisville next week. That will be another tough competition, especially on the road. They always bring tough competition. I am happy with how we did, but definitely not satisfied. We are looking forward to getting to work and proving ourselves next week at our last dual meet of the semester.”

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Virginia Swimming and Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

Arizona State vs. Florida State

Results

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In front of a packed house, the nationally-ranked Florida State swimming and diving teams split a dual meet with (No.NR/14) Arizona State (1-1, 1-0) on Friday at the Morcom Aquatics Center.

The women remain undefeated in 2018-19 (4-0, 2-0 ACC) following the 161-139 victory over the Sun Devils. It marks the first time since the 2013 season that FSU carries a perfect record into November.

“We had the eighth ranked women’s recruiting class in the country,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “They’re coming in and having an immediate impact. We had some good stuff across the board today.”

The 200 medley relay turned in its fastest time of the season, winning with a mark of 1:40.46 behind sophomore Madeline Cohen, freshman Ida Hulkko, senior Leila Johnston and junior Nika Blank.

Arizona State answered with a sweep in the 1000 free and freshmen Kertu Alnek and Laura Jensen provided a second and third place showing in a very close 200 free field. Alnek touched at 1:50.05, which was just off her season best and Jensen clocked a 1:50.37.

The Sun Devils took the 100 back, but the Seminoles came away with a second, third and fourth place showing, led by sophomore Ana Zortea in second at 56.01. Her classmate Emma Terebo was third (56.29) and freshman Madeleine McDonald placed fourth (56.66).

The Seminoles gained ground by sweeping the 100 breast, led by freshman Nina Kucheran with a time of 1:01.44, just ahead of Hulkko in second at 1:01.68. Senior Natalie Purnell held off the Sun Devils, touching in third at 1:02.60.

Kucheran’s 1:01.44 ranks her ninth on the FSU all-time top 10 list.

However, Arizona State answered with a one-two finish in the 200 fly, as freshman Hannah Womer held on for third with a season best swim of 2:02.57.

Alnek and Blank teamed up to control the 50 free, touching in first and second with times of 23.26 and 23.45 respectively.

Florida State dominated the boards, providing a huge sweep of 3-meter led by sophomore Ayla Bonniwell with a score of 349.05, just ahead of her classmate Molly Carlson in second at 343.80 and freshman Grace Cable was third (264.30).

With the diving sweep, the Seminoles carried a 20-point lead into the first break.

The Seminoles won four of the six events in the middle part of the meet, helping extend the lead.

Alnek kept the momentum going with a win in the 100 free by a body-length, touching with a season best of 50.03.

Arizona State took the 200 back, but the Seminoles placed second, third and fourth led by senior Shelly Drozda behind a season best swim of 1:59.27. McDonald was third (2:01.13), also contributing a season best and Cohen was fourth (2:04.00).

Kucheran pulled away in the back half of the 200 breast, winning with a time of 2:12.71, marking the fourth fastest time in school history.

Olsen led from start to finish in the 100 fly, touching with a time of 55.16 with Womer following behind in second at 55.37.

Bonniwell carried over her success to 1-meter, securing her second win of the day by three points, with a score of 303.30.

Out of the second break, the Sun Devils put up a final push in the 200 IM, sweeping the event, but the Seminoles were too strong and closed out the meet with a dominating performance in the 400 free relay, clocking a time of 3:22.60 behind Blank, Jensen, Johnston and Alnek.

The 21st-ranked men’s team (1-3, 1-1 ACC) fell to the No. 14 Sun Devils, 116-184.

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Florida State Swimming and Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

1 comment

  1. Reni Moshos

    Alvin Jiang 😎