North Carolina Swimming and Diving Dominates Duke on Senior Day in Chapel Hill

By David Rieder

CHAPEL HILL − Fresh off a pair of exciting wins in Charlottesville over Virginia, the North Carolina Swimming and Diving Tar Heels returned home to face their Tobacco Road neighbors, the Duke Blue Devils. UNC swept Duke, winning all but two events during the evening dual meet. It was the first time back in the water for the UNC women since moving into the top ten in the latest CCSCA poll.

The 10th-ranked Tar Heel women sound defeated the Blue Devils, 175-113, while their men completed the home dual meet slate with a 176-90 triumph. After the meet, UNC coach Rich DeSelm explained that his team would never miss a chance to swim against the Blue Devils. “It’s always a great, friendly meet,” said DeSelm. “Great deal of respect for the Duke, for the institution, for the team, and it’s crazy for us to think that we wouldn’t swim them.”

Meanwhile, Duke coach Dan Colella expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance despite the lopsided score. “We came to race tonight,” said Colella. “We had some people really stand up. I think we would have liked to [have] seen it a lot closer tonight than it was, but I’m not disappointed with the way they performed.”

Liliana Casso opened the individual events with one of the most exciting races of the day, out-dueling Duke freshman Verity Abel in the 1000 free. Casso held the lead for much of the race before Abel battled back during the second half of the event. However, a furious finish from Casso got her hand to the wall first, 10:07.25 to 10:07.33.

Danielle Siverling got the win in the 200 free with the only sub-1:50 time of the evening, 1:49.18, while her UNC teammates Emma Nunn and Catherine Hulsey completed the 1-2-3 finish. The 500 free featured another outstanding race as Annie Harrison touched out UNC teammate Sarah Koucheki, 4:59.80 to 4:59.89, with Duke’s Britt Friese (5:00.24) just behind.

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Katlyn McKay won the 50 free in 20.18, and she finished just behind teammate Allyn Hardesty in the 100, 50.69 to 50.81. Hellen Moffitt took first in the 100 fly in 54.28, and Kendall Surhoff won the 200 IM in 2:02.35. Ann Goessling won the 100 breast in 1:03.44, while teammate Catherine Munch won the longer breaststroke event in 2:18.02.

Duke got only one win on the women’s side when Isa Paez used a strong back half to run down Surhoff and take the win in the 200 fly. Paez clocked 1:59.47 to Surhoff’s’ 1:59.95. Backstroke winners for the Tar Heels included Megan Bestor in the 100 (55.21) and Caroline Baldwin in the 200 (2:01.00).

Michole Timm won the one-meter diving for UNC with a score of 319.20, while teammate Elissa Dawson took the three-meter in 365.03. UNC also won both relays as Sarah Hitchens, Baldwin, Hardesty, and Hannah Lincoln combined to win the 200 free relay in 1:33.02, while Moffitt, Munch, Lincoln, and Baldwin took the 200 medley in 1:41.09.

It was senior day in Chapel Hill, but it was freshman Phillip Perdue who led the way for the men’s team with two individual event victories. Perdue won the 50 free in 20.59 and came back after the first break to take the 100 free in 44.98, leading UNC 1-2-3-4 finishes in both events. Perdue also added a second-place finish in the 200 free as teammate Ben Colley used a terrific final 50 split (24.80) to beat Perdue to the wall, 1:37.63 to 1:37.97.

The Tar Heels swept the men’s relays as Nic Graesser, Kurt Wohlrab, Sam Lewis, and Logan Heck took the 200 medley relay in 1:28.11, while the team of Heck, Lewis, Graesser, and Chris Gondek punctuated the meet with a 1:20.06 triumph in the 200 free relay. Wohlrab also won the 200 breast in 1:59.78, as he was the only swimmer under the 2:00 mark, while Lewis earned the 100 back victory in 48.05.

Duke picked up just one win on the men’s side, as Peter Kropp won the 100 breast. The no. 2 ranked swimmer in the country at 52.02, Kropp checked in at 54.80. UNC senior Patrick Myers ended his career at Koury Natatorium with a win in the 200 back (1:47.78), while freshman teammate Dalton Shaw punctuated the meet with a win in the 200 IM in 1:51.16.

Photo Courtesy: Kristin Karkoska

Photo Courtesy: Kristin Karkoska

John Nyquist swept the diving events for the Tar Heels with scores of 341.93 on the one-meter and 426.53 on the three-meter. Other winners for UNC on the men’s side included Eugene Tee in the 1000 free (9:27.52), William DeForest in the 200 fly (1:47.93), and Cliff Gordon in the 100 back (48.35).

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