North Carolina Women’s Swimming & Diving End Losing Streak to Duke

Photo Courtesy: Jeffrey A. Camarti-UNC Athletics Communications

North Carolina Women’s Swimming & Diving End Losing Streak to Duke

North Carolina swimming and diving hosted long-time rival Duke at Koury Natatorium on Friday for Senior Night.

The 24th ranked Tar Heel women’s squad won 190-110, while the No. 20 Carolina men’s team was even more dominant with a 219.5-80.5 victory.


North Carolina Press Release

“I couldn’t be more proud of the team and how they stepped up tonight,” said UNC Head Coach, Mark Gangloff. “I challenged them at the beginning of the meet to come together as a group, unify their forces, and never let up throughout the meet, and that’s exactly what they did.”

The women dominated the meet from the first race with the team of Grace Countie, Sophie Lindner, Lilly Higgs and Heidi Lowe finishing first in the 200-yard medley relay (1:37.99).

Addison Smith placed first in the 500-yard freestyle (4:51.57) and set a personal record with her first-place finish in the 1000-yard freestyle (9:56.67).

Countie finished first in the 100-yard freestyle (49.30) and 100-yard backstroke (51.89), with her backstroke performance the fourth fastest in the ACC this season.

Other first-place finishes included Lindner in the 200-yard freestyle (1:46.59) and 200-yard backstroke (1:54.24), Lowe in the 50-yard freestyle (22.70), and Ellie VanNote in the 100-yard butterfly (53.56).

In the last race of the meet, Lindner, Countie, Lowe and Emma Cole won the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:18.53).

The men also began the meet with a win in the 200-yard medley relay as Tucker Burhans, Valdas Abaliksta, Boyd Poelke and Jack Messenger finishing in 1:26.07.

The Tar Heel men swept the podium in both the 100-yard freestyle (Tomas Sungaila (43.89), Messenger (44.87), Daniel Koenigsberger (45.02)) and the 500-yard freestyle (Dimitrios Dimitriou (4:23.37), Thomas Bretzman (4:29.98), Patrick Hussey (4:30.14)).

Poelke had an outstanding night, placing first in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly (47.00, 1:45.29), with his time in the 200 fly landing him top 10 in the ACC.

In addition, Abaliksta took first in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke (52.66, 1:55.47), and Sungaila won the 200-yard freestyle (1:35.29). Hussey placed first in the 1000-yard freestyle (9:12.40), Burhans finished first in the 100-yard backstroke, and Eli Coan won the 50-yard freestyle (20.09).

To wrap up the night, Messenger, Koenigsperger, Coan and Dimitriou placed first in the 400-yard freestyle relay (2:56.87).

The Tar Heel divers continued its dominating form this season. The women swept the podium in the 1-meter (Aranza Vazquez-Montano (315.45), Emily Grund (282.15), Taylor Hockenberry (271.20)), and the men swept the podium in the 3-meter (Anton Down-Jenkins (431.03), Alex Hart (379.05), Fabian Stepinski (377.85)).

Vazquez-Montano and Grund took first and second in the women’s 3-meter (393.08, 358.43), and Down-Jenkins and Hart placed first and second in the men’s 1-meter (370.13, 334.95).

Duke Release

“We had some really great swims tonight,” head coach Dan Colella said. “Hats off to North Carolina. They got up tonight, that’s for sure. They weren’t just good, they were stellar. But, I was also proud of the way our team buckled down after the first break and came back and took it to the next level.”

Sophomore Emma Shuppert, freshman Sarah Foley, freshman Aleyna Ozkan and junior Shayna Hollander got Duke started on the right foot by placing second in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:39.13. Their time was the 10th fastest in Duke history.

Foley continued her winning ways throughout the meet as she swept the breaststroke events and won the 200 individual medley. The Philadelphia, Pa., native swam a career-best 1:00.45 in the 100 breaststroke to improve her second-place time in Duke history. She also touched in 2:09.68 in the 200 breaststroke to finish first. Foley also took the 200 individual medley in 1:58.60.

Junior Cabell Whitlow also recorded a first-place finish for the Blue Devils, winning the 200 butterfly in 1:57.20.

Freshman Catherine Purnell placed second in both distance freestyle events. She swam a 10:03.49 in the 1,000 freestyle for the eighth-fastest time in program history. Purnell also placed second in the 500 freestyle (4:56.12).

Hollander, Shuppert and freshman Emily Lenihan also recorded second-place finishes on the evening. Shuppert placed second in the 100 backstroke (53.97), Hollander in the 50 freestyle (23.05) and Lenihan in the 200 backstroke (1:56.50).

Juniors David Hallaron and Cole Reznick led the men’s side throughout the meet. Hallaron took first in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:44.82 and second in the 200 freestyle (1:36.50). His time in the 200 freestyle was a career best and places third on the all-time Duke chart.

Reznick won the 200 individual medley by touching the wall in 1:48.66. He also placed second in the 100 and 200 breaststroke with times of 54.42 and 1:59.80, respectively.

Junior Matthew Whelan also recorded a second-place finish in the 200 butterfly, touching in 1:47.19.

Freshman Ali Watson led the diving team with a score of 321.75 in the three-meter event, a career high. She now sits eighth all-time on the three-meter in Duke history.

“We had some people that had some really big breakouts tonight,” Colella continued. “David Hallaron was terrific tonight. Sarah Foley, Will Tenpas and Shayna Hollander had some great performances. There were a number of individuals that really did some great stuff tonight that we are very proud of. That was our last meet so now it is just a matter of resting, fine tuning and getting ready for ACCs.”