UNC swimming and diving back in the pool

The North Carolina swimming and diving teams dipped their toes back into the pool and shook off the rust after a long winter break, participating in two separate meets last week.

The diving team competed from Jan. 3-5 in Knoxville, Tenn., against a plethora of SEC and ACC teams in the Tennessee Diving Invitational, while the swimming team headed to Naples, Fla., to take on Penn State in a non-scored meet on Jan. 3.

The diving invitational brought in some of the best talent from around the country — including two Olympians and several others that competed at the Olympic trials — and freshman diver Ozzie Moyer enjoyed the high level of competition.

Moyer had the best result of any North Carolina diver in the meet, placing 12th in the men’s one-meter for both the preliminaries and finals.

Moyer was the only Tar Heel diver to reach a finals event.

“Overall, it was a good practice meet for our team,” Moyer said. “It was a little bit rough for the team combined because we were all a little bit rusty, but it got us back on track.”

Four other divers competed for the men — Jake Kinzbach, Ryland Jones, Ryan Fox and Tyler Beard. Most notably, Jones finished 15th in the prelims of the three-meter and 18th in the prelims of the platform.

On the women’s side, sophomore diver Emily Schmidt placed the highest with a 23rd-place finish in the platform prelims.

Two other divers competed for the North Carolina women, freshman Erin Purdy and sophomore Kelly Corish.

Other notable finishes included a 39th place finish in the three-meter prelims and a 27th place finish in the one-meter preliminaries, both by Purdy.

Neither the men nor women performed particularly well on the platform, an issue that both Moyer and Schmidt said stems from the lack of a diving tower at UNC’s facilities to practice on.

In fact, Moyer said this meet was only the fourth time since last spring that the tower divers were on platforms.

In the exhibition swim meet against Penn State, the Tar Heels took a training trip to get back into a routine. Swimming coach Rich DeSelm said that the meet was basically a way to “do a little racing in a fun atmosphere in place of one of our practices.”

But DeSelm warned that any results from the exhibition meet were not indicative of the actual ability of the team — it was just a way to stay sharp.

For the diving team, Schmidt found a lot of takeaways for the team, including building positive attitudes and valuable experience, especially since the NCAA diving regionals will be held at the same pool later in the spring.

While the swimming and diving teams did not compete concurrently, they both eased back into their events through their respective meets.

“We had a long break before this meet, so we were sort of just getting back into things,” Schmidt said. “We just need to get back into training and improving.”

Contact the desk editor at sports@dailytarheel.com.

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