Erndl set the stage early Friday with his performance in the 200-yard medley relay. Swimming the anchor freestyle leg of the meet's opening event, Erndl reeled in UM's Grant Butler in his first 25 yards. The speedster then breezed by the Gopher after the turn to win the relay for teammates Kert Johnson, Sebastian Moity and Sean Quinn.
"Within our group - within the sprint group as a whole - the attitude has changed," Erndl said. "It seems that nobody fears swimming fast anymore. They're not scared to go out and die in the middle of a race."
Erndl showed this determination later in the 50- and 100-freestyle races. He dominated both races, leading from start to finish en route to two individual victories. His time in the 50 - 20.37 seconds - was just .20 off his career best in the event.
But Erndl's quick times were overshadowed by those of a freshman.
Suguiyama won the 500 and 1,000 freestyle, breaking a school record in the 1,000 by .23 seconds. Olympian Yann deFabrique set the mark in 1995.
"I expected to swim fast this meet, but I didn't expect to swim as fast as I was able to," Suguiyama said. "As far as the 1,000 goes, there've been a lot of great swimmers in Carolina's history, and to be able to break the record is quite an honor."
But Suguiyama nearly broke the record and lost his race at the same time. He received stiff competition throughout the 1,000 from Gopher freshman Justin Mortimer.
In what was perhaps the meet's most exciting race, Suguiyama held a .22 second lead at the 500-yard mark. Mortimer stormed ahead at 550 yards, but Suguiyama soon reclaimed the lead in the race's 23rd lap.
Between the 850- and 900-yard marks, Suguiyama increased his lead from .07 seconds to .83 seconds, effectively pulling away from Mortimer. Suguiyama finished in 9 minutes, 9.59 seconds, while Mortimer touched second in 9:10.11.
Helin won the 200 and 400 IM races by 1.93 and 1.13 seconds, respectively. Joining Helin as double winners in the meet were Gophers Dan Coaston, Jeff Hackler and Todd Smolinski.
Coaston won the 1- and 3-meter diving competitions, twice topping Tar Heel runner-up Stephen Krebs. Hackler won the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, and Smolinski won the 100 and 200 backstroke.
Minnesota also won three of the five relay events. Interestingly enough, UNC touched first in two of the Gopher wins Saturday - in the 200 and 400 free relays - but was twice disqualified for diving in early in between relay legs.
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"We practice that stuff all the time," UNC coach Frank Comfort said. "Our sprinters have gradually evolved over the past few years into a very good group, and they're only going to get better. I mean, they're swimming so fast."
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