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The Daily Tar Heel

Swimmers Keep Wolfpack at Bay

They usually just look at the scoreboard after touching the wall.

But this was not an option Friday afternoon at the Willis Casey Aquatics Center during the North Carolina and N.C. State men's swimming and diving meet.

The 14th-ranked Tar Heels could have been accused of causing the temporary short-circuit in the computer system via the white froth they created in the water, burning the Wolfpack 175-61.

Midway through the meet, just before the 50-yard freestyle, the scoreboard went out. The old swimming complex generated a mix of heat and chlorine that shorted out the computer keeping the times.

The meet was put on hold for about half an hour while the problem was assessed, and the swimmers risked losing their winning mind-set.

But the Tar Heels didn't let the conditions cool off their balance of power and speed in their last regular season meet. Now UNC looks poised to make a run at the ACC championships.

"This is the most exciting time of the year," UNC coach Frank Comfort said. "This is why I coach all the other weeks of the year."

Yuri Suguiyama had a tremendous showing in the endurance events as he took first in the 1,650 freestyle (15 minutes, 32.87 seconds) and the 500 free (4:35.37).

UNC (6-2, 4-1 in the ACC) swept the 400 individual medley event with Chris Helin (3:56.83), Dave Slawinski and Casey Coble taking first, second and third, respectively.

Michael Chenier, Justin Donato and P.J. Vick swept the 100 free with Chenier taking first with a time of 46.43 seconds.

The team swam past the Wolfpack in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.

In the 200, the men finished first and second after the N.C. State relay was disqualified for a false start. The "A" team of Kert Johnson, Sean Quinn, Sebastien Moity and Kevin Erndl finished in 1:31.99. The "B" team of Jimmy Owens, Chris Helin, Greg Johnson and Michael Chenier touched in 1:35.16.

The 400 relay members showed just as much determination, finishing first and second in the their event with times of 3:08.17 and 3:10.03, respectively.

"We did a really good job coming out and just swimming our last meet, especially for our seniors who did really well," Chenier said. "Our focus was to come out and do our best before ACCs."

In the diving competition, Stephen Krebs followed up a second-place score of 284.10 in the 3-meter with a score of 301.35 to claim first place in the 1-meter.

"I didn't have my best meet on

3-meter," Krebs said. "I was pleased with how I dove on 1-meter."

UNC's win was a good omen for the ACC championships, which start Feb. 22.

"The ACC championships and the NCAA championships are what we do everything for," Comfort said. "This whole scenario we've been through is just a series of quizzes, and now we go take the final exam."

With only one loss to defending ACC-champion Virginia during the conference season, not even a computer meltdown could keep the Tar Heels from passing their last quiz.

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