With four events left in North Carolina’s swimming and diving meet against Virginia, UNC sophomore Sam Lewis knew his team was going to pull out a victory.
He just knew it.
“I was confident that our swimmers were going to be able to pull it out,” Lewis said. “When we beat UVa. two years ago, (senior Alex) Gianino clinched the meet for us in the two IM, and so to have him out there in basically the same situation was pretty reassuring.
“I knew it could be a crazy finish.”
And Lewis was right. At the meet’s first intermission, both the men and women’s team held a steady lead against the Cavaliers. But heading into the meet’s final four events after the second intermission, the women were deadlocked with Virginia at 131, and the men trailed UVa. 132-131.
And, thanks to first-place finishes in the men’s 200 yard individual medley and the men’s 400 yard freestyle relay, the No. 16 UNC men’s team (5-2, 1-1 ACC) went on to win the meet 154-145.
The No. 7 women’s team (7-2, 1-1 ACC) fell short to the Cavaliers 152-146.
“It was a very exciting day. Two close meets. Two great teams,” coach Rich DeSelm said. “We knew these meets would be close … That was a lot of fun coming down to the last relay. Overall, I thought we swam very well. Everybody takes part, everybody has a role … our men have now won two against Virginia in the past few years, and it’s been awhile since our women were that close … it was a great afternoon.”
Senior Stephanie Peacock said that even though the women were disappointed they fell short of a victory, she thinks the loss will help her team in the long run.