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The Daily Tar Heel

Swimming teams win against Hokies

But only moments after the victory, it was announced that Graesser had been disqualified for swimming in the wrong lane.

The slip up gave the defending ACC champion, Virginia Tech’s men’s swimming and diving team, an early lead in both teams’ conference openers.

That is until Tar Heel swimmers Kurt Wohlrab, Michael McBryan and David Speese swept the next event, the 100-yard breaststroke, and gave UNC’s team momentum — propelling it to a 182-118 victory Saturday evening. The women’s team also defeated the Hokies 186-108.

“After the DQ in the hundred back, everybody was a little down, and for them to step up — get a one, two, three like that — was pretty huge,” junior Sam Lewis said. “It really brought everybody’s spirits right back up to where we were.”

Lewis’s high spirits certainly showed in his races. He won all four that he participated in for the second consecutive meet, including two season best times.

“We knew it had the potential on the men’s side to be tight competition,” said head coach Rich DeSelm. “We ended up pulling away, and I’m very pleased with that part of it.”

Going into Saturday, Lewis already had the fastest time in the nation for the 100-yard butterfly, but he broke his own record against Virginia Tech.

He finished in 47.30 seconds, .05 seconds faster than his previous time.

The No. 5 women’s team — which was rewarded its highest ranking in school history on Thursday — improved its all-time record to 8-0 against the Hokies. The women were led by Sarah Hitchens, who was involved in three wins for the Tar Heels.

“I guess I executed my turns really well,” Hitchens said. “My finishes were a little off, but we all did amazing, so it was a good night for everyone.”

The Tar Heels dominated the Hokies throughout the meet, sweeping the podium in six consecutive races, two of which were won by Hitchens.

She even had a career best in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing in 50.75 seconds.

“I think this year especially, our team has been so cohesive,” Hitchens said. “We’ve all been cheering for each other on the side of the pool, and we all support each other.”

DeSelm said he thought the Tar Heels would win the whole time, and he was pleased when his intuition proved him right.

“We always want to win, but it’s how we get there,” he said. “It’s great to get a win against Virginia Tech.”

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