The men’s team finished in 18th place. It was their fourth Top-20 finish in the past six years, but first since 2012.
Nine Tar Heels qualified for the meet, mostly upperclassmen, with only one freshman and one sophomore.
Junior Ben Colley was part of the core of six juniors, five of whom have competed in the NCAAs the past three years.
“We haven’t performed as well as we would have liked our freshman and sophomore year,” Colley said. “This year I think we still didn’t do quite as well as we would have liked, but it was a step in the right direction, and I think a lot of that has to do with more experience.”
Colley said that comfort in the high level of competition goes a long way.
“I think the biggest thing transitioning from ACCs to NCAAs is you have to understand that you belong to swim there,” Colley said. “It can be a very intimidating meet for underclassmen because it’s the fastest meet in the world besides maybe the Olympic trials for the U.S.”
The young Tar Heels certainly proved they belonged. Sophomore Jack Nyquist earned his second All-American finish in the one-meter dive.
He becomes the first UNC diver in 67 years to finish as an All-American in consecutive years.