Records – they’re meant to be broken.
And that’s what the North Carolina men’s swimming team did this weekend at the ACC Championship at Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels broke eight different school records — five relays and one each in the 200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke.
Juniors Ben Colley, Sam Lewis, Nic Graesser and Logan Heck were all members of the 400 free relay that broke the previous school record of 2:52.62 set in 2012. The quartet swam the relay in 2:52.32.
Colley also took third place in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing in 1:42.92, just shy of his own school record of 1:42.19. The junior was also a member of the 800 free relay that tied the school’s previous record of 6:22.47 set in 2013.
The Tar Heels went on to beat previous school records in the 200 and 400 free relays, and the 200 and 400 medley.
But though the Heels broke many records, Coach Rich DeSelm said the team walked away upset, placing fourth in a pool of 12 teams.
“I know I speak for the entire program, we’re not happy we ended up fourth,” he said.
Last week, the women's team placed second in its portion of the ACC Championship.
But DeSelm also said that many on the team stepped up.
“Some of our usual suspects were stellar,” he said. “We have a lot of people that really made a step forward in their career progressing.”
Though the Tar Heels finished fourth, DeSelm said the conference is top-notch.
“The ACC is extremely competitive now, it’s a very deep, talented conference,” he said. “It’s becoming one of the premiere conferences in the country.”
But the ACC Championship was just a stepping stone toward the NCAA Championship.
“I think one thing that we are taking away from ACCs is our relays, we were top four in all of them,” said junior Kurt Wohlrab, who had a career best time in 200-yard breaststroke. “They were all new or tied school records and they looked very strong going into NCAAs compared to last year where we had some high hopes and kinda fell short of those.”
Wohlrab isn’t the only one looking at the relays.
“I think qualifying all five of our relays is pretty critical and all with school records,” DeSelm said. “Now the trick is for us to go to NCAAs and be faster. Some people say it’s the fastest swim meet in the world.”
As the NCAA Championship quickly approaches, DeSelm said he wants his swimmers to be passionate.
“Absolutely wrapping their heads around being faster, being better, sharper at the NCAA meet,” he said. “We want to be our best and also make sure that they fine tune two or three things that they can work on.”
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