There are not many exceptions to the rule that swim meet results are a reflection of the overall team score, rather than individual performance.
But this past weekend's Carolina College Invitational is one of the exceptions to that rule.
North Carolina hosted the three-day event at Koury Natatorium, and the competition featured eight teams but no team scores. Rather than to encourage competition between the Tar Heels and other squads, the meet held a different purpose.
According to Coach Rich DeSelm, the purpose of the meet is to allow swimmers an opportunity to improve their personal times for the year as the season draws to a close.
“The meet was created years ago with us, Duke, and N.C. State to give our team members that don’t make the ACC Championship team the chance to swim in a championship type setting,” DeSelm said.
DeSelm also mentioned that while some of Tar Heels competing in the event would also be at the ACC Championships, many would not because of team size limits.
Although no team scores were recorded, the results indicated a dominating team performance by the Tar Heels.
Combined, the swimmers on UNC's men's and women's teams recorded 51 career- or season-best scores.
For the men’s team, Tom Bilden, Luke Lechner, Bailey Burt, Austin Sellers, Jack Welker, Christian Caveness, J.T. Casey and Jared Martin all improved their career and season times.
For the women’s team, Zhada Fields, Kate Boyer, Liliana Casso, Rachel Canty, Kendall Surhoff, Annie Goessling, Katie Ford, Katie McKay, Kacy Rhyne and Andi Mack all improved their career and season times.
“These swimmers that don’t make it (on the ACC Championship rosters), they work just as hard as the people who do make it and they deserve a chance to swim fast.” — DeSelm on the swimmers who competed in this weekend's event/
Every competing Tar Heel at the Carolina College Invitational at least improved either their season- or career-best time.
Three numbers that matter
11: Fields shaved about 11 seconds off her career-best time in the 500-yard freestyle to finish first in the event.
11: North Carolina's men's and women's swimmers tallied 11 total first-place finishes this past weekend.
46: the number of career or season times that were broken by Tar Heel competitors.
The Tar Heels will compete in the ACC Championships later this month in Greensboro. The women’s team will compete from Feb. 17-20, and the men’s team will participate from Feb. 24-27.
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