She also swam the 100-yard free in 48.6 seconds, beating Ally Hardesty’s record set last season. Despite setting this record in the preliminaries, she placed second in the final behind N.C. State’s Alexia Zevnik by just over 0.7 seconds.
“Being 0-3 to start the season, I felt like we were looked at very negatively by the rest of the swimming community all around the country,” Baldwin said. “So being able to put times up like that makes a statement for North Carolina swimming and it helps pump up my teammates...
“I was more happy about being able to spark energy rather than getting school records."
Also of note, the 200-yard freestyle relay starring Baldwin, Sarah Hitchens, Hellen Moffitt and Brooke Bauer qualified for the NCAA Championships in March with a time of 1:28.19 — yet another UNC record.
According to DeSelm’s count, there were at least 12 women swimmers with personal bests.
“Usually this time of year you are looking for season-best times or times that were better than a year ago, so to have half of the women swimmers get personal bests is a really good sign,” DeSelm said.
On the women’s diving side, Dawson had a stellar weekend. She placed first in one-meter diving on Thursday, second on Friday in three-meter diving and first again on Saturday in 10-meter platform diving.
“Individually, I try to focus on consistency,” Dawson said. “No matter what meet, whether it’s a team meet or a USA diving meet, I focus on consistency in training and in competition.”
The men held steady in fourth place through all three days of competition. On the swimming side, senior Jorden Merrilees had a strong performance. He took second in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:17.86 on Thursday — less than one second shy of his personal best. He set a career-best time on Saturday with a time of 1:43.08 in the 200-yard backstroke, good a fourth place finish.
On the diving side, Jack Nyquist had yet another solid meet. On Thursday he placed second in 1-meter diving with a score of 332.25. He also finished third on Friday in 3-meter diving.
Overall, DeSelm said he is happy with how the Tar Heels competed and hopes they carry their momentum into the holidays, as they do not have a true team meet again until January.
“The period of time from now until after Christmas when we begin our training trip is the most important period of time to either advance your swimming season and career or to stagnate it,” DeSelm said.
“We’ll be vigilant about motivating the team to keep training well for one another and for a great season outcome both individually and as a team.”