Duncan went on a tear the second day of the tournament, sweeping the one- and three-meter dive events and becoming the first Tar Heel to do so since 1958. Despite Duncan’s strong performances, Duke and FSU overstepped the Tar Heels, pushing the team into third place.
Similarly, the Tar Heel women’s swim and dive team fell out of first place on Thursday, dropping to fourth place with 331 points. Ahead of UNC in the standings at the end of the second day were Virginia, Louisville and N.C. State.
On the day, senior co-captain Caroline Baldwin finished second in the 50-yard freestyle event for her second year in a row at the ACC Championships.
The top four spots held true through the third day, with the Wolfpack still leading the Tar Heels by over 100 points.
Baldwin had another strong showing on Day Three, winning her second runner-up in the 100-yard backstroke. Additionally, three other UNC swimmers finished in the top 10 of the 100-yard breaststroke: Caroline Hauder (third), Brooke Perrotta (fourth) and Allie Reiter (10th). Baldwin also finished second again in the 100-yard freestyle on Saturday.
The women’s team’s standing from the second day stuck. The team ultimately finished the tournament in fourth place with 786.5 points. The men’s diving team dropped out of third place and into fourth on Saturday, finishing with 119 points.
Who stood out?
Baldwin, one of the most decorated Tar Heels of the weekend, finished second in three events: the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard freestyle. In addition to her individual achievements from the tournament, Baldwin led UNC’s 400-yard freestyle relay to a third-place podium spot on Saturday.
Baldwin, senior co-captain of the Tar Heel squad, certainly left her mark on the weekend as a veteran. Greg Duncan, on the other hand, is just getting started. Though only a first-year, he was awarded the most valuable men’s diver of the tournament on Saturday.
Duncan won the one and three meter dive events. He became the first Tar Heel to sweep the springboard events since Ned Meekins in 1958.
When was it decided?
By the end of Friday, the third of the four-day championship saga, the 107 points separating third-place N.C. State and fourth-place North Carolina seemed insurmountable. But the Blue Devils and the Fighting Irish only trailed UNC by 20.5 and 50.5 points.
Notre Dame started the last day well with early wins over the Tar Heels. But strong performances down the stretch from UNC — most notably its third place finish in the 400 yard freestyle — gave the Tar Heels enough of a cushion to hold on to fourth place.
UNC’s men’s diving team entered the final day of the competition in third, just five points ahead of Virginia Tech. A slew of fantastic dives from Virginia Tech in the platform dive event, the last of the meet, gave them the push they needed to knock the Tar Heels down into fourth place.
When do they play next?
The ACC men’s swimming championship begins next Wednesday, Feb. 21 in Greensboro, through Saturday Feb. 24.
The NCAA women’s Championship will take place in Columbus, Ohio, from March 14 to 17.
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