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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC swimming and diving sweep Duke following tri-meet losses to NCSU and UVA

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UNC first-year swimmer Louis Dramm competing in the men's 200 freestyle relay against Duke at Koury Natatorium on Friday, Jan. 28, 2023. UNC beat Duke 156-44.

In their first and only ACC tri-meet of the season, UNC swimming and diving fell to both the Virginia Cavaliers and the N.C. State Wolfpack. Just six days later, the Tar Heels avenged themselves on Senior Day against Duke with both the men and women securing wins. 

Final scores:  

The UNC men finished out the tri-meet with scores of 103-250 against No. 14 UVA and 68-285 against No. 4 N.C. State. The women posted final scores of 92-261 against top-ranked UVA and 110-243 against No. 4 N.C. State.

Against Duke, the Tar Heel men won, 180-119, and the women securing an upset victory against the No. 20 Blue Devils with a final tally of 156-144.

What happened?

UNC divers Aranza Vazquez and Anton Down-Jenkins sat comfortably among the top of the standings during the first day of the tri-meet, and they both broke school records for the three-meter springboard. On the second day of the meet, Vazquez took home the win in the one-meter springboard with a score of 309.85. 

While UNC’s swimmers weren’t as successful, several North Carolina athletes clocked in notable times. Graduate student Grace Countie earned a third place finish with a time of 22.96 in the women’s 50-yard freestyle, and first-year Aislin Farris completed a narrow fourth place finish with a time of 5:00.78 in the women’s 500-yard freestyle. 

On the second day of competition, the UNC women’s 400-yard freestyle relay consisting of Countie, sophomore Olivia Nel, sophomore Greer Pattison and graduate student Sophie Lindner came in third with a time of 3:20.73. 

Against Duke, the women’s 200-yard medley relay led by Countie secured the first victory for North Carolina. Just three events later, first-year Louis Dramm finished the 1000-yard freestyle  with a time of  9:07:72 to get the Tar Heels’ first individual win of the meet. In the women’s 100-yard freestyle, the Tar Heels took a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place sweep with Countie, Pattison and Nel contributing to North Carolina’s overall tally. Down-Jenkins completed his senior career at home with a dive that racked up 68.85 points.

Who stood out?

On the diving side, Vazquez and Down-Jenkins both had impressive outings on the three-meter springboard. Senior Alex Hart also bumped himself to fifth in the UNC record book.

While the swim side struggled in the tri-meet, the North Carolina relay teams had consistent success. Numerous Tar Heels later placed first against Duke and divers Down-Jenkins and Vazquez had impressive outings as well.

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels diving crew started strong early, giving North Carolina an early advantage in the tri-meet. However, after the swimming portion, the Tar Heels found themselves in a deep hole. Finishing the first day with a large deficit put them in a tough position to crawl back, and the Wolfpack and Cavaliers remained relentless in the second day of competition. 

Against the Blue Devils, the Tar Heels jumped out to a lead early. Winning the first event helped UNC propel through the meet; however, the women won by a narrower margin and had to fight until the end to secure their Senior Day win.

Why does it matter?

With UNC’s against Duke, the Tar Heels proved that they can respond to adversity and can use this momentum going into the ACC Championships.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will travel to Charlottesville, V.A. to compete in the Cavalier Invitational next Friday through Sunday.

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