CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - In a closing night filled with spirit and sportsmanship, freshman Ozzie Moyer and sophomores Patrick Myers and Nikki Barczak took gold in individual events at the 2012 Janis Hape Dowd Nike Cup at Koury Natatorium.
Moyer took first place in the men's 1-meter diving finals with a score of 311.00, while Myers finished out front in the men's 200-yard backstroke, (1:47.06) followed immediately by Barczak who claimed first in the women's 100-yard freestyle (50.55).
"Today was great," head coach Rich DeSelm said. "We had very good team energy and very good prelims that set us up for even faster stuff tonight."
The final results of the Nike Cup had the NC State Wolfpack claiming first in both women's and men's competition. On the women's side, the Wolfpack ended the weekend with a score of 933 points, followed by UNC with 816, ECU with 676.5, Navy with 666.5, Old Dominion with 384, Northeastern with 325, James Madison with 65, and Duke with 44. On the men's side, NC State ended with a score of 1195.5 points, followed by UNC with 901, Navy with 778.5, ECU with 537, Old Dominion with 439, and Duke with 65.
The swimmers got the night rolling with what might be the most exhausting event, the 1650-yard freestyle. On the women's side, Old Dominion's Yesim Giresunlu swam all the way to first with a time of 16:43.15. Not far behind her was Carolina freshman Emma Nunn, whose time of 16:47.82 earned her second place in the miler.
Freshman Thomas Duvall of Navy won the men's 1650-yard freestyle with a leading time of 15:21.12. While Carolina senior Brett Nagle did not compete in the men's 1650-yard freestyle championship, it should be noted that his impressive time of 15:07.96 in the exhibition was a career best.
The UNC women kept on shining through the women's 200-yard backstroke, as Annie Harrison finished with a second-place time of 2:00.84. The event was won by Old Dominion's Kimberly Rashleigh with a time of 1:59.53.
It was a Tar Heel takeover in the men's 200-yard backstroke, as five Carolina swimmers competed in the championship event. Sophomore Patrick Myers pulled ahead in the last second to claim first with a time of 1:47.06. Following after him were sophomore Clifton Gordon in third (1:48.84), freshman Nic Graesser in fourth (1:48.87), junior Brad Dillon in sixth (1:49.00), and senior Tom Luchsinger in seventh (1:49.37).
UNC sophomore Nikki Barczak flew into first in the women's 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.55. She was joined in the championship by fellow Tar Heels sophomore Danielle Siverling who took third (51.01) and freshman Ally Hardesty who took fifth (51.40).
Carolina junior Kyle Ficker competed in the men's 100-yard freestyle championship, taking eighth with a time of 46.02. Old Dominion's Sidni Hoxha was a bullet in the event, zooming into first with a time of 43.43.
UNC juniors Cari Blalock and Katie Rechsteiner started and finished the women's 200-yard breaststroke championship together. The pair tied for fourth with a time of 2:20.69. Navy senior Laura Gorinski swam to a strong first-place finish with a time of 2:13.56.
The men's 200-yard breaststroke was won by ECU sophomore Rokas Cepulis with a time of 2:01.65. Carolina junior Dan O'Connor pulled out a seventh-place finish, clocking in at 2:05.49.
Carolina senior Katie Nolan made a strong push in the women's 200-yard butterfly that was good for a third-place time of 2:00.08. She was joined in the event by three fellow Tar Heels: junior Meredith Hoover in fourth (2:01.96), freshman Alli Haufler in sixth (2:02.49), and freshman Emma Nunn in seventh (2:03.88). Old Dominion's Jessica Hubert pulled through at the end to touch first with a time of 1:58.86.
UNC's tandem of Luchsinger (1:48.10) and Colley (1:49.36) claimed third and fourth place, respectively, in the men's 200-yard butterfly. Navy senior Ben Bondurant pulled out a close first with a time of 1:47.51.
Three Tar Heels participated in the women's 3-meter diving finals. Sophomore Natalie Ritter rated highest of the three with a fourth-place score of 283.55, followed by freshman Erin Purdy in sixth (260.70) and sophomore Kelly Corish in eighth (234.60). NC State sophomore Rachael Mumma's 311.90 was the highest score in the event.
Carolina made waves in men's 1-meter diving competition, placing four divers in the top eight spots. Freshman Ozzie Moyer's score of 311.00 was good for top honors, followed by senior Ryland Jones in second (294.25), sophomore Ryan Fox in sixth (264.90), and junior Bryant Wooten in seventh (257.80).
It was a nail-biting finish in the women's 400-yard freestyle relay, as NC State's relay team of senior Marifrances Henley, sophomore Hannah Freyman, and freshmen Riki Bonnema and Mariah Hamil squeaked out a victory. Their time of 3:22.08 outmatched the UNC's "A" relay team (3:23.33), made up by senior Katie Nolan, freshman Ally Hardesty, and sophomores Danielle Siverling and Nikki Barczak, who couldn't close the gap towards the end. Carolina's "B" relay team took seventh in the event with a time of 3:31.24.
The Tar Heels' "A", "B", and "C" relay teams all finished in the top eight of the men's 400-yard freestyle relay. The "A" team, consisting of juniors Kyle Ficker and J.T. Stilley and freshmen Logan Heck and Sean Sullivan, took fourth overall with a time of 3:01.50. The "C" team finished seventh with a time of 3:03.21, and the "B" team finished eighth with a time of 3:04.60.
Though the outcome of the Nike Cup wasn't everything UNC had hoped for, the future looks bright for the Tar Heels.
"We leave this meet excited about what we accomplished, but disappointed for being beaten," DeSelm said. "But what matters is what you do with that. This season's not over."
The Tar Heels will be back in the pool the weekend after Thanksgiving when they travel to Columbus, Ohio to compete in the 2012 Ohio State University Swimming & Diving Invitational.