INDIANAPOLIS, IND. - Cari Blalock broke the ACC record in the 400 IM and Katie Nolan established a new school record in the 100 fly as North Carolina continued its outstanding swimming at the 2013 NCAA Championships at the IUPUI Natatorium Friday.
Carolina moved up one spot in the team standings on the second day and now stands 13th with 61 points. The Championships conclude with seven more events on Saturday with preliminaries at 11 a.m. and finals at 7 p.m.
"We continued to have a terrific meet. We've already exceeded our point total from last year and stand in 13th place after two nights," said UNC head coach Rich DeSelm. "We're all excited about how the meet is progressing. We need to come in tomorrow and do what we are capable of doing both in prelims and finals."
Carolina had two swimmers score in the 400-yard individual medley as junior Cari Blalock placed eighth in 4:07.58 and freshman Annie Harrison took 16th in 4:12.70. Both Tar Heels were faster in the preliminaries Friday morning.
Blalock finished her prelim swim as the sixth qualifier in a time of 4:06.77. That broke the ACC record of 4:07.29 set by Claire Crippen of Virginia on February 18, 2011. The swim also took down Blalock's own existing school record which was 4:07.51 set at last December's Ohio State Invitational. Harrison was the No. 16 qualifier in the event in 4:10.50, nearly four seconds faster than her previous personal best of 4:14.35 set at last month's ACC Championships. Harrison moved into the No. 3 spot on Carolina's all-time depth chart in the event behind Blalock and Laura Moriarty.
"Cari Blalock qualified for the championship final in a conference record and produced two spectacular swims on Friday," said DeSelm. "Annie Harrison, a freshman, had a tremendous drop this morning of four seconds. It was awesome to see her come into the meet and score as a freshman. That's a huge accomplishment."
Senior Katie Nolan turned in three spectacular swims for the Tar Heels on an individual basis Friday. She earned fifth place in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 52.02 as she twice eclipsed Richelle Fox's existing school record in the event. Fox's record was 52.34 seconds set in 1997.
Nolan's career best coming into Friday was a 52.64 set earlier this year at the OSU Invitational. She qualified in the eighth spot in the prelims in a school record 52.25. She made the championship final by only a .01 margin over the ninth place swimmer. Nolan took full advantage of her opportunity at night, moving up three spots to fifth place and taking her own record down another .23 seconds to 52.02. Nolan also swam in the 100-yard backstroke preliminaries and finished in 28th place with a career best time of 53.38. Her previous personal best had been a 53.87 at December's OSU Invitational. Nolan now ranks third in UNC's all-time depth chart in the 100 backstroke behind Carly Smith and Candace Cooper.
"I couldn't be happier for Katie Nolan," said DeSelm. "She earned fifth place in 100 fly which is a much deserved recognition for her. Her swims today were a tremendous testament to her work ethic and her belief in the UNC program and the coaching she received."
Sophomore Danielle Siverling, who finished seventh in the 500-yard freestyle Thursday, came back Friday to finish 11th in the 200-yard freestyle, earning more points for the Tar Heels. Siverling qualified ninth in 1:45.03, a career best and just .02 off the school record of 1:45.01 set by Jessi Perruquet in 2003. Siverling's previous best was 1:45.42 earlier this season. She was just slightly off her morning time in the consolation final, taking 11th place in 1:45.24.
"Danielle Siverling just missed out on another top eight championship finish today," said DeSelm. "I am very proud of her. She had a lifetime best time this morning, just .02 off the school record. She swam three outsanidng 200 freestyles today-1:45.0 in the prelims, 1:45.2 in the finals, and 1:45.4 leading off the relay. It was a great day for Danielle."
Carolina's 800-yard freestyle relay finished in 14th place in a time less than a second off the school record. The Tar Heel relay touched in 7:07.15, just off the school mark of 7:06.32 set in 2011 by Stephanie Peacock, Stephanie Eisenring, Emily Kelly and Katura Harvey.
Other Tar Heels competing on Friday morning who did not make it into the championship or consolation finals included freshman Emma Nunn, who was 42nd in the 400 IM at 4:17.88; freshman Hannah Lincoln, who was 41st in the 100 fly at 53.84; freshman Lauren Earp, who was 21st in the 200 free at 1:46.14; and redshirt junior Carly Smith, who was 21st in the 100 back at 53.63."We have a great group ready to represent UNC tomorrow. We're excited about 13th place but know we have to earn our place with our performance Saturday."