COLUMBUS, Ohio - Junior Stephanie Peacock broke her own NCAA, ACC and school record en route to winning the women's 1,650-yard freestyle and leading North Carolina on the final day of the Ohio State Invitational, held at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
Peacock won the 1,650 freestyle in 15:37.06, topping her previous best of 15:38.79, while also setting a new McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion facility record as well as the Ohio State Invitational meet record.
"Overall, this was a great meet for us, and I was very pleased that we swam strong this evening," UNC head coach Rich DeSelm said. "I felt we could've done better this morning, but I'm very pleased to see how enthusiastic the team was about racing tonight and how well we did overall."
Also in the women's 1,650 freestyle, senior Jackie Rudolph joined Peacock in the championship final, placing seventh in 16:27.33. Freshman Emma Nunn swam 16:36.87 to take 11th, and freshman Charlotte Ruby was 25th in 17:09.03.
Junior Cari Blalock claimed Carolina's second gold of the night, winning the 200-yard butterfly in 1:56.63, while senior Katie Nolan finished right behind in second in 1:56.99. Nunna also swam in the "A" finals, taking 10th in 2:01.70. Two freshman swam in the "C" finals of the event, with Kendal Surhoff taking 26th in 2:03.05, and Ruby finished 27th in 3:03.48.
"Cari and Katie's times tonight were two best times for them, and they were two of the best times every swam by UNC women," DeSelm said.
Senior Tom Luchsinger had a strong showing in the men's 200-yard butterfly, placing fifth in 1:45.16. Freshman Ben Colley had a personal-best swim to take 11th in 1:47.43, and freshman Logan Heck finished 24th, also swimming a best time of 1:51.92
The men's 200-yard backstroke included six Tar Heels in finals, with sophomore Patrick Myers and junior Brad Dillon taking fifth (1:45.63) and sixth (1:46.59), respectively in the championship heat. Freshman Matt Kwatyra took 12th in 1:47.94 in the "B" final, and freshman Nic Graesser (21st, 1:46.78), junior Bryce Mendes (28th, 1:53.54) and freshman Mitch DeForest (29th, 1:53.93) added three "C" final swims.
The men's 1,650-yard freestyle was another strong event for UNC. Senior Brett Nagle was fourth in a personal-best 15:07.69, passing his previous top mark of 15:07.96, and junior J.T. Stilley also swam a best 15:16.31, dropping more than five seconds off his previous best of 15:21.84, to take sixth in the event. Three more Tar Heels also swam in the "B" finals of the 1,650 freestyle, as Dan O'Connor finished 11th in 15:27.70, John Paul Gaylor took 12th in 15:32.78, and DeForest was 17th in 15:41.70.
Junior Katie Rechsteiner qualified for the championship final of the women's 200-yard breastroke after swimming a strong 2:14.29 in prelims earlier in the day. Rechsteiner notched 10th in the "A" finals in 2:17.42, as two Carolina freshmen also qualified for finals in the event with Rachel Canty taking 16th in 2:17.17, while Madison Burns finished in 2:18.05 for 21st.
In the men's 200-yard breastroke, freshman Kurt Wohlrab led UNC with a 13th-place personal-best 2:00.90 swim, cutting more than a full second off his previous top time. Sophomore Brian Bollerman was 15th in 2:03.09, and junior Alex Gianino also swam in the "B" finals with a 19th-place finish in 2:04.05.
Junior Carly Smith was the top finisher in the "B" finals of the women's 200-yard backstroke, swimming a strong 1:55.72 to take 11th in the event. Senior Rebecca Brooks (13th, 1:58.46), and freshman Annie Harrison (16th, 1:59.48) also swam in the "B" finals of the 200-yard backstroke for Carolina.
North Carolina had five finalists in the men's 100-yard freestyle on Sunday. Junior Kyle Ficker and Stilley finished just .01 seconds apart as Ficker finished 12th in 45.45, and Stilley swam 45.46 to take 13th. Freshman Sam Lewis was 18th in the event (46.44), and Graesser closed out the heat in 46.71 for 20th. Freshman Sean Sullivan finished 26th in 46.59.
In the women's 100-yard freestyle, sophomore Dani Silverling placed 15th in 50.44, and sophomore Nikki Barczak was 17th in 50.62. Swimming in the "C" final, freshman Allie Hardesty was 27th in 51.57.
"We had a lot of lifetime best swims over the course of the weekend, and that sets us up well going into the second semester," DeSelm said. "Now it's time to focus on studying for exams and training for the spring and our championship season."
The Tar Heel men finished third with 575.5 points behind host Ohio State with 1,306 and Florida with 997.5. UNC topped Wisconsin (fourth, 400), Indiana (fifth, 305), Stanford (sixth, 97), and Purdue ( seventh, 65).
Carolina finished fourth on the women's side, as UNC tallied 563 points. Florida was first with 837, Stanford took second with 815, and host Ohio State grabbed third with 589. UNC finished ahead of Notre Dame (fifth, 440), Wisconsin (sixth, 387), Indiana (seventh, 147), Purdue (eighth, 99) and Texas (ninth, 54).
The Tar Heels are off from competition until the Duke Diving Invitational, which will be held Dec. 28-29 in Durham. UNC will compete against Penn State in Naples, Fla., on Jan. 3, while the divers will also participate in the Tennessee Diving Invitational in Knoxville, Tenn., from Thursday, Jan. 3 through Saturday, Jan. 5.