CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina and Virginia battled to the wire in men's and women's swimming and diving action Saturday afternoon at Koury Natatorium with the #9 Virginia women and #16 North Carolina men emerging with razor thins victories.
The Virginia women defeated the #7 UNC women 152-146, pulling away with three successive event wins late in the meet to hold off the Tar Heels, who got closer on the final relay but just fell short in the team score. The #20 Virginia men had built a seemingly comfortable lead before the Tar Heels ran off wins in the final four events of the meet to score a 154-145 victory over the Cavaliers.
"It was a very exciting day. Two close meets. Two great teams," said UNC head coach Rich DeSelm. "We knew these meets would be close. Our senior men go out against Virginia with a pair of wins, two years ago and again today. It's been a while since our women have been that close. Typically we give them a good run and then Virginia pulls away so it was a lot of fun going down to the last relay but we fell a little bit short.
"Overall, I thought we swam very well. We had some seniors step up. Alex Gianino, he's done that before, but today him getting the win in the 200 IM got us to the relay where we had a chance to win the meet. Everybody takes part, everybody has a role in getting a win like that. That's sort of the theme we are pursuing, everyone trying to get one percent faster," said DeSelm. "Overall it was a great afternoon. We had a great crowd, a great following and good healthy competition."
The Tar Heel men, who improved to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the ACC, got four wins by sophomore Logan Heck. He swept the 50 and 100 freestyles and anchored both the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay to victories. Sophomore Nic Graesser swam on both winning relay teams and sophomore Sam Lewis won the 100 fly and swam the fly leg on the victorious 200 medley relay. Sophomore Kurt Wohlrab, sophomore Dominick Glavich, freshman Jack Nyquist and senior Alex Gianino all had single event wins for UNC.
Ally Hardesty led Carolina on the women's side as she won the 50 and 100 freestyle and also swam a leg on the victorious 400 free relay team. Stephanie Peacock won both distance freestyle events for Carolina while Meredith Hoover notched a win in the 200 fly. The Tar Heel women lost in the ACC for the first time this year. They are 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the ACC.
The women's meet was nip and tuck throughout before UVA was able to put enough distance between itself and Carolina by winning the 100 fly, three-meter diving and 200 IM. Ellen Williamson did the heavy lifting for the Cavaliers as she took the 100 fly and 200 IM, getting UVA far enough ahead to withstand UNC's win in the 400 free relay.
Virginia was in good shape in the men's meet until Carolina rattled off wins in the final four events. Sophomore Sam Lewis led a 1-2-3 sweep by the Tar Heels in the 100-yard butterfly as Carolina outscored the Wahoos 16-3 in that event to pull within two points. Ben Colley and Dominick Glavich finished 2-3 with Glavich touching out Virginia's Parker Camp by .01 for third place.
Freshman Jack Nyquist then won the three-meter diving while Virginia went 2-3-4 as Carolina crept within a point in the team race. That set up an exciting 200 IM where senior Alex Gianino pulled off an incredible come-from-behind win while Virginia swimmers went 2-3-4-5. Gianino's win pulled UNC even in the team race heading into a winner-take-all relay. Gianino was in third place halfway through the race and almost a full two seconds behind Virginia's Luke Papendick. But the Yonkers, N.Y., native split 31.33 in the breaststroke and 25.37 in the freestyle to touch out Papendick, 1:48.72 to 1:48.87.
The Tar Heels then grabbed the overall victory by winning the 400 free relay with a time of 2:59.58 to Virginia's 3:00.61. The two teams traded the lead through the first 300 splits with J.T. Stilley giving Logan Heck a .32 lead going into the final 100. Heck then split 44.13 to Parker Camp's 44.84 on the final leg to secure the win. The Tar Heels' winning relay included senior Brad Dillon, sophomore Nic Graesser, senior J.T. Stilley and sophomore Logan Heck.
"Our work is not done. We're gearing up for our conference meet but between now and then we've got NC State and Duke next weekend," said DeSelm.
Carolina will be in action again on Friday as it hosts NC State on Senior Night at Koury Natatorium. The meet begins at 5 p.m. The Tar Heels also swim next Saturday at Duke in their final ACC meet of the regular season.
MEN'S TEAM SCORE
NORTH CAROLINA 154, VIRGINIA 145
WOMEN'S TEAM SCORE
VIRGINIA 152, NORTH CAROLINA 146
MEN'S INDIVIDUAL EVENT WINNERS
200-Yard Medley Relay: North Carolina (Nic Graesser, Kurt Wohlrab, Sam Lewis, Logan Heck), 1:27.93
1000-Yard Freestyle: Bradley Phillips (UVA), 9:09.36
200-Yard Freestyle: Parker Camp (UVA), 1:38.02
100-Yard Backstroke: Luke Papendick (UVA), 48.07
100-Yard Breaststroke: Kurt Wohlrab (UNC), 55.61
200-Yard Butterfly: Dominick Glavich (UNC), 1:46.36
50-Yard Freestyle: Logan Heck (UNC), 20.47
One-Meter Diving: J.B. Kolod (UVA), 386.48
100-Yard Freestyle: Logan Heck (UNC), 44.95
200-Yard Backstroke: Luke Papendick (UVA), 1:44.04
200-Yard Breaststroke: Taylor Grey (UVA), 2:00.96
500-Yd. Freestyle: Bradley Phillips (UVA), 4:26.50
100-Yd. Butterfly: Sam Lewis (UNC), 47.79
Three-Meter Diving: Jack Nyquist (UNC), 385.50
200-Yard Individual Medley: Alex Gianino (UNC), 1:48.72
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: North Carolina (Brad Dillon, Nic Graesser, J.T. Stilley, Logan Heck), 2:59.58
Records: North Carolina 5-2, ACC 1-1; Virginia 5-4, ACC 1-2
WOMEN'S INDIVIDUAL EVENT WINNERS
200-Yard Medley Relay: Virginia (Courtney Bartholomew, Laura Simon, Ellen Williamson, Emily Lloyd), 1:40.37
1000-Yard Freestyle: Stephanie Peacock (UNC), 9:38.14
200-Yard Freestyle: Danielle Siverling (UNC), 1:46.52
100-Yard Backstroke: Courtney Bartholomew (UVA), 52.91
100-Yard Breaststroke: Laura Simon (UVA), 1:01.42
200-Yard Butterfly: Meredith Hoover (UNC), 1:57.85
50-Yard Freestyle: Ally Hardesty (UNC), 23.11
One-Meter Diving: Rebecca Corbett (UVA), 288.38
100-Yard Freestyle: Ally Hardesty (UNC), 49.64
200-Yard Backstroke: Courtney Bartholomew (UVA), 1:55.46
200-Yard Breaststroke: Laura Simon (UVA), 2:13.15
500-Yard Freestyle: Stephanie Peacock (UNC), 4:43.14
100-Yard Butterfly: Ellen Williamson (UVA), 54.09
Three-Meter Diving: Rebecca Corbett (UVA) 314.70
200-Yard Individual Medley: Ellen Williamson (UVA), 1:59.88
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: North Carolina (Ally Hardesty, Danielle Siverling, Sarah Hitchens, Hannah Lincoln), 3:20.94Records: North Carolina 7-2, ACC 1-1; Virginia 9-1, ACC 3-0