CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Junior Cari Blalock set a school record in the women's 400-yard individual medley to highlight a second day of competition for North Carolina swimming at the Ohio State Invitational being held at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
After two days of competition the men are in third place and the women in fourth place in the team standings. Stanford leads the women's standings with 559 followed by Florida with 534, Ohio State with 412, North Carolina with 402, Notre Dame with 314, Wisconsin with 260, Indiana with 103, Purdue with 63 and Texas with 53.
On the men's side, host Ohio State leads with 894 followed by Florida with 640.5, North Carolina with 407.5, Wisconsin with 289, Indiana with 208, Stanford with 65 and Purdue with 44.
"We are enjoying the great competition at the OSU Invitational and learning more about our team. Both teams are racing tough and learning a great deal about how their preparation impacts their performances," said UNC head coach Rich DeSelm. "This is proving to be a great setting for us to work together as a team, swim a lot of events and find out more about our strengths and weaknesses. We are looking forward to racing more tomorrow and getting home, doing a fantastic job with exams and working on what we are learning here this weekend."
The Tar Heel men started the evening in fine fettle as Carolina recorded a season best time in the 200-yard medley relay to claim fifth place. The UNC quartet of freshmen Nic Graesser, Kurt Wohlrab, Sam Lewis and All-America junior Kyle Ficker was clocked in 1:29.66. That was more than a second faster than UNC's previous season best of 1:30.84 recorded against Virginia Tech.
UNC junior Cari Blalock eclipsed the Tar Heel school record in the 400-yard individual medley as she placed third in a time of 4:07.51. Carolina's previous record was 4:07.66 set by Laura Moriarty in 2010. Blalock's time took exactly 1.5 seconds off her previous career best of 4:09.01 and it was also just .22 of a seconds shy of Claire Crippen's ACC record time of 4:07.29. Carolina freshman Emma Nunn was also in the championship final of the event, placing ninth in 4:17.54.
In the men's 400-yard individual medley, the Tar Heels had a cadre of six individuals place in the Top 20 of the event led by senior Tom Luchsigner in seventh place with a clocking of 3:52.29. Sophomore Patrick Myers dropped 2.77 seconds from his preliminary time to his finals time to finish in 12th place at 3:53.00.
Senior Katie Nolan twice broke her career best in the 100-yard butterfly on Saturday. She went 52.86 in the prelims and 52.82 in the finals to claim third place in the event. Her previous career best was 52.92. Swimming back-to-back events, Cari Blalock turned in a solid sixth place finish in the event at 53.84 while freshman Hannah Lincoln took eighth place. Her day's accomplishments including swimming a career best 53.70 in the prelims.
On the men's side in the 100-yard butterfly, Atlanta freshman Sam Lewis twice eradicated his career best in the event, going 48.35 in the prelims and then finishing eighth in the main final at 48.29. He had been clocked at 49.21 coming into UNC as a freshman.
Carolina had three swimmers in the big final of the women's 200-yard freestyle as Stephanie Peacock placed third (1:46.19), Danielle Siverling notched fourth (1:46.78) and Ally Hardesty garnered eighth (1:48.57). Hardesty went a career best in the preliminaries at 1:48.27, taking one one-hundredth of a second off her previous best time.
The Tar Heels placed a trio of swimmers in the "A" final of the men's 200-yard freestyle led by junior J.T. Stilley in sixth place. Stilley clocked identical 1:37.53 times in both prelims and finals. Junior Brad Dillon crushed his previous career best time in the event by going 1:37.55 in the prelims. He went on to finish seventh in the final at 1:37.82. His career best had been 1:40.07 earlier this year in the dual meet against Virginia Tech. Carolina had two more finishers in the top dozen as senior Brett Nagle copped 10th place and senior Tom Luchsigner was 12th, taking 1.79 seconds off his prelim time to finish in 1:38.21.
Junior Katie Rechsteiner came razor close to achieving a career best in the women's 100-yard breaststroke as she was awarded sixth place with a time of 1:01.99. That was three one-hundredths of a second off her previous career best set in 2011. Four Tar Heels placed in the "B" final of the event. On the men's side, freshman Kurt Wohlrab w3-on the "B" final of the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 56.14.
In the 100-yard backstroke, Katie Nolan seized her second final spots of the night and did well, taking sixth in the event in 54.12 (53.87 in prelims). Both of those times were faster than her previous career best of 54.42 set last season. Carly Smith was also a finalist in the event, taking eighth place in 54.38.
Carolina turned in some solid results in the 100-yard backstroke with three swimmers in the top nine - freshman Nic Graesser in fifth (48.18), freshman Sam Lewis in seventh (48.76) and junior transfer Brad Dillon in ninth (49.16). For the second time on the day, Lewis twice took down previous a previous career best, just as he had done in the 100 fly. Lewis' best time has been 48.85 until he went 48.79 in the prelims.
UNC's 800-yard freestyle relay on the men's side turned in a solid effort with a third-place finish. The relay time was 6:31.23 and included J.T. Stilley (1:37.27), Tom Luchsinger (1:37.92), Brett Nagle (1:38.44) and Brad Dillon (1:37.60). The UNC women's 800-yard freestyle relay team placed fifth in a time of 7:14.88. That relay consisted of Stephanie Peacock (1:47.23), Danielle Siverling (1:48.22), Ally Hardesty (1:50.64) and Katie Nolan (1:48.79).
"We had some great performances again tonight, highlighted on the women's side by Cari Blalock's personal best time and new UNC record in the 400IM, Katie Nolans tremendous swims in just about everything she has done, Stephanie Peacock's 200 Free, Ally Hardesty's career best times in the 200 free and 100 back, and Katie Recsteiner's 100 Breast," said DeSelm. "For the men, the most notable performances on the day came from Tom Luchsinger, going a tough double in the 400 IM & 200 Free, J.T. Stilley in multiple 200 Free's, Brad Dillon's career best 200 Free, and two freshmen, Nic Graesser and Sam Lewis, who also had a multiple career best day."Carolina will conclude the Ohio State Invitational action on Sunday with sessions at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. EST.