Blalock leads UNC to 2nd at ACC meet

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Submitted: Sun, 02/23/2014 - 1:26am
Updated: Sun, 02/23/2014 - 5:14pm

GREENSBORO, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover High graduate Cari Blalock finished in second place in the 200 women’s butterfly on Saturday night in Greensboro. This comes just one night after Blalock won the 400 individual medley at the ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship.

Blalock’s time was 1:55:4. She only finished behind UNC teammate Meredith Hoover at 1:55:01 More info soon.

We’ve posted an article from UNC immediately below on Saturday’s swimming. Below that we’ve posted another article from UNC on Friday’s swimming which includes numerous tidbits about Cari Blalock’s victory on Friday.

GREENSBORO, NC (UNC) — The University of North Carolina women’s swimming and diving team had a strong final night at the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, winning a pair of events, posting four runner-up finishes and setting both an NCAA and an ACC record during the final session. UNC finished the meet with 1,205 points and claimed second place behind defending ACC champion Virginia. The Tar Heels moved up a spot from last year in the standings when they placed third.

“On behalf of our staff I want to see we are very proud of our team,” said UNC head coach Rich DeSelm. “Every member of the team who was not selected for the ACC squad was in the stands. We had a lot of parents rooting us on and we had a lot of spectators come over from Chapel Hill and root us on as well. We had a great night. This is a very deep conference. Every team is getting better and faster. We are certainly getting better and faster. We’ll regroup and see where we are with the NCAA qualifying and we’ll be eager to go on to Minneapolis.”

The Tar Heels capped the evening by successfully defending its ACC championship in the 400-yard freestyle relay and doing so in league record time. The Tar Heel team of Lauren Earp (48.93), Hannah Lincoln (48.22), Ally Hardesty (48.77) and Danielle Siverling (48.47) touched in 3:14.39. That eclipsed the previous ACC record of 3:15.22 set by Virginia in 2009. Carolina’s previous school record in the event was 3:15.88 established by the same four UNC swimmers at last year’s ACC Championships.

“We defending our championship and reset the ACC record,” said DeSelm. “We went an “A” qualifying time and all four ladies on the relay split a 48 plus. The 3:14 is a really good time and we’ve very happy with that.”

In the 1650-yard freestyle senior Stephanie Peacock was en route to a record setting performance before losing pace in the final 75 yards of the race and finishing second in 15:51.78. Peacock led the race at the 1,000-yard mark at 9:28.76, a time that broke her own existing NCAA record of 9:28.92 set at the Ohio State Invitational in December 2012. After finishing the race, Peacock received medical attention on the pool deck and was transported to Moses Cone Hospital for observation. A team trainer and Peacock’s parents accompanied her to the hospital. No more medical information on Peacock’s condition is available at this time.

“Stephanie swam great. At the 1000 she reset her NCAA record and U.S. Open record, which she initially set two years ago at Ohio State. With a couple of hundreds yards left something happened. She received prompt medical attention on the deck following the race and we hope to know more about her condition later,” said DeSelm.

In the 200-yard butterfly, Carolina senior Meredith Hoover won the first individual ACC title of her career, touching first in 1:55.10. Her senior teammate, Cari Blalock, who won the event last year, took runner-up honors in 1:55.42. Two other Tar Heels were in the championship final as Emma Nunn placed fifth in 1:57.25 and freshman Sarah Koucheki took sixth place in 1:57.74. Junior Hannah Runyon-Hass swam in the consolation heat and placed 12th in a career best 2:00.26.

“Meredith and Cari are both great stories. Meredith Hoover was basically a walk-on. She came to UNC because she’s from a Tar Heel family and she has just gotten better and better every year she’s been here,” said DeSelm. “Cari Blalock we recruited hard. She ended up going to another school for a year. But after a year she gave us a call and decided UNC where was she wanted to be. Since she got here she has been nothing but stellar. They are two different stories but they’ve teamed up together and they are happy for each other no matter who gets to the wall first. They are just great representatives of UNC.”

Tar Heel swimmers also excelled in the 100-yard freestyle as four finished in the top nine of the standings. Sophomore Lauren Earp took second place in a career best time of 48.67 seconds while sophomore Hannah Lincoln was fourth in a career best 49.13. Junior Danielle Siverling took eighth place for the Tar Heels while sophomore Ally Hardesty won the consolation heat to finish ninth overall in a career best 49.14.

“We were very excited about the 100 free. Our sprint group is doing really well. We are trying to make that priority for us at UNC,” said DeSelm.

Sophomore Annie Harrison earned a runner-up finish in the 200-yard backstroke, just missing her career best time with a clocking of 1:54.55. Three other Tar Heels scored points in the event with Carly Smith placing 11th in 1:56.56 and a pair of freshmen posting career bests in the bonus consolation final. Sarah Hitchens placed 18th in a time of 1:57.13 while Hellen Moffitt was 19th in 1:57.17. Both went close to two full seconds below their previous personal bests.

Carolina had two swimmers place in the championship final of the 200-yard breaststroke. Senior co-captain Katie Rechsteiner placed fifth in 2:13.66. That was a fitting finish for Rechsteiner as she attained her highest individual ACC finish of her career in her final race. Freshman Abby Fisher was also in the championship final, taking seventh in 2:13.85. Sophomore Rachel Canty was 20th in 2:15.73.

In the 10-meter platform competition, junior Kelly Corish had her best finish of the meet with an 11th-place standing wit 248.25 points. Erin Purdy was 27th. The men also competed in platform diving and their points will be added in to the totals at next week’s men’s ACC swimming championships in Greensboro. Junior Ryan Fox finished 12th in the event with 312.45 points and freshman Jack Nyquist was 23rd.
FINAL TEAM SCORES: Virginia 1433, North Carolina 1205, Florida State 972, NC State 950, Virginia Tech 914.5, Notre Dame 802, Duke 592, Pittsburgh 474.5, Miami 470.5, Georgia Tech 311.5, Boston College 162, Clemson 66


GREENSBORO, NC (UNC) -– Senior Cari Blalock and junior Danielle Siverling won individual championships on the third night of the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships and the Tar Heel squad jumped two spots in the team standings to place second heading into the final day of competition. This week’s championships are being held for the second successive year at the Greensboro Aquatics Center.

“We had a good night. We had a lot of swims and we had a few winners so things were picking up for us for sure,” said UNC head coach Rich DeSelm.

Blalock, a native of Wilmington, N.C., earned her second straight conference title in the 400-yard individual medley, clocking a winning time of 4:08.96, almost two full seconds ahead of runner-up Emma Nunn, her sophomore teammate at North Carolina. Nunn took the second spot in 4:10.86, eclipsing her previous career best of 4:11.60. It was the third ACC title of Blalock’s career. She also won the 200 fly as a junior in 2013.

“Cari Blalock defended her championship from last year and Emma Nunn came from behind after the breaststroke leg to move up several places and got her hand on the wall for second place which was huge for us. Those were great swims for both of those ladies, helping momentum swing our way,” said DeSelm.

Three other Tar Heels earned big points in the team race for UNC as sophomore Annie Harrison was ninth in 4:14.49, junior Hannah Runyon-Hass was 10th in 4:15.43 and freshman Abby Fisher was 18th in 4:20.59.

Blalock was joined atop the victory platform by junior Danielle Siverling who garnered first place in the 200-yard freestyle in a school record time of 1:44.43. It was the second time in three days that Siverling has broken the school mark in the event as she went 1:44.72 leading off UNC’s 800-yard freestyle relay on Wednesday night. Prior to Wednesday, Jessi Perruquet had held the Tar Heel record since her NCAA winning swim in the event in 2003.

Siverling was one of four Tar Heels in the championship final of the 200 free as junior Stephanie Peacock finished fourth in 1:45.71, sophomore Ally Hardesty was sixth in 1:46.58 (after going a personal best 1:46.26 in the prelims) and sophomore Lauren Earp was seventh in 1:47.76.

“We were pretty loaded in the 200 free with four of the top eight in the “A” final,” said DeSelm. “Danielle Siverling pretty much led all the way. She was just a little bit behind at the 100 but she put together a superb race and I’m really proud of her.”

The other Tar Heel to reach the medals podium on Friday night was senior Carly Smith, who took third place in the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 53.07. Other Tar Heels scoring in the event were freshman Sarah Hitchens in 10th place with a career best 53.63 and sophomore Annie Harrison in 20th place in a career best 54.32. Freshman Hellen Moffitt was 23rd after going a career best 54.08 in Friday’s prelims.

“Carly Smith, who is in her fifth year for us after redshirting one year, had a really nice swim. She was 53.07 which was just off her best time. She got third place and earned her way on to the awards stand,” said DeSelm.

The 100-yard butterfly was also an excellent event for the Tar Heels Friday night as three Tar Heels reached the championship final. Sophomore Hannah Lincoln was the top finisher in fifth place at 53.37, senior Meredith Hoover was sixth in a personal best 53.46 and freshman Hellen Moffitt touched in eighth place after going a personal best 53.37 in the prelims of the event. In the bonus consolation heat, freshman Sarah Koucheki took 19th place in 54.13 while senior Carly Smith was 22nd in 54.50.

Senior co-captain Katie Rechsteiner was a championship finalist in the 100-yard breaststroke as she took seventh place in a time of 1:02.13. She had notched a career best 1:01.47 in the prelims while qualifying eighth. Sophomore Rachel Canty and freshman Abby Fisher finished 18th and 21st, respectively, with times of 1:02.19 and 1:02.79.

Diving competition for both the men and the women is held on the same weekend at the ACC Championships. For the second straight day, UNC freshman Jack Nyquist was a championship finalist. He gained podium status on Friday, taking third place in one-meter diving with a score of 398.30 after capturing sixth in the three-meter on Thursday. His teammate Ryan Fox was 14th with 334.30 after taking 10th in three-meter diving. The men’s diving points will be reflected in the team scores in next weekend’s men’s championships. Nyquist’s score of 398.30 broke his own existing school record in the event by nearly four points.

The Tar Heel women’s divers stepped up in a big way on Friday in the three-meter event after a tough day on Thursday in one-meter diving. Sophomore Erin Purdy led all consolation heat divers with a ninth place finish with 321.45 points while junior Kelly Corish was 23rd with 264.10 points.

In Friday’s other event, UNC took sixth place in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:36.80. The Tar Heel relay included senior Carly Smith, senior Katie Rechsteiner, sophomore Hannah Lincoln and sophomore Ally Hardesty.

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