Cari Blalock named ACC swimmer of the year


    GREENSBORO, NC (ACC) — The Atlantic Coast Conference has honored 10 individuals as recipients of the 2013 ACC Swimming & Diving annual awards, announced Thursday by the conference office. The winners were determined by a vote of the league’s head coaches.

    North Carolina garnered three accolades as Tom Luchsinger and Cari Blalock swept the Swimmer of the Year honors for the Tar Heels and Rich DeSelm was named the Women’s Coach of the Year.

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    Luchsinger is the first Tar Heel since 1996, and fifth overall, to be named ACC Men’s Swimmer of the Year. A senior from Mt. Sinai, N.Y., he won the ACC title in the 200 butterfly in meet record time. He was victorious in the 400 individual medley and took silver in the 200 IM. In his final appearance at the NCAA Championship, Luchsinger finished in a career-best fifth place in the 200 butterfly and earned Honorable Mention All-America accolades in the 400 IM.

    Blalock, a junior from Wilmington, N.C., tallied 34 points in individual events at the NCAA Women’s Championship, the most for any ACC athlete at the meet. She finished in eighth in the 400 IM and 10th in the 200 IM, both in ACC-record times, and placed third in the 200 butterfly in the second fastest time in ACC history. At the conference meet, Blalock was the ACC champion in both the 200 butterfly and 400 IM. Blalock is the second Tar Heel to be named ACC Women’s Swimmer of the Year in the past two seasons. Stephanie Peacock won the award a year ago.

    DeSelm led the Tar Heel women to an ACC-best 12th place finish at the NCAA meet, the best for North Carolina since 2001. The Heels compiled 10 individual and two relay finishes in the top 16 nationally as 10 North Carolina swimmers earned All-America honors. This is DeSelm’s second straight ACC Women’s Coach of the Year award.