Alexis Wenger Drops Lifetime Best as Virginia Topples North Carolina

by Robert Gibbs 9

January 26th, 2019 ACC, College, News

North Carolina v Virginia

  • Friday, January 25
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Dual Meet format
  • Results
  • Scores
    • Women: UVA 172, UNC 126
    • Men: UVA 187, UNC 112

The Virginia Cavaliers downed North Carolina Friday afternoon in the Tar Heels’ first home meet of the season. UNC didn’t roll over, putting up some solid swims, but ultimately lost by sizable margins on both sides.

On the women’s side, Morgan Hill, Alexis Wenger, and Emily Seiberlich led the way for the Cavaliers, as each took two wins. Hill took the 200 free (1:46.30) and 50 free (22.40). The freshmen Wenger swept the breaststrokes, posting times of 1:00.98 and 2:11.59. That 200 time was almost a four second personal best for Wenger, whose previous best time of 2:15.25 came nearly four years ago, when she was 15. Her 2nd-best time coming into this meet was a 2:15.81 from the UGA Fall Invite. Seiberlich swept the distance events, going 4:54.19/10:01.47.

The Tarheel women earned four victories in the pool, including a 1:31.86 in the 200 free relay, and a six second victory by Caroline Hauder in the 200 IM.

The men’s competition started out fierce, with UNC’s Valdas Abaliksta dropping a sub-44 split to run down UVA’s Sam Schilling, only for UNC to end up getting DQ’d and UVA getting the victory anyway, with a time of 3:13.72.

The Virginia men retained control of the meet from there. Ryan Baker and Zach Fong each earned two win for the Cavaliers. Baker went 44.44/1:38.13 to take the 100/200 freestyles, while Fong doubled up in the butterfly events with times of 47.96/1:48.84.

Abaliksta earned twof UNC’s victories, sweeping the breaststrokes in 54.11/1:59.71. He also had UNC’s only sub-20 split in the 200 free relay, although UVA still took that event with a time of 1:20.98.

It’s worth noting that UVA did not exhibition any of the events.

UNC Release

Courtesy of UNC Athletics

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The North Carolina Tar Heels gave a great effort in Koury Natatorium against Virginia’s nationally-ranked women’s (#5) and men’s (#14) teams on Friday. Carolina’s women fell 126-172 and the men were bested 112-187 in their second-to-last dual meet of the 2018-19 season.

“Virginia’s got a great team,” head coach Rich DeSelm said. “They’re well-coached and they’ve got talent across the board. They did what they needed to do, but I was more focused on our team. Even though we didn’t win the meet, today was awesome. We accomplished a lot of goals and I think the team can stand tall and be proud of how they went about things.”

Six Tar Heels and the women’s 400 medley relay collectively recorded nine season bests and UNC took 23 top-two times/scores against the Virginia Cavaliers. Carolina went one-two in three events, including the women’s 100 back, men’s 100 breast and women’s 200 free relay and also finished nine events with the best performance of the meet.

Freshmen Grace Countie (53.65) and Sophie Lindner (54.25) paired up to finish first and second in the women’s 100 back while sophomore Alvin Jiang immediately followed their performances with a 100 back title of his own in the men’s race, clocking the top time of 47.85.

Sophomore Valdas Abaliksta and freshman Sterling Smith followed their teammates’ lead in the men’s 100 breast. Abaliksta touched the wall in 54.11 for the first of his two individual wins and Smith recorded a time of 54.46 — a whole second faster than the third-place finisher. Abaliksta would also go on to finish first in the men’s 200 breast with a time of 1:59.71.

Three more Tar Heels would take individual titles in the pool. Junior Bryanna Cameron finished first in the women’s 200 fly (1:58.43) and sophomore Eli Coan made an impressive run from lane one to take the men’s 50 free in 20.58. Additionally, sophomore Caroline Hauder won the women’s 200 IM with a time of 2:00.40.

On the diving boards, senior Maria Lohman had an impressive showing with season-best scores in both of her events. Lohman took the three-meter springboard title with a season-high 334.95 points and was the women’s one-meter runner-up with another season-best score of 302.93.

In the relays, three freshmen — Grace Countie, Lilly Higgs and Sophie Lindner — teamed up with senior Zhada Fields for the fastest 400 medley relay time of the season (3:40.13).

“Keeping the team energy is very important,” DeSelm said. “Swimming success goes in cycles. We’re not as competitive as we have been with NC State and Virginia in past years, but there’s no give up in this team. Every meet is a learning opportunity and a chance to find a way to be better, to find a way to help your team members be better. I think we did that today.”

UP NEXT: The Tar Heels host the Duke Blue Devils for their senior day meet on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 12 p.m. in Koury Natatorium. Hoping to enter the postseason with one more pair of wins, Carolina knows this week of preparation will be key as they head into their third and final head-to-head conference matchup of the regular season.

UVA Release

Courtesy of Virginia Athletics

Chapel Hill, N.C. –  The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams defeated North Carolina on Friday (Jan. 25) in a dual meet at the Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill, N.C.

No. 5 Virginia women’s team topped the Tar Heels 172-126, while the No. 14 Cavalier men defeated North Carolina 187-112.

“North Carolina has long been a swimming and diving rival for our program and it’s always an exciting environment to thrive in,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “The team stepped up and raced well on the road. Getting two victories was the goal and we looked strong accomplishing that.

“Hats off to our seniors as this is their last weekend of collegiate dual meets. Now we have a quick turnaround, heading to NC State tomorrow, which will be another tough battle that we are excited to stroll into.”

Virginia opened the meet with a sweep in the 400-yard medley relay as sophomore Marcella Maguire (Ridgefield, Conn.), freshman Kaki Christensen (Darien, Conn.), junior Morgan Hill(Olney, Md.) and senior Eryn Eddy (Loveland, Conn.) finished first in the women’s race with a time of 3:37.42, while the men’s team of junior Joe Clark (Worcester Park, Great Britain), sophomore Keefer Barnum (Louisville, Ky.), senior Zach Fong (Moorestown, N.J.) and sophomore Samuel Schilling (Excelsior, Minn.) placed first with a time of 3:13.72.

In the men’s competition, the Cavaliers captured the top-three times in two events. Fong led the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:48.84, while freshman Casey Storch (Great Falls, Va.)  finished second with a time of 1:49.20 and junior Ted Schubert (Ashland, Va.) finished third with a time of 1:49.44. In the 500-yard freestyle, senior Dan Golczewski (Bel Air, Md.) paced the event, swimming a time of 4:25.93 as senior Sam Magnan (Bethlehem, Pa.) placed second with a time of 4:28.65 and sophomore Samuel Schilling(Excelsior, Minn.) finished third with a time of 4:30.58.

Additionally, the men’s team recorded wins from junior Ryan Baker (Arlington, Va.), who finished first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:38.13), before following with the top swim in the 100-yard freestyle (44.44). Magnan paced the 1000-yard freestyle (9:13.91), as redshirt senior Brendan Casey won in the 200-yard backstroke (1:46.66), Fong won the 100-yard butterfly (47.96) and junior Jacob Wells (Henrico, Va.) won the 200-yard individual medley (1:50.45).

On the women’s side, freshman Alexis Wenger(Detroit, Mich.) captured the seventh-best time in program history with her win in the 200-yard breaststroke at a time of 2:11.59. She also captured a career-best time for first place in the 100-yard breaststroke, recording a time of 1:00.98.

Sophomore Emma Seiberlich (Audubon, Pa.) captured a pair of victories, winning the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:54.19 after opening the day with the 1000-yard freestyle’s fastest time at 10:01.47. Hill topped both the 50 and 200-yard freestyle, swimming a time of 22.40 and 1:46.30, respectively.

Eddy finished first in the 100-yard freestyle (50.13), while sophomore Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) finished first in the 200-yard backstroke (1:56.39) and freshman Jessica Nava (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) finished first in the 100-yard butterfly (54.68).

Junior diver Sydney Dusel (Naperville, Ill.) topped the 1m board, with a score of 308.33, while freshman Walker Creedon (Cary, N.C.) won the men’s 1m board with a career-best score of 310.20. Senior Bryce Shelton (Vienna, Va.) won the men’s 3m board with a score of 380.40.

The team concluded the night with the men’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Baker, freshman Justin Grender (Cincinnati, Ohio), Schilling and sophomore Cooper Wozencraft (Houston, Texas) swimming a time of 1:20.98 to finish first in the event.

The Cavaliers will return to action tomorrow, facing ACC foe NC State. The meet at the Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center in Raleigh, N.C., will open with diving events at 10 a.m., while swimming events will follow at 11 a.m. The meet will be streamed on ACC Network Extra.

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2 years ago

Lol don’t forget Wagner was suited for that race along with like 5 other UVA swimmers

Reply to  Nice!
2 years ago

And? PR by 4 seconds off a time she did when she was 15 — I would expect she was suited. It’s a huge breakthrough swim under any circumstances and good for her!

Reply to  Nice!
2 years ago

Oh dear. 🙂

Lost In The Sauce
Reply to  Nice!
2 years ago

All the suited swimmers were ones who weren’t traveling to their conference meet, or were looking to earn a spot onto it I’m pretty sure

Reply to  Nice!
2 years ago

Of interest she was slightly faster the next day at NC State unsuited

Reply to  Nice!
2 years ago

At least she didn’t get #DeSelmed….

Reply to  Wondering
2 years ago

No, but she did get #DeSorboed. See NC State meet results for further clarification.

Reply to  Buckeyeboy
2 years ago

….says an Ohio State fan? Wha???

Reply to  Buckeyeboy
2 years ago

Heh. DeSorbo’s results speak for themselves. The fact that he hasn’t already surpassed his old team doesn’t detract from that (and the UVA women already beat NCST (and Lville) last year at ACCs)