For the second edition of the Carolina College Invitational, the North Carolina Tar Heels welcomed teams from NC State, Duke, UNC Wilmington, Virginia Tech, James Madison, Old Dominion, Towson, and William & Mary for three days of competition at their home pool. The programs are racing in a prelims/finals format, but no scores are being tallied over the course of the weekend. Several swimmers earned their first NCAA qualifying standards and lowered their best times for season and career bests. North Carolina walked away today with three event titles, NC State with two, and Duke rounded out with one event win.
For tonight’s finals, the ladies from the NC State Wolfpack posted a 1:32.49 in the 200 free relay while the Virginia Tech Hokies’ 1:23.05 occupied the only relay on the men’s side. Tar Heel swimmer Zhada Fields swam the fastest women’s prelims 500 free at 4:50.79 and was able to defend her top seed in finals with a new career best of 4:48.82. John Poff of the Wolfpack enjoyed a near four second lead in this morning’s 500 free, but had to repeat the effort for a NCAA ‘B’ cut of 4:24.90 in order to defeat Steffen Erickson (4:27.36) of Virginia Tech and Mason Revis (4:27.98) of NC State.
UNC’s Rachel Canty, one of the Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion’s newest pool record holders, cruised a 2:01.64 this morning for the 200 IM’s top seed. She went head-to-head in finals with teammate Kendall Surhoff, who finished under Canty’s prelims time at 2:01.01, but Canty emerged ahead with a near two minute barrier swim of 2:00.19. Ann Goessling swam the race in 2:03.46 for a Tar Heel 1-2-3 sweep with Canty and Surhoff scoring ‘B’ cuts with their career best swims. The Wolfpack men dominated the 200 IM in prelims, capturing places 1st through 6th starting with Geoffrey Carter’s 1:49.18. Carter shaved off some time during his finals swim (1:48.93) with Quinlan Stuart (1:49.81) dipping under the 1:50 mark to challenge his NC State teammate for first. Both swimmers earned a ‘B’ cut in this race.
Kate Boyer of the Tar Heels might have popped off the fastest women’s 50 free in 22.97, but her finals time dropped her to 4th place. Duke got an event win with Kathryn Eckhart‘s 23.08 over UNC’s Kathryn Ford’s 23.13. In the men’s 50 free, James Casey posted his career best this morning at 20.42 and still edged Blue Devil Benedict Parfit 20.52 versus 20.56 for victory. Duke swimmers Kevin Fraser (20.96) and Adriaan Venter (21.50) gained the Devils more A final points to even out the top eight. William and Mary swam a 4:02.40 for the lone women’s 400 medley relay for the last swim of the night.
The racing continues tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Chapel Hill with the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and 800 free relay.