UNC pulled off a big upset on Texas, and the Tar Heels were led by Hellen Moffitt.
Moffitt first took the 100 back in 53.39, winning by nearly a full seconds, then led a UNC 1-2-3 finish in the 100 fly (53.43). That fly win was big, considering the Tar Heels kept highly-touted Texas freshman Remedy Rule out of significant scoring. UNC snagged another one away from Rule, as Sarah Koucheki recorded a 1:58.67 to edge out a hard-charging Rule by about a half second. Moffitt was unable to complete the triple win, however, as Quinn Carrozza (1:55.11) led a UT 1-2 over Moffitt (1:56.65) in the 200 back.
UNC’s team win was close, but their relays were outstanding and they really highlighted the Tar Heels’ big meet. In the opening 200 medley relay, UNC and UT were down to the wire, tied at the fly/free exchange. UNC’s Caroline Baldwin held off Rebecca Millard at the wall, though, and the two registered very quick splits of 22.07 and 22.11, respectively. Texas ended up DQing their A relay, giving UNC an even bigger lead right off the bat. Baldwin came back to win the individual 50 free over Millard, 22.63 to 22.80.
UNC’s 400 free relay, too, was very strong. They led off with three straight 49s, and got a 48.91 anchor from Lauren Earp. Millard walked away with the fastest split of the day (48.40), but that last relay clinched the win for UNC, who topped this one 154-146.
Texas got a huge meet from Madisyn Cox, who won thrice in a very tough set of events. She first took the 200 free (1:46.32) in a tight race with Allyn Hardesty (1:46.79) of UNC, then dominated both the 200 breast (2:11.75) and the 400 IM (4:10.43).
Freshman Joanna Evans was also impressive for the Longhorns, doubling down on the distance events. She won the 1000 (9:45.10) in a time that now ranks her third in the NCAA. She had to hop back in for the 200 free with a 10 minute break in between, still pulling out a 1:50.69, then returned to win the 500 free easily (4:48.84).
Other wins included Texas frosh Olivia Anderson in the 100 breast (1:01.67) and Earp in the 100 free (49.59) which edged Millard by seven hundredths.
Jack Conger and Joe Schooling put on a clinic today, as each shot themselves to the top of the NCAA in different butterfly events.
Conger won the 200 fly in 1:44.12, just knocking off Cal freshman Andrew Seliskar from the top of the nation. He returned to take 2nd in the 200 back (1:46.40), but nobody was touching Longhorn frosh Ryan Harty, who popped a 1:44.88 for the win.
Schooling, meanwhile, sprinted to a nation-leading 46.73 win in the 100 fly. That hopped him over Tar Heel Sam Lewis, who held the old top time of 47.08 from UNC’s meet with Louisville last weekend. Lewis was still very quick, registering a 47.18.
Clark Smith and Townley Haas divided and conquered the longer free races. Smith took the 200 free (1:37.08) by a few tenths over Harty (1:37.40) and was back to finish on top in the 500 (4:25.57). Haas, meanwhile, led a Texas 1-2-3 in the 1000 with his 9:04.71.
Will Licon was another double winner for Texas, pulling breaststroke duty and taking both the 100 (54.59) and the 200 (1:58.83). Also taking two was Brett Ringgold, who wrangled the 50 free (20.24) and the 100 free (44.18).
UNC did turn it up a few notches on both relays, taking both. They took a big lead in the medley after Kurt Wohlrab out-split Austin Temple 24.85 to 25.47 on the breast, and Lewis was able to keep the lead despite a 20.64 split from Schooling. Ben Colley showed up big time here, anchoring in a 19.80 to John Murray‘s 20.21. UNC’s A and B breaststrokers both beat Temple.
Texas definitely didn’t put forth their best 400 free relay, as it was missing guys like Conger, Schooling, Ellis, and Murray, but UNC trounced them nonetheless. The Tar Heels’ 2:58.58, highlighted by a 44.30 split from Nic Graesser, beat out Texas’ only relay by about two and a half seconds. UNC’s B relay, in fact, was beating Texas’ A before Ringgold dove in to provide an incredible 43.06 anchor leg.
UNC’s relay heroics weren’t going to cut it, though, in this dual. The Tar Heels fell to Texas with a final score of 160-132.
The Texas men and women travel down the road to do battle with the NC State Wolfpack. UNC, meanwhile, will host the Nike Cup next weekend.