A burst of Duke blue broke through Tennessee’s orange Friday morning, as Peter Kropp set a new ACC 100-yard breast record, while the Volunteers’ prelim performance puts them in good position to keep their lead in the standings over the University of North Carolina (UNC) in the women’s competition and North Carolina State (NCS) in the men’s.
Friday’s finals for the three-day annual Janis Hape Dowd Nike Cup Invitational start at 5:30 p.m. EST at the Maurice J. Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill, N.C., and feature finals for this morning’s prelim events, plus the women’s 1-meter and men’s 3-meter diving events, and the 200-yard medley and 800-yard free relays.
Tennessee Qualifies Tops In The 400-Yard Individual Medley
Tennessee’s Lauren Driscoll is the top qualifier in the women’s 400-yard individual medley (4:12.33), dropping nearly eight seconds from her seed time. Driscoll was the first of five Volunteers who will race in the A Final, which will be an all-Tennessee and Tar Heels final with North Carolina filling the other three spots. Of note is 19-year-old is Tar Heel Catherine Hulsey, who dropped 16 seconds from her seed time to qualify in sixth spot (4:20.08).
Driscoll’s prelim result was nearly four seconds ahead of the next two finishers, teammate Amanda Carner (4:16.01) and North Carolina’s Emma Nunn (4:16.58). They, along with Tennessee’s Colleen Callahan (4:18.40), all surpassed the NCAA ‘B’ standard (4:19.39). Look for Driscoll to take this tonight based on the strength of her drop Friday morning and the fact that her next nearest two competitors (Carner and Nunn) were a few lengths back and also dropped three seconds from their seed times.
On the men’s side, Tennessee’s Sam McHugh goes into tonight’s A Final as the top qualifier in the men’s 400-yard individual medley (3:50.92), followed by North Carolina State’s Christian McCurdy (3:54.94) and Air Force’s Kevin Jackson (3:55.79). Five teams will be represented in the men’s A Final, which will be a good representation of the meet participation and competitive as only three seconds separate the second qualifier from the eighth position.
McHugh, who received SEC Male Freshman of the Week earlier this month, has to be the favorite for Friday’s evening final. He’s versatile and has won multiple stroke events this season, including the 500-yard free and the 200-yard fly.
0.78 Seconds Separates Women’s 100-Yard Fly ‘A’ Finalists
Only 0.78 seconds separated the top qualifier from the eighth and final spot in the A Final 100-yard fly. Duke has the first, second and third top qualifiers with Maddie Rusch (54.08), Leah Goldman (54.14) and Isa Paez (54.37), who all dropped time from their seed entry. Joining these women in the final are Ashlyn Koletic (North Carolina State), Megan Bestor and Hellen Moffitt (North Carolina), and Faith Johnson and Harper Bruens (Tennessee).
Lady Vols Send Four to 200-Yard Free A Final
Tennessee’s Mary Griffith is the top qualifier in the 200-yard free (1:48.62) and the first of four Volunteers to qualify for the A Final, which will be a tight final again with less than two seconds separating the top eight qualifiers.
North Carolina’s Danielle Siverling (1:49.04) and Allyn Hardesty (1:49.47) are the only A Final qualifiers who didn’t drop from their seed times. The could potentially break from the pack Friday night and challenge for the win.
Navy’s Thomas Duvall goes into the men’s 200-yard free (1:37.65) A Final as the top qualifier. It will be a five-team final with representation from Navy, Old Dominion, North Carolina State, Air Force and Tennessee. Look for sixth-place qualifier North Carolina State’s Simonas Bilis (1:38.80) to content for the win, as he is the top seed (1:36.52).
Hannis Breaks a Minute And Kropp Sets ACC Record in 100-Yard Breaststroke Prelims
Tennessee’s Molly Hannis is the only women to break one-minute in the 100-yard breaststroke (59.51) Friday morning. East Carolina’s Megan Sellers (1:01.11) qualified second for the A Final, and Kayla Brumbaum (1:02.45) had the third best time. The remaining five A Final qualifiers all posted 1:03 times with 0.53 seconds between them.
Hands down, Duke’s sophomore Peter Kropp had the individual performance of the prelims by posting the top time in the men’s 100-yard breast (52.02), which is a new ACC record and is under the NCAA ‘A’ standard (52.29). Exactly two seconds back was Air Force’s Michael Barnosky (54.02), who qualified second. The A Final will be one to watch Friday evening to see what Kropp has left and how he deals with the target that is likely on his back.
Tennessee Puts Five into Women’s 100-Yard Backstroke A Final
Tennessee does it again putting five women into the 100-yard back A Final to lock in valuable points. Leading the Volunteers are Madison Hahn (53.61) and Christina Leander (54.01), who qualified with the two top times this afternoon. The Tar Heels (Hellen Moffitt and Megan Bestor) and North Carolina State (Alexia Zevnik) will try to limit the amount of points the Volunteers will swim away with.
Air Force’s 19-year-old Devon Davis qualified first in the men’s 100-yard back (48.40) by .05 over North Carolina’s Sam Lewis (48.45). The A Final will feature five schools with the Tar Heels leading the way with three entries.
Top Five Scoring And Meet Background
Going into tonight’s finals, which start at 5:30 p.m. EST, the team scores for the top five are:
1. Tennessee — 572.5
2. University of North Carolina — 498
3. North Carolina State — 433
4. Duke — 344.5
5. East Carolina — 256
1. Tennessee — 483
2. North Carolina State — 461
3. University of North Carolina — 427
4. Air Force — 385
5. East Carolina — 256
The annual Janis Hape Dowd Nike Cup Invitational, which started in 1986 and and is named after former U.S. Olympian who competed for the Tar Heels from 1977 to 1980, is a three-day championship format featuring a morning prelim sessions and finals in the evenings. This year seven teams join host North Carolina, including Tennessee, Navy (men only), Air Force, Duke, North Carolina State, East Carolina, and Old Dominion. Competing in only diving events are the University of Michigan, James Madison (women), and Georgia Southern (women).
Based on the most recent rankings from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) the men’s competitions features three teams ranked in the top 15 (North Carolina State at #6, North Carolina at #9, and Tennessee at #14). For the women, there are also three nationally ranked teams (Tennessee at #8, North Carolina at #14, and North Carolina State at #20).