Distance swimmer Noah Cairns has verbally committed to the North Carolina Tar Heels. Cairns won’t have to travel far from home for his new digs – he swims for the North Carolina Aquatic Club in Durham and attends Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh (which mark the other two corners of the famed Research Triangle region).
Cairns is primarily a distance swimmer, with yards bests of 4:33.91/9:22.87/16:04.06 in the 500/1000/1650 freestyles, plus a 3:56.87 in the 400 yard IM.
While the North Carolina men didn’t have any NCAA qualifiers in the distance freestyles last year, in the decade prior, the program was loaded with distance freestylers like Joe Kinderwater, Chip Peterson, Dan O’Connor, and Brett Nagle, among others. This will start to rebuild a group that used to be about the best that the Tar Heels had.
Cairns is even better in long course – he was a 4:02.41 in a time trial at Summer Juniors in 2014 and a 2:08.64 in the 200 IM two weeks earlier.
Cairns was the 2014 North Carolina 3A State Champion in both the 200 free (1:43.77) and 500 free (1:45.52). There are two more promising Cairns coming through the Cardinal Gibbons ranks: John and Adelaide Cairns, who are both sophomores this season, both qualified for the North Carolina High School State Championship meet.