Sprint backstroker Caroline Baldwin from Westfield High School and the Westfield YMCA in New Jersey (specifically the northern part of the state, near Newark and New York City) has committed to North Carolina.
Baldwin has yards bests of 22.89 and 50.63 in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles, plus 54.99 and 1:59.30 in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes.
North Carolina’s backstroke group is going through a major reset, which is what made Baldwin such an important target. The Tar Heels graduated their three best from the 2012-2013 season, and though they brought in at least two high-quality freshmen this year (Hellen Moffit, 55.3, and Sarah Hitchens, 54.8), they still need to build some depth in that group.
It probably won’t take Baldwin too long to work her way onto sprint relays either, as that was a big weakness (though a weakness with a ton of youth) for UNC last year. They only had one swimmer go under 23 seconds in the 50 free, though their top three sprinters were all freshmen.
Baldwin still has plenty of room for development as a total swimmer. She’s a relative novice in long course, having swum the 100 back only 5 times on record in a 50 meter pool.