UNC Men Edge East Carolina, Tar Heel Women Roll Past Pirates

East Carolina vs North Carolina

The University of North Carolina Tar Heels opened their season (other than their intrasquad meet) on the road at East Carolina on Friday, walking away with a sweep as both the men (159-141) and women (196-99) picked up victories over the Pirates.

Women’s Meet

The Tar Heel women were dominant in their victory which ended up being by close to 100 points, as they won 13 of the first 14 events before they swam the final two as exhibition once the meet had been decided.

Their freshman spearheaded the attack with six wins, led by Sophie Lindner who was victorious in the 100 back (54.25), 200 back (1:56.86) and 100 fly (55.82). Fellow UNC freshman Heidi Lowe was the runner-up in both backstroke events.

They also had two wins from first year swimmer Lilly Higgs in the 100 (1:04.84) and 200 breast (2:19.34), eding sophomore teammate Caroline Hauder by a slim margin in both, and another freshman Grace Countie led a 1-2-3-4 finish for the team in the 50 free in 23.28. Hauder was also fastest in the 200 IM (2:04.28), though with the swim being scored as exhibition Lise-Lotte Bentin of East Carolina was the official winner in 2:09.02.

Senior Robyn Dryer was the other swimmer picking up multiple individual victories with wins in the 1000 (10:01.47) and 500 freestyle (4:56.00), while Zhada Fields (200 free – 1:50.82) and Bryanna Cameron (200 fly – 2:01.51) also scored Ws.

Junior Catherine Johnson was the lone winner for East Carolina excluding the exhibition 200 IM, as she defeated Tar Heel Stef Scherwitzel 52.13 to 52.20 in the 100 freestyle.

In the relays, Countie, Hauder, Lindner and junior Brooke Bauer combined to win the 200 medley in 1:43.66, and the Tar Heels were 3:27.78 in the 400 free relay (exhibition) despite the Pirates getting the winning points with their 3:29.09.

North Carolina was also dominant in the diving events with a sweep of the top-5 positions in both the 1-meter and 3-meter, led by Maria Lohman (264.00) and Emily Grund (295.13) winning each respective event.

Men’s Meet

The men’s was a much closer affair, with everything coming down to the final relay.

After East Carolina got on the board early with a victory in the 200 medley relay by four-tenths, the Tar Heels strung together four consecutive wins to take control. The Pirates then won six straight races to turn the tide back in their favor before UNC ultimately did just enough to win with a close win in the 400 free relay.

North Carolina sophomore Alvin Jiang and East Carolina freshman Marek Osina were the two swimmers who picked up multiple individual wins, with Jiang earning decisive victories in the 100 back (47.81) and 100 fly (47.78), while Osina had three in the 200 fly (1:51.91), 200 back (1:48.16) and 200 IM (1:51.67).

Freshman Thomas Bretzmann and Luka Tomic also had wins for North Carolina in the 1000 free (9:32.31) and 200 free (1:40.79) respectively, as did sophomore Valdas Abaliksta in the 100 breast (56.02). Down the stretch they also had key victories from divers Bryan Allen (3-meter) and Andrew Owsiany (1-meter).

Along with Osina, the Pirates had wins from freshman Gavin Erdmann in the 50 freestyle (21.10), senior Victor Martins Dos Santos in the 100 free (46.40), sophomore Jacek Arentewicz in the 200 breast (2:01.78), and junior Blaz Desmar in the 500 free (4:37.10).

The final 400 free relay was an epic battle, as Jiang (45.76), Tomic (45.68) and Abaliksta (45.78) gave the Tar Heels a lead of 1.18 seconds heading into the anchor leg. Desmar threw down a 44.64 for the Pirates, the fastest split in the field, but it wasn’t enough as sophomore Jack Messenger (45.43) did the job as UNC won in 3:02.65 to East Carolina’s 3:03.04.

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Lost In The Sauce
5 years ago

UNC men… yikes…

Reply to  Lost In The Sauce
5 years ago


Reply to  Lost In The Sauce
5 years ago

Its going to be a long season for the UNC men. Ouch.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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