UNC V. South Carolina
- January 24, 2021
- Koury Natatorium, Chapel Hill, NC
- SCY (25y)
- Meet Results
- Team Scores
- Men: UNC 212 — South Carolina 81
- Women: UNC 184 — South Carolina 111
The UNC Tar Heels put up some fast swims against the South Carolina Gamecocks at the Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill. Boht UNC men’s and women’s teams won 10 events each, including the 400 medley relay where both relays put up nationally-ranked season bests. Meanwhile, South Carolina had just come off a dual meet win against Gardner-Webb on Thursday.
UNC kicked off their winning streak in the 400 medley relay, where Sophie Lindner (52.52), Lilly Higgs (1:00.66), Ellie VanNote (53.18), Grace Countie (48.67) combined to a 3:35.03, shaving 0.03s off their season best from the UNC Janis Hope Dowd Invitational from December. They currently remain at No. 8 in the NCAA this season.
Three UNC women won two events each during the Sunday meet. Addison Smith first kicked things off with a win in the 1000 free at 10:07.35. She then took the 500 free at 4:52.61, just two seconds ahead of teammate Lindner (4:54.11). Lindner went on to win the 200 free at 1:47.07.
Then, UNC junior Countie won the 100 back at 52.33, ranking her 17th in the NCAA this season. Currently, Lindner sits in 16th with her season best of 52.27 from this past December. Countie went on to win the 200 back at 1:56.06. UNC teammate Heidi Lowe was the third Tar Heel to win two events, sweeping the 50/100 free at 22.80/49.42.
The lone win from South Carolina came from sophomore Taylor Steele, who won the 100 breast at 1:01.45. UNC’s Higgs took second in the event at 1:01.66. Higgs took revenge in the 200 breast, turning it over in the last 100 to defeat Steele, touching in at 2:14.89 to Steele’s 2:15.12.
The Tar Heels kicked things off in the 400 medley relay. Tucker Burhans (47.62), Valdas Abaliksta (51.72), Boyd Poelke (47.25), and Tomas Sungaila (43.26) combined for a winning time and season best of 3:09.85, taking down their former season best of 3:10.24 from the Janis Hope Dowd Invitational. UNC now jumps Arizona for 11th in the NCAA this season.
The UNC men continued to be dominant in the pool, putting up 1-2-3 finishes in the 200 free, 100 back, and 200 back. UNC’s Sungaila won the 200 free in a 1:36.40, just four-tenths ahead of teammate Dimitrios Dimitriou (1:36.87). Dimitriou later won the 500 free in a 4:25.67. Sungaila took his second event win in the 100 free (44.04), touching out teammate Daniel Koenigsperger (44.08).
Two more UNC Tar Heels were double winners on Saturday:
- Valdas Abaliksta: 100 breast (53.91), 200 breast (1:57.34)
- Santos Villalon: 100 fly (47.43), 200 fly (1:46.44)
The last individual event, the 200 IM, featured a nice battle between South Carolina’s Chase Allison and UNC’s Jacob Rauch. Allison led on Rauch at the halfway mark, until Rauch overcame Allison in the breaststroke. Rauch took the top time at 1:50.18 while Allison’s narrow second-place time of 1:50.35.
South Carolina can be seen next in the pool at the 2021 SEC Championships, which will be held February 17-20 in Columbia, MO. UNC will host rival Duke this Friday (Jan. 29) at the Koury Natatorium.