The UNC Tar Heels kicked off their post-season meet schedule this weekend, hosting the Carolina College Invitational.
Although the meet was mostly significant for the team’s non-ACC squad swimmers, some major lifetime-bests certainly have to have the Tar Heels feeling good about their team-wide taper heading into the ACC Championships.
Though the meet was unscored, the hosts stole most of the events, with Duke and William & Mary also winning races with career- and season-best times.
One of the biggest drops came on day 1 in the 500 free. Sophomore Matt Conway dropped his lifetime-best dramatically, going 4:24.83 in prelims, with his previous lifetime-best being 4:28.11. Conway, an ACC team member last year, should have a shot to make the B final or better if he can repeat that time in a few weeks.
Conway wasn’t the only 500 freestyler to heat up for UNC. Graham Williams hit a season-best 4:32.80 in that 500 free, and in the final, with Conway not swimming, freshman Bailey Burt was a lifetime-best 4:34.82 to take second. (More on a great weekend from Burt further down).
Winning that race was William & Mary’s Lukas Dempsey, who went 4:27.87, his own personal best by three seconds.
The women’s race went to Duke’s Lindsay Schlichte, who was 4:54.45. Duke also got a big day 2 win from highly-touted freshman Hanna House. House, a Carmel Swim Club product, missed the first semester for Duke, but put up a season-best 55.30 to win the 100 back here. House should have the potential to be an impact freshman for the Blue Devils this year, especially if she wasn’t fully tapered when she hit that 55.
House would return to win the 200 back in 1:59.72 on Sunday, her season-best by a longshot.
Sophomore Emily Pfeiffer won the 200 IM for the Tar Heel women, going 2:02.03 in prelims to break her own career-best. She was 2:02.44 in winning the final.
Hellen Moffitt, one of the team’s returning ACC A finalists, went a lifetime-best of her own in prelims of the 50 free, going 23.24.
Freshman Dalton Shaw put up the men’s team’s fastest 400 IM of the year so far, winning the event in 3:52.65. A number of butterflyers also hit career-best marks, led by women’s winner Allison Haufler (54.84) and men’s freshman Christian Caveness (48.79 in prelims).
Burt, the freshman who blazed a lifetime-best 500 free, actually hit three career-best marks on the weekend. He doubled up on Sunday, going 1:51.46 in the 200 fly and 15:52.32 in the 1650 free, a brutal combo.
You can find full results of the meet’s six sessions below: