UNCW’s Will Barker Shines in 100/200 Backstroke at North Carolina WOW Tri-Meet

WOW Tri-Meet

  • November 19, 2021- November 21, 2021
  • Seahawk Natatorium 
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Short Course Yards (SCY)
  • Results 

Last week in Wilmington, North Carolina, the Waves of Wilmington (WOW) hosted a tri-meet with Enfinity Aquatic Club and a group UNC-Willmington athletes swimming unattached. 

Will Barker was the shining star of the meet, claiming huge victories in both the 100 and 200 backstroke. Barker started his day off with a few quick swims in both the 50 freestyle, finishing 6th in 21.08, and 100 butterfly, finishing second in 49.21 before rattling off two straight wins in the 100 and 200 backstroke. 

The first of Barker’s two wins was in the 100 backstroke. In the preliminary swim, Barker won by a full second, amassing nearly the entire lead on the first 50, splitting 23.39 on the way out. Barker finished the preliminary heats with a lifetime best of 48.39 heading into the finals. 

Barker improved upon his preliminary swim again in the finals, dominating the field by over a second. With a 23.28 lead-off split, Barker set himself up well — out-splitting his preliminary time by a tenth of a second — and was even more impressive on the back half, splitting 24.53 to drop another half a second to go a new best time of 47.81 in the final. 

In the 200 backstroke, Barker started off strong in the prelims with a lifetime best of 1:48.08 to place third overall. An impressive showing from Sam O’Brien, swimming a 1:46.01 for a personal best, was the top seed in prelims.

In the final, it was all Barker from start to finish. Barker went out 24.65 to O’Briens 25.11 to get the early lead and continued to build it from there. At the 100, Barker managed to out-split O’Brien 51.18 to 51.46, losing about two tenths off his lead.

In the third 50, Barker turned on the jets with his second-fastest 50 of the race to split 1:17.44, two seconds faster than his morning swim which was 1:19.64. Barker roared home in a 26.32, two full seconds faster than he was in the morning to finish in a 1:43.76. 

O’Brien was also able to outsplit the third leg from his prelims best time in the final with a split of 1:18.52, which was two-tenths faster than he was in the morning. O’Brien split a 27.48 on his last 50 to drop a hundredth of a second with a new best time of 1:46.00. 

Barker and O’Brien are in their first year at UNC-Wilmington, and Barker’s 200 backstroke is the 42nd-ranked swim in the NCAA this season.

Barker’s Splits:

Finals Swim Splits Previous Best Time (Prelims)
24.65 25.09
26.53 51.28 27.15 52.24
26.26 1:17.44 27.4 1:19.64
26.32 1:43.76 28.44 1:48.08

O’Brien’s Splits:

Finals Swim Splits Previous Best Time (Prelims) Splits
25.11 25.08
26.35 51.46 26.89 51.97
27.06 1:18.52 26.74 1:18.71
27.48 1:46.00 27.30 1:46.01

Other Highlights From the WOW Tri-Meet:

  • Sam O’Brien showed out in the 500 Freestyle with a final time of 4:21.86, finishing with a 14-second win. O’Brien went out quickly in 1:43.91 in the first 200 and was able to hold 26 mid the rest of the way, before turning it up a notch on the last 50 to split a 25.58 and win the race.
  • Brooke Knisely won the girls’ 500 Freestyle by 9 seconds with a final time of 4:49.03. Knisely took a 3-second lead in the first 100 and amassed nearly her full 9-second win margin by the 200 mark, settling in at 29 lows for the final 300 yards. Knisely went on to win the 200 Freestyle by a second with a final time of 1:49.95.
  • Katie Knorr won the 200 IM by 2.4 seconds over the field after finishing with a lifetime best time of 2:03.43. Knorr also went on to win the 400 IM in a personal best time of 4:17.18, besting the field by 9 seconds and improving upon her preliminary time of 4:20.26. Knorr won the 200 backstroke as well by finishing in a time of 1:59.14 over Mary Grace Copeland, who went 2:00.44.
  • Henderson Louviere won the 200 IM with a season-best time of 1:49.12 over Will Goldey by .8 seconds. Henderson also won the 100 butterfly by a second over Will Barker with a time of 48.12. Louviere won the 200 butterfly in a final time of 1:48.65, just slower than his preliminary time of 1:48.47.
  • Sarah Olson won the 50 freestyle in 23.54 finishing with a season-best time to win by less than a tenth of a second over Brooke Morgan.
  • E’Likai Crompton-English bested the field in the 50 freestyle by over half a second, finishing with a finals time of 20.38.
  • Silas Crosby won the 400 IM by 3 seconds in the final over the only other swimmer in the heat with a finals time of 3:52.38, just shy of his best time from the prelims of 3:52.13.
  • Reece Alexander won a narrow victory over Callie Parkes with a season-best time of 55.19. Parkes finished with a personal best time of 55.65 for second place.
  • Jacob Duracinsky won the 200 freestyle by 1.2 seconds over O’Brien with a time of 1:38.09. Duracinsky won the 100 freestyle in a time of 44.68 over E’Likai Crompton-English, who finished in a time of 44.72.
  • Hannah Owings won the 100 breast in a finals time of 1:05.07, and the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:21.76.
  • Gianmichel D’Alessandro won the 100 breast final with a 2.4-second victory with a winning time of 54.40 and the 200 breaststroke in a finals time of 2:01.51.
  • Mary Grace Copeland won the 100 backstroke in 56.34, just a few tenths slower than her preliminary swim of 55.98.
  • Andrea Niebel went 51.32 in the 100 freestyle to win the finals over Brooke Morgan by .15 seconds.
  • Victoria Cunningham won the 200 butterfly by 2:00.74, winning by 3 seconds over Reece Alexander, who finished second in a time of 2:03.62. Both swimmers finished with a personal best time.

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1 month ago

Looking good