GREENSBORO – After minor pool infractions set the North Carolina A&T swim team back nearly three weeks of practice, the ladies were enthusiastic about their personal performances at the All-NC Invitational. After two days of competition the Aggies finished 11th with 173 points.
N.C. State took first place with 1,688 points, followed by East Carolina (1,343), Davidson College (946), Queens University of Charlotte (867), Campbell University (831), Gardner-Webb (803), UNC Asheville (747), Lenoir Rhyne (268), Catawba College (220), and Sau Knights (211).
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Aarcia Carrington, Emani Davies, Ariel Wallace, and Kenya Dunn placed 13th with a time of 1:43.77. Miranda Jacobs, Jade Hill, Victoria Orr, and Lauren Martin placed 17th (1:50.79). In the 500-yard freestyle, Justice Montgomery was the sole Aggie performer placing 32nd in 7:55. 47. For the 200-yard individual medley Orr (2:29.00) placed 35th, Hill (2:36.72) 38th, and Martin (2:47.31) 40th.
During the ninth event, Wallace placed 26th at 25.70. Behind her were Dunn (26.06), 29th; Jacobs (26.27), 31st; Davies (26.34) 32nd; and Martin (29.96), 41st. The final event of the day was the 400-yard medley relay. Davies, Hill, Wallace, and Dunn finished in 4:28.52 to place 14th and Jacobs, Orr, Carrington, and Martin logged 4:42.78 for 17th-place.
After the first day, the ladies were in ninth-place with 105 points and ahead of Catawba College with their 81 points. Ahead of the Aggies were N.C. State (527), East Carolina (489), Davidson College (309), Campbell University (307), UNC Asheville (262), Gardner-Webb (255), Lenoir Rhyne (131), and Sau Knights (118).
“Today was a good starting point for us,” said Dunn. “At the beginning of the season you never know what to expect, especially at a big platform like this where we’re racing some of the best schools in the country so I think I did pretty well.
“We’ve gone through a lot of obstacles and we can only get better from here.”
Dunn and teammate Orr expressed that the team surprised themselves after minor pool code violations slowed down their preparation. Orr stated: “We went in thinking ‘oh we’re going to be bad’ so it was kind of a shock. We did really well today.”
Surpassing their expectations, the swim team finished Day 1 highly motivated for day two.
The Aggies began Day 2 in event 13, the 200-yard medley relay. Jacobs, Orr, Wallace, and Dunn took a 19th-place finish with a time of 2:00.26. Then Orr competed solo and clocked 5:28.33 and took 32nd in the 400-yard individual medley.
In the 100-yard fly, Wallace beat ladies from Davidson College, UNC Asheville, Catawba, and Gardner-Webb with her 29th-place finish in 1:02.73. Behind Wallace were Carrington (1:10.82) in 42nd and Hill (1:13.99) in 43rd.
The 200-yard freestyle was the 19th event. Dunn placed 38th in 2:10.13 and Montgomery placed 42nd and clocked 2:46.54.
The next event for the Aggies was the 100-yard backstroke. Here, the ladies stayed very close to one another: Carrington (1:06.14) finished 37th, Davies (1:08.80) finished 40th, Jacobs (1:09.19) finished 41st, and Orr (1:13.50) finished 42nd.
In the 100-yard individual medley, the ladies were almost in perfect consecutive order again. In 34th Jacobs clocked 1:08.49, in 35th Hill clocked 1:10.47, in 36th Dunn clock 1:10.9, and in 39th Martin finished at 1:15.25. The second to last event for the Aggies was the 100-yard freestyle. Wallace came in 34th at 56.97, Carrington came in 36th at 57.46 and Davies came in 41st at 59.29.
Concluding the invitational for the women was the 400-yard freestyle relay. Jacobs, Wallace, Carrington, and Dunn (3:50.22) paired up for a 17th place finish while Orr, Davies, Martin, and Hill (4:10.90) finished 20th.
Shawn Hendrix, the head swimming coach, showed much enthusiasm for her team’s performance at the invitational.
“The whole team was a top competitor,” stated Hendrix. “I mean we’re swimming against N.C. State, Davidson, East Carolina, and Gardner-Webb and those are tough Division I teams.” “So as a whole, the whole team did really well.”
Hendrix noted that the team was “oozing” confidence after they outdid themselves in Day 1 of competition and were even more intense and focused on Day 2: “We don’t want this cloud of negativity around us so each thing we’re doing, they’re all approaching it like ‘this is our last first chance.’ This is our last first meet here, so they’re really focused on leaving a strong legacy.”
The next North Carolina A&T swim meet will take place at Corbett Sports Center on Wednesday, October 14 at 6 p.m., where the ladies face the Virginia Military Institute.