Sports

Higgs, Tar Heels split weekend duals

Bahamian Lilly Higgs and the University of North Carolina (UNC) Tar Heels Women’s Swimming Team had a busy weekend as they split a home dual over the weekend, defeating the University of South Carolina Gamecocks on Sunday and losing to the University of Virginia Cavaliers on Friday. Both meets were held at the Koury Natatorium, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Higgs swam in four events on Sunday as she helped her women’s team to a 184-111 victory over the Gamecocks to get their first win of the season. They now sport a 1-4 win/loss record. Higgs swam in another four events on Friday afternoon and the Tar Heels women fell 174-121 to the Cavaliers.

The junior was in action in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke events, 200 yard individual medley (IM) and the 400 yard medley relay against the Gamecocks.

Higgs got a victory in the 200 yards breast when she finished the race in 2:14.89. The first 50 yards was her fastest split with a time of 31.01 seconds. Finishing second behind her was the Gamecocks Steele Taylor who posted a time of 2:15.12. Rounding out the podium positions was Higgs’ teammate, Lexi Rudolph, who finished a close third with a time of 2:15.13.

The 20-year-old followed that up with a second place finish in the 100 yards breast. She posted a time of 1:01.66. Steele won this race with a time of 1:01.45. Higgs’ first split of 30.07 seconds was slower than Steele’s split of 28.99 seconds. Higgs had a better second split as she clocked 31.59 seconds to swim faster than Steele’s split time of 32.46 seconds. The Tar Heels’ Allie Reiter finished third as she touched the wall in 1:02.02.

In the 400 yards medley relay, Higgs and her teammates Sophie Lindner, Ellie VanNote and Grace Countie dominated the field, winning by over four seconds after posting a time of 3:35.03. The Tar Heels’ ‘B’ team finished second with a time of 3:39.62. The Gamecock’s ‘A’ team was third with a time of 3:40.80.

In the 200 yard IM, Higgs clocked the seventh-fastest time of 2:04.23. Winning that race was the Gamecocks’ Sammie Ai in 2:05.52.

Higgs had slower times on Friday against the Cavaliers in the same breast races. She also swam the 200 yards medley relay and the 200 yards freestyle relay.

In the 100 yards breast, the Bahamian finished fifth overall when she swam 1:03.23. Winning that race was the Cavaliers’ Alex Walsh as she posted a time of 1:01.27. Higgs also placed fifth in the 200 yards breast in 2:18.26. The Cavaliers’ Kate Douglass finished first in 2:08.26.

Higgs and her teammates, Amy Dragelin, VanNote and Brieanna Romney, placed fourth in the 200 yards medley relay with a time of 1:42.79. Higgs had a different team in the 200 yards free relay as she swam with Emma Cole, Courtney Isley and Lexi Rudolph. The quartet finished third in 1:34.99.

The Tar Heels final dual of the season will be held at their home pool this Friday against their rival, the Duke University Blue Devils, starting at 4 p.m. This will be Tar Heels’ final meet before the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Women’s Swimming Championships which is set for February 17-20 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, in Greensboro, North Carolina.

A couple of Bahamians will be in the pool today when their respective schools compete against each other in a dual meet. Izaak Bastian and the Florida State University (FSU) Seminoles host Jared Fitzgerald and the University of Tampa Spartans in Tallahassee, Florida, starting at 2 p.m. today.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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