UNC Wilmington wins 24 of 32 events en route to the Sweeping Army to open the season



UNC Wilmington vs Army West Point

  • Friday, September 17, 2021
  • Seahawk Natatorium, Wilmington, North Carolina
  • SCY (25 meters)
  • Results

Team scores


  1. UNCW – 181.5
  2. Army – 118.5


  1. UNCW – 180.5
  2. Army – 119.5

The first dual competition of the 2021-2022 NCAA swimming and diving season took place yesterday, with UNC Wilmington hosting Army for both men’s and women’s competition. UNC Wilmington took victory in both men and women, winning 24 of 32 events.

UNCW won 6 double events in total, helping the Seahawks to victory. One of those winners was in second year Brooke Knisely, who won the women’s 500 and 1000 freestyle. Starting in the 1000, Knisely swam 10: 29.88, clearing the field by over 14 seconds. She then returned for the 500, swimming a time of 5: 11.23 to lead a 1-2-3 by the Seahawks. Gracie Steelhammer came in 2nd with a 5: 13.47, while Karsen pena was right behind, taking 3rd place in 5: 13.94.

First-year student Sam o’brien achieved the same double for men. O’Brien won the men’s 1000 freestyle with a time of 9: 33.91, winning by 6 seconds. O’Brien swam a very consistent race, keeping all but 3 of his 50 split times under 29 seconds. He then swam 4: 41.47 in the 500 freestyle, hitting the first by 2.01 seconds.

Likewise, the first year of UNCW William barker was electric in the men’s backstroke events. In the 100 backstroke, Barker clocked 49.69, crushing the rest of the field. He came out with a quick 24.12 over the top 50 of the race, establishing an early 1 second lead over the rest of the field. Barker then swam a time of 1: 50.79 to win the 200 backstroke.

Junior Tink Niebel swam to victory in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle women. In the 100 freestyle, Niebel swam a 52.84, hitting the first by a comfortable half-second margin. She had a greater margin of victory in the 200 freestyle, swimming a time of 1: 53.98, leading the field by 1.56 seconds.

Junior Henderson Louviere won the men’s fly events for the Seahawks. He started in the 200 butterfly, swimming a 1: 51.97 to touch the first by over a second. In the 100 butterfly, Louvière clocked 49.88, again winning the event by more than a second.

UNCW also won on the boards, with the juniors Courtney klausen winning the women’s 1 meter and 3 meters. Klausen is the reigning CAA Diver of the Year.

The army won a double event in Evan zhang, which swept the men’s chest events. Zhang first won a close race in the men’s 100 breaststroke, clocking 55.19. He then clocked 2: 02.20 in the 200 breaststroke, leading a brace by Army. First-year student Evan yoo came in 2nd with a time of 2: 04.29.

First year in the army Meghan cole scored a huge victory by winning the women’s 200 IM in 2: 07.45. Cole hit the first by 2 seconds and was just under 4 seconds off his personal best 2: 03.65.


WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW captured 24 events, including 10 from the freshman class, as the Seahawks opened the season with a tour sweep from Army West Point on Friday at the Seahawk Natatorium.

The competition was the first in the country this season at the college level. UNCW won by scores of 181.5-118.5 and 180.5-119.5 in the women’s and men’s competitions, respectively.

The Seahawk women have won multiple junior event wins Tink Niebel (100 and 200 free), second year Brooke Knisely (500 and 1000 Free) and junior Courtney klausen (boards of 1 and 3 meters).

First-year student Jacob Duracinsky won three events to lead all swimmers. Duracinsky won the 200 and 500 freestyle and the 200 IM.

The freshmen have also had multiple event wins in the men’s category. Sam o’brien (500 & 1000 free), Will barker (100 & 200 back) and junior Henderson Louviere (100 and 200 flies).

Other winners of the event include the runner-up Wes carter (50 free), freshmen Victoria cunningham (100 back), Reece alexander (100 flies), Katie knorr (200 backstroke) and junior Kolbein Bjugan (10 foot).

In the relays, the Seahawks won all four events.

The Seahawks will host Tennessee on October 2 at 2 p.m.


WILMINGTON, North Carolina – West Point’s Army men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams fell in the season opener at UNC Wilmington on Friday night, despite strong performances across the board. On the men’s side, the Black Knights were outscored by the Seahawks 180.50-119.50, while the women were outscored 181.50-118.50.

The home team controlled the momentum early, winning all 200 medley relays and a handful of individual events before Sarah platt posted the army’s first victory of the day in the 100 breaststroke. With a time of 1: 06.60, she beat the field by more than a full second en route to victory. On the men’s side, Evan zhang also put the team on the board in the same event when he clocked a time of 55.19.

Melinda zhang continued the momentum in the 200 butterfly, hitting the wall in 2: 04.28 to add more points to the cadets’ score, before Sammie Edwards won three straight victories for women when she won the 50 freestyle (24.30).

The Black Knights have enjoyed tremendous success in the 200 breaststroke for both men and women, Aurelie Migault (2: 25.62) and E. Zhang (2: 02.20) led their respective domains. Migault was closely followed by his teammate Megan Colpo (2: 26.71), while Evan yoo (2: 04.29) finished second behind Zhang, adding 13 crucial points to each team’s score.

UNC Wilmington responded to the push and won a few more triumphs before Meghan cole ended the streak by winning the 200 IM with a time of 2: 07.45, two seconds ahead of second place.

On the planks, Daniel Alaimo added the team’s last individual victory of the day, as its score of 286.15 landed it first place.

The Black Knights gave one final push in the 200 freestyle relay as both the men’s and women’s “A” teams surpassed their standings, but UNC Wilmington was able to hold onto the victory.

Women’s event winners
100 chest – Sarah platt – 1: 06.60
200 flies – Melinda zhang – 2: 04.28
50 free – Sammie Edwards – 24:30
200 chest – Aurelie Migault – 2: 25.62

Male event winners
100 chest – Evan zhang – 55.19
200 chest – Evan zhang – 2: 02.20
Dive 1M – Daniel Alaimo – 286.15

Coaches’ corner
“We were so happy to start our season today against UNCW”, the head coach Brandt nigro noted. “After a year of virtual meetings and minimal competition, it was good to start the season early and against a lot of competition. UNCW put on a loud and exciting meet and had a really good swim. I think we were shaken by their momentum and were slow to get out of the gates today. Our team has had times, but we certainly have a long way to go towards our goals this year. I’m proud of how we came together and fought better towards the end, but to win big competitions you have to be ready from the first event. Our first year really swam with heart today and I’m happy with what they saw. Evan zhang and Danny Alaimo did it for our men’s team today. Sammie Edwards and Meghan cole stepped up for AWSD. The good thing about this competition is that it is so early in the season and we have time to take what we have learned to train and improve. We have two weeks left until our home opener and I can’t wait to get back to work.

Cadets’ corner
“I think this meeting was a big revelation for the team. We have a lot of work to do to reach our season goals and this competition is the perfect opportunity for our team to learn and grow. Obviously starting with a win would have been great, but I’m proud of the way we kept our energy and the way we kept on fighting. As for me, I think I executed my races as I wanted. Since it’s so early in the season, the times don’t matter as much as perfecting my racing strategy, so I was just focusing on winning and on the wall for Army. As the season progresses, I can’t wait to see what this team can do. We have a lot of potential and can only increase from here. – Evan zhang

“My last first varsity swimming competition of the season. To start the season traveling to a great place and playing against a new team was an incredible opportunity. The military arrived with so much enthusiasm and energy, especially after being unable to compete much last year. As coach Jacob [Siar] let’s say it, we came here on a business trip. I think the military has definitely delivered. With where we are in our training and getting back into the competitive scene, I’m immensely proud of how the team has done today. I looked around and saw the new plebs ramp up and take on the competition, and our returlers get into some tough races. This competition was a great starting point for me in my last season and I’m very happy with the way my results turned out. The breaststroke team really killed their game today in the pool. The business trip is not over yet, and I look forward to some intense practice and open water swims over the next two days. There is still a lot to improve as we continue with our training. I can’t wait to see what else this team will bring and I can’t wait to see what this last season will bring me as well. – Megan Colpo

And after
After taking on the Seahawks in an open water swim tomorrow morning (non-NCAA), the cadets will return home to welcome Vermont and Bingham in the Black Knight Invite on Friday, October 1. The competition is scheduled for a 5:30 pm start at the Crandall Pool.


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