Nov. 18, 2011
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The East Carolina men's and women's swimming and diving teams opened competition at the Nike Cup in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Thursday. The teams competed in a morning preliminary session before returning for the finals on Thursday evening in day one of the three-day invitational.
The ECU women ended day one in fourth-place with 134.5 points, while the men's team is in seventh-place after day one with a total of 52.
Leading the way for the women on Thursday evening was senior Natalia Favoreto, the reigning Conference USA Swimmer-of-the-Week. Favoreto touched 0.04 ahead of Duke's Lauren Weaver to claim the gold medal in the 50-yard freestyle (23.38). She finished third (23.75) in the preliminaries UNC freshman Nikki Barczak (23.32) and Weaver (23.65).
"It was a big time swim by Natty," said Pirate head coach Rick Kobe. "This is one of the bigger meets in the country, so we are very excited and pleased with her performance."
Favoreto also helped the 200-yard freestyle relay team to a fourth-place finish with a time of 1:35.04. The foursome of Favoreto, Holly Berenotto, Kylie Francis and Heather O'Toole finished two seconds behind the first-place UNC (1:33.07).
On the men's side, freshman Nikola Simic set the school record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.52 with a ninth-place finish. Fellow freshman Rokas Cepulis posted a fourth-place in the 200-yard IM (1:50.55)