Aranza Vazquez wins three-meter for second NCAA title
History Links KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – One national title wasn’t enough for University of North Carolina diver Aranza Vazquez – so she went to win another one.
Twenty-four hours after winning the 1 meter at the 2023 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships – becoming the first Tar Heel diver to win a national title – Vazquez made it a stepping stone by winning the 3 meter.
The junior cleared the field by 16 points with a final score of 385.80 to once again secure her place on the top step of the podium. Just like she did on a yard, she led after every lap.
Vazquez is the seventh individual female Tar Heel of all time to win an NCAA title, and just the second to win more than one.
Competing in his first NCAA individual final, Skyler Smith started the session by earning honorable mention All-America in the 100 breaststroke. The second finished fourth in the consolation run, good enough for 12th overall.
Hours after breaking the school record in the preliminaries at 59.01, Smith lowered it once again as the first Tar Heel below the 59-second barrier at 58.94. Her time lowered the previous mark of 59.29 set by Caroline Hauder in 2020.
Smith’s best time was 59.30 heading into the competition, which was set exactly one month before the Atlantic Coast Conference championships.
Grace Countie, who won the B final of the 100 backstroke for ninth place overall, also earned an honorable mention All-America. The fifth grade’s time of 50.81 was faster than his morning swim of 51.16, and just short of his school record of 50.77.
It was Countie’s third NCAA final in the event of his career.
The Tar Heels ended the evening on a high, breaking a new school record in the 400m medley relay. Sophie Lindner (52.00), Smith (58.72), Ellie VanNote (50.84) and Countie (47.47) combined in 3:29.03, smashing the previous mark of 3:30.30.
North Carolina remains in ninth place after three days with 125 points, just 10 points behind eighth-place Tennessee.
The Tar Heels will have student-athletes in all six events on the fourth and final day of competition Saturday at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn.: 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, platform dive and the 400 freestyle relay.
Overview of all America
Grace Countie – 200 medley relay (first team)
Greer Pattison – 200 medley relay (first team)
Skyler Smith – 200 medley relay (first team)
Ellie VanNote – 200 QN relay (first team)
Grace Countie – 50 free (first team)
Aranza Vazquez – 1 meter dive (first team)
Skyler Smith – 100 Breaststroke (Honourable Mention)
Grace Countie – 100m backstroke (Honourable Mention)
Aranza Vazquez – 3 meter dive (first team)
Arrivals on the podium
200 QN Relay – Grace Countie, Greer Pattison, Skyler Smith, Ellie VanNote (8th, 1:35.01)
50 free – Grace County (6th, 21.67)
Diving 1 meter – Aranza Vazquez (1st, 358.75)
3 meter dive – Aranza Vazquez (1st, 385.80)