Gillian Manning and Ketlyn Rodriguez Matos standing on the podium after finishing first and third respectively in the 400 yard individual medley. Manning earned Co-Conference Swimmer of the year. Submitted Photo/Sara Ormsby

By: Amanda Auderer, Reporter

UNCP traveled to Kingsport, Tennessee on February 16-19th for the Conference Carolina Championship Meet, placing third overall accumulating 552 points.

UNCP Senior Gillian Manning was named Conference Carolina Swimmer of the Year alongside Kleanza Cathers from Barton College. Sophomore Nathalia Silva broke the record in the 1650-yard freestyle coming in with a final time of 17:35.74.

Feb. 16
Silva started the first day of competitions strong, competing in the 1000-yard freestyle placing first with the time of 10:34.10.

The 200-yard medley relay, consisting of Ketlyn Rodrigez Matos, Sarah Modern, Gillian Manning, and Mariel Mencia Martinez showed another strong performance with the team coming in first with the time of 1:45.74.

Feb. 17
Carrying on a second day of successful performances, Manning competed in the 400-yard IM, finishing in first place with the time of 4:26.73.

Competing in the 500-yard freestyle, Manning placed first with the time of 4:57.55 she was ahead by 4 seconds. Following close behind Silva placed third with the time of 5:07.72.

In the 50-yard freestyle, Martinez finished with the time of 23.78, coming in third place.

Ending the second day of competition, the Braves relay team, Mariel Mencia Martinez, Nathalia Silva, Ketlyn Rodrigez Matos and Gillian Manning, finished in second place for the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:36.00.

Feb. 18
The third day of the meet included Manning competing in 400-yard individual medley placing first with a time of 4:26.73, followed by Matos coming in second and Anna Miller in fourth place. Competing in the 100-yard butterfly Martinez showed a strong performance coming in second place with the final time of 55.93 and a split of 26.46. Following Manning competed in the 200-yard freestyle leading in first with a time of 1:52.23.

Wrapping up day three, the 400-yard individual medley relay came in third place with a time of 4:02.97. Martinez came in second during the 100-yard freestyle with a final time of 51.86, split of 24.66.

“I didn’t expect that we were going to be able to place third, my teammates did an amazing job,” Matos said.

The Braves relay team ‘A’ placed first in the 400-yard freestyle relay finals, beating Barton College by 30 seconds.

The relay team ‘A’ consisted of Mariel Mencia Martinez, Nathalia Silva, Ketlyn Rodrigez Matos and Gillian Manning.

Martinez took the lead having a split time of 52.11. Manning taking the anchor position coming in with a final time of 3:30.14.

“There were a lot of emotions during the races because Barton was close, but my teammates and I didn’t doubt a second that we couldn’t win,” Matos said.