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North Carolina High School State runner-up Mason Hetzell has recently announced his decision to remain in-state, sending his verbal commitment to the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Hetzell is entering his senior year at Corinth Holders High School in Wendell. He is expected to arrive in Wilmington ahead of the 2023-2024 season.
I am excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim and study at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. I’d like to thank my family, friends, and coaches for helping me get this far in my journey, GO SEAHAWKS!
Hetzell currently trains and competes with the Marlins of Raleigh. His primary events are the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and he also specializes in fly and IM. Hetzell is a Futures championships finalist and a Speedo Summer Juniors qualifier.
Best Times SCY:
100 breast- 54.77
200 breast- 2:01.59
100 fly- 49.26
200 fly- 1:51.11
200 IM- 1:51.33
400 IM- 4:05.98
At the NCHSAA 4A (largest schools) State Championships, Hetzell competed in the 100 breast and 100 fly. He qualified for the A-final in both. In the 100 breast, he lowered his best time in both prelims and finals, ultimately placing second in a time of 55.90. Hetzell finished fifth overall in the 100 fly, narrowly missing his best in 49.94
In March 2022, at the Speedo Sectionals meet in Cary, N.C., Hetzell rattled off a trio of personal best times in his primary events, clocking 54.77 in the 100 breast, 2:01.59 in the 200 breast, and 49.26 in the 100 fly.
Most recently, Hetzell competed at the Speedo Summer Junior National Championships. There, he swam the 100 breast, 200 breast, and 200 fly (all LCM), setting multiple best times. His highest finish was 56th in the 100 breast which he finished in 1:05.12, just .10 off his personal best. He dropped nearly two seconds in the 200 breast, going 2:24.22 and finishing 68th. Finally, in the 100 fly, Hetzell dropped just under half a second to finish 89th with a 56.50.
UNC-Wilmington is a Division I swim program that competes as part of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Conference. The Seahawk men captured their 14th Conference Championship title in program history, marking their first win since 2014. It was head coach Bobby Guntoro’s first championship title, as it was only his second season leading the Seahawks.
Heading into his final year of high school, Hetzell already owns CAA-scoring times. In the 100 breaststroke, his best time would have placed him seventh overall last year, and second for UNC-Wilmington. In the 200 breast he would have been 11th overall and third among the Seahawks.
Last season’s top breastroker, Gianmichel D’Alessandro, was a graduate student last season and used up his final year of eligibility, meaning Hetzell would currently be the top 100 breaststroker on the team. In the 200 breast, the second-fastest time is held by current sophomore Aiden Duffy, who will be a junior when Hetzell arrives.
Hetzell appears to be the first men’s recruit to commit to UNC-Wilmington’s class of 2027.
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