North Carolina State has been on-fire early in the swimming portion of the 2014 men’s ACC Championships, but coming into this meet with a huge diving hole has left them well down the team rankings. While the Wolpack, who had a huge morning session, try and dig out of that hole, the Virginia Tech Hokies remain in first place after scoring the most points in diving.
Tonight will feature finals of the 500 free, the 200 IM, and the 50 free, plus the 200 free relay to start the night off where NC State could be looking at another conference record.The best race could be the men’s 200 IM, where we saw an unprecedented level of depth for this conference, with the top 8 all at 1:45.4 or better already.
For scores, see our day 1 finals recap here.
See our day 2 prelims recap here.
- Dates: Wednesday, February 26th – Saturday, March 1st; prelims 11AM/Finals 7PM (Diving is Feb. 20-22, with the women’s ACC Championships at Greensboro)
- Location: Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: Virginia (6x) (results)
- Live Results: Available here.
- Live Video (If available): Available here.
- Championship Central
Men’s 200 Freestyle Relay – TIMED FINALS
The North Carolina State men are now three-for-three in relays so far at this meet, with a 1:16.16 in the 200 free relay to kick off Thursday night tagging onto previous wins in the 200 medley and 800 free relays. That places them 2nd in the country so far this season – just two-tenths behind national-leaders Auburn (and with the Big Ten yet to swim this race on Thursday evening).
The swimmers on the winning medley were:
- Simonas Bilis (19.24)
- Jonathan Boffa (18.89)
- Andreas Schiellerup (19.38), and
- David Williams (18.65)
That anchor for Williams was a touch slower than he was to finish off the 200 medley on Wednesday, but it was still in that class of ‘top anchors in the country’ with guys like Brad deBorde at Florida, Marcelo Chierighini at Auburn, and Tyler Messerschmidt at Cal. All four of those swimmers will appear in the A-final of the 50 free later in the evening.
The old conference record of 1:16.76 was set by Florida State mid-season last year.
The only other relay in this event to clear the NCAA Automatic Qualifying mark were runners-up Virginia Tech in 1:18.08, with the team of sophomore Joe Bonk (19.88), Morgan Latimer (19.13), Emmett Dignan (19.50), and CJ Fiala (19.57). Virginia Tech’s relay got that second-place position in a very different manner – they’ve got no swimmers in the A-final of the individual 50, though Bonk will be in the center lane of the B-final.
Virginia Tech, thanks to a big anchor by the transfer Fiala, which held off a tight group battling for that second-place position. Virginia was 3rd in 18..39 – they had three really great legs (including a 19.32 from Charlie Rommel), but were in a hole after their leadoff leg split only 20.13.
North Carolina’s relay placed 4th in 1:18.43, followed by Notre Dame (19.17 split from Zach Stephens) in 1:18.72 to round out the top 5.
Georgia Tech took 6th in 1:19.19, Pitt took 7th in 1:19.98, Duke took 8th in 1:20.99, and Boston College took 9th in 1:21.57.
Florida State, after getting a big 19.01 anchor from Pavel Sankovich, were DQ’ed as he left early. They touched the wall 2nd, but of course that was with the advantage of the early start by their anchor.
Men’s 500 Free – FINALS
Virginia Tech broke up the three-event North Carolina State winning streak, and extended their lead in this meet, thanks to a 4:18.15 from imported Polish freshman Jan Switkowski. There were only two swimmers under 4:20 in the 500 free all day long, and Switkowski was the only one to do it in the A-final. This shows the shift of the ACC from a mid-distance based conference to a more sprint-based conference. Last year, the top five were all under 4:20.
The youth is there, though, that could bring things back in a hurry. Besides Switkowski, UNC’s Josh Beals was 2nd in 4:20.09 for a freshman 1-2.
Virginia’s Jan Daniec was one of those guys last year under 4:20, but this year couldn’t quite get there, putting in a 4:20.34 for 3rd. He held off a late charge from North Carolina’s JT Stilley in 4:20.47.
Virginia Tech’s Michael Szuba (4:21.14) and Jake Ores (4:21.69), were 5th and 6th, respectively; NC State’s Chrsitan McCurdy (4:21.82) and Virginia’s Brad Phillips (4:23.43) rounded out the A-final. Phillips was the defending ACC Champion in this race, and the top seed in prelims this morning, but added two seconds in finals. All-told, McCurdy dropped 10 seconds between the two rounds of this race – more hot swimming for the Wolfpack.
The other swimmer under 4:20 was Florida State’s Kevin Rogers, who swam a 4:19.56 to win the B final.
Men’s 200 IM – FINALS
After the disappointing early DQ, the Florida State men got hot at the end of this session with a pair of wins to close out the night. That began with the most impressive individual swim so far at the meet: a 1:41.92 from senior Pavel Sankovich to win the men’s 200 IM.
Sankovich broke the ACC Championship Record in this race last year, even though he was only with the team for a semester after coming in from Belarus. With more training stability now under him, he’s going to be a major factor at NCAA’s, and this swim broke not only his Championship Record (1:43.22), but the great Gal Nevo’s ACC Conference Record set in 2009 at 1:42.79.
Notre Dame’s Zach Stephens likely booked his ticket to NCAA’s as well, with a 1:44.01 for 2nd place – including a very fast 29.2 split on the breaststroke leg that is his best stroke. NC State continued to make big moves up the scoring charts with a 3rd-place finish from junior Stephen Coetzer in 1:44.26. That’s six seconds better than he was seeded coming in.
Those top three were the only three in this A-final who improved from prelims to finals, but UNC’s Alex Gianino had the most left among the rest to take 4th in 1:45.11, followed by Virginia Tech freshman Brandon Fiala in 1:45.23. Fiala was the only freshman in that A-final.
Virginia’s Luke Papendick (1:45.44), Notre Dame’s Colin Babcock (1:45.68), and Virginia Tech’s Owen Burns (1:45.97) finished out the A-final.
The B-final win went to Virginia’s David Ingraham in 1:44.95.
Men’s 50 Free – FINALS
As alluded to, the Seminoles took another win in the men’s 50 free with a 19.04 from Paul Murray. That broke the 2006 ACC Championship and Conference Record of 19.07 set by Olympian Cullen Jones, and through what we’ve seen of Thursday night’s times, pushes him into a tie for the 2nd-fastest time in the country so far this year.
Behind him was the NC State deep sprint group as they took the 2nd-through-5th spots in this event.
David Williams led the way with a 19.11, followed by sophomore Simonas Bilis in 19.19.
Jonathan Boffa was 4th in 19.35, and Andreas Schiellerup was 5th in 19.56.
Georgia Tech’s Andrew Kosic was 6th in 19.61, Notre Dame’s Frank Dyer was 7th in 19.62, and UNC’s Sam Lewis was 8th in 19.83.
Florida State freshman Jason McCormick looks ready to take the team’s long-burning sprint torch with a 19.71 to win the B-final. Virginia Tech’s CJ Fiala was the same time to win the C final.
Team Scoring Update
Once again, we have the team scores below based on the inclusion of the already-completed 3 meter and platform events. To see the scores with only the 1-meter, click on the live results and look for the 50 free finals. Note that these totals are unofficial, as we’ve had to add them by hand.
Still, North Carolina State, even without much diving to speak of, has clawed their way back into this title hunt, especially with those four A-finalists in the 50 free. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has been able to maintain their lead thanks to a good showing in the 500 free that included the win for Jan Switkowski and two other swimmers in the top 8.
The top three teams all are lined up for more big points on Friday, so anything could happen with these scores in what could be the most competitive men’s conference meet team-scoring wise this season.
1. Virginia Tech – 545
2. NC State – 433
3. Virginia – 402
4. Florida State – 400
5. North Carolina – 394.5
6. Notre Dame – 371
7. Duke – 262.5
8. Georgia Tech – 252
9. Pitt – 221
10. Miami – 176
11. Boston College – 123
never mind, sorry, looked at 2013…duh.
Thanks for the coverage, but your scoring is off. NC State led the meet after day 1 & 2.
LETS GO H2OKIES!!!
Great coverage as always. Thanks for all your dedication!
FSU needs to work on those relay exchanges. DQ’d their 200 Free relay twice (once in the event and once in a time trial).