2015 ACC Men’s Championships: Day Four Finals Live Recap

2015 ACC MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS – DAY 4 FINALS

ICYMI:

With NC State looking very solid for a team title, places 2-4 are pretty up in the air. Virginia Tech is still holding onto their diving boost (for dear life) as UNC and Louisville are prepared to battle in what should be an incredibly tight race for 2nd place.

This morning, Hennessey Stuart, an NC State freshman, broke his teammate Stephen Coetzer‘s ACC record in the 200 backstroke, and both will swim in finals this evening. Each A final is looking very stacked, and keep an eye out for every race– there are some records that will be threatened tonight.

Should NC State take the ACC crown, this will be their first since 1992. Virginia has won 14 of the last 16 ACC championships, while Virginia Tech took the title last year.

1650 FREESTYLE

  • 2014 ACC Champion — Bradley Phillips, UVA — 14:58.00
  • NCAA “A” Standard — 14:46.26
  • ACC Record — 14:35.12 — Matt McLean, UVA, 2009

It was all Anton Ipsen in the mile, posting a time of 14:48.52 to all but secure a NCAA bid. His time nearly eclipsed the NCAA ‘A’ cut. 2nd place went to Virginia Tech’s Jake Ores (14:57.58), who was the only other swimmer to break 15 minutes, while the bronze went to Marcelo Acosta of Louisville, who actually swam in an earlier heat.

Ipsen has been on a tear his freshman year at NC State, breaking school and pool records at multiple meets throughout the season. His time from tonight obliterated his own school record in the mile, a 15:01.52 from this past December. He’s got three more years after this, and is making a name for himself on one of the NCAA’s best programs.

200 BACKSTROKE

  • 2014 ACC Champion – Luke Papendick, UVA – 1:40.99
  • NCAA “A” Standard – 1:40.88
  • ACC Record — 1:39.73 — Hennessey Stuart, NC State, 2015 (this morning)

Just like that, Hennessey Stuart shattered the ACC record again with a 1:39.37, taking down his recent school record while he was at it. The freshman was out like a rocket, splitting 22.7 and then 47.5 at the 50 and 100 mark, and pulled through on the back half for a huge win over a very talented crowd.

2nd place, also dipping under the NCAA ‘A’ cut, was Louisville sophomore Grigory Tarasevich, posting a 1:40.86 to edge the cut by just two hundredths. This was almost two full seconds faster than his prelims swim. His teammate and fellow sophomore Aaron Greene followed up in 1:41.38 for third place. The top five swimmers in this event, including 4th place Robert Owen (VT) and 5th place Stephen Coetzer (NC State), dipped below last year’s NCAA invited time.

SCORE UPDATE: After this event, Louisville jumped up over UNC to third place with 898 points, closing in on the 958 points owned by VT. NC State had 1046 points at this mark, while UNC had 886.

100 FREESTYLE

  • 2014 ACC Champion – Simonas Bilis, NC State – 42.26
  • NCAA “A” Standard – 42.51
  • ACC Record – 42.19 – Simonas Bilis, NC State, 2014

NC State simply refused to slow down, as Simonas Bilis dropped a 41.94 coming off of a fantastic final turn to break his own ACC and school record. This made Bilis 3-for-3 individually, after he took the 50 and 200 free earlier in the meet. The junior broke 42 seconds for the first time in his career.

Finishing 2nd was Andrew Kosic of Georgia Tech in 42.45, also with an A cut, to put a stop to the Wolfpack sweep. 3rd and 4th went to NC State, though, as senior David Williams (42.77) and freshman Ryan Held (42.79) rounded out the top four. 5th place was Owen Burns (VT) in 42.82, as the top five finishers all got under last year’s NCAA invited time.

With that win, between Bilis and Ipsen, NC State racked up wins in every freestyle event. Looking at the relays, they have already taken the 200 free relay and the 800 free relay, so a win in the 400 free relay would make NC State perfect in the ACC freestyle events.

SCORE UPDATE: VT 994 Louisville 980 UNC 914 (platform diving included)

200 BREASTSTROKE

  • 2014 ACC Champion – Zach Stephens, ND, 1:53.34
  • NCAA “A” Standard – 1:53.68
  • ACC Record – 1:53.13 – Rob Holderness, Florida State, 2011

Out in a 54.67 was Thomas Dahlia of Louisville in a tight field, but he turned on the jets on the back half, blasting a 1:53.51 for an A cut. He lopped off over a second from his morning swim, and led a Cardinal sweep. 2nd and 3rd for Louisville were Addison Bray (1:54.60) and freshman Carlos Claverie (1:54.80), followed by Duke sophomore Peter Kropp (1:55.05) in 3rd. No Wolfpack swimmers made it into this final.

SCORE UPDATE:With that huge Cardinal sweep, Louisville now sits in 2nd place (1090) behind NC State (1215) and ahead of defending ACC champions VT (1036). UNC is in 4th with 966 points.

200 BUTTERFLY

  • 2014 ACC Champion – Christian McCurdy, NC State
  • NCAA “A” Standard – 1:42.85
  • ACC Record – 1:41.72 – Christian McCurdy, NC State, 2014

This race got pretty close between defending champion and ACC record holder Christian McCurdy (NC State), Florida State’s Connor Knight, and UNC’s Ben Colley, as McCurdy outsplit the field on the middle 100 after Knight blasted out to a lead with a 22.34 on his first 50. As Colley faded slightly, McCurdy was chasing Knight with all he had, but Knight refused to give up and stuck it out for the win, touching in 1:41.66 to slip past McCurdy’s record.

McCurdy was not far behind in 1:42.00, as both he and Knight earned NCAA ‘A’ cuts. Colley was third in 1:42.95, but should definitely be invited to NCAAs with that swim.

SCORE UPDATE: (this includes all events BUT the final 400 free relay): NC State 1267 Louisville 1126 VT 1073 UNC 1006. Save for a DQ, it’s very likely that these four teams won’t move up or down.

400 FREE RELAY

  • 2014 ACC Champion — NC State — 2:50.06
  • NCAA “A” Standard — 2:53.11
  • ACC Record — 2:49.50 — NC State, 2014

The Wolfpack absolutely dominated the final event of the meet, blowing past their own ACC and school records with a dirty 2:48.92 to get past the nation-leading team from Auburn (2:48.98). Here are the splits:

Held 20.39 42.79

Bilis 19.59 41.38

Dahl 19.91 42.69

Williams 19.81 42.06 – 2:48.92

This relay is made up of one swimmer from each class, with Held being the freshman, Dahl the sophomore, Bilis the junior, and Williams the senior. Bilis’ 41.38 is just off of his 41.30 split from the medley relay, but his ability to stay fresh despite it being the fourth day of prelims-finals competition is impressive.

2nd in that relay were the UNC Tar Heels, back at 2:52.32, their fastest split of 42.62 coming from anchor Ben Colley, who took third in the 200 fly earlier tonight. Colley just barely held off a roaring Andrew Kosic (GT), who split a 41.96 as their anchor to solidify third place in the event and post the 2nd fastest split of the night. GT’s time of 2:52.47, along with the Tar Heels’ relay, dipped under the NCAA ‘A’ cut.

The NC State Wolfpack are your 2015 ACC champions with 1331 points. This marks their first conference title in 23 years.

FINAL SCORES

1. North Carolina State 1331

2. Louisville 1178.5

3. Virginia Tech 1123

4. North Carolina 1062.5

5. Notre Dame 675

6. Georgia Tech 663.5

7. Florida State 619

8. Virginia 618

9. Duke 435

10. Pittsburgh 369.5

11. Boston College 179

12. Miami (diving only) 105

 

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Billy

Is Braden Holloway one of the best coaches in the US? Every year the Pack swimmers keep getting faster and faster.

I have zero connections to the NC State program, but they have really gotten good!

Their relays are smokin’ fast. I am very impressed. Don’t they have a 50 meter pool on campus too?

Agreed! Holloway and staff have done an incredible job lifting the Wolfpack back into championship form.

Note that NC State has a 50 meter practice pool but competes in one of the worst facilities in the ACC. Alumni are pushing for a new pool to be built on Centennial Campus.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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