2016 ACC Men’s Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap


Through 2 days of competition, NC State continues to lead the point standings, albeit by just 4 points over Virginia Tech. Louisville is still most definitely in the mix, carrying 383 points into day 3. *All point totals include diving.

Look for Louisville to step it up today, however, as they enter prelims holding top seeds in 4 out of today’s 5 individual events. Senior Cardinals’ captain Nolan Tesone enters the men’s 400 IM event with the top seeded time by 5 seconds to kick-off the morning, then senior teammate Pedro Coutinho will try to set himself up nicely in the 100 butterfly, holding the top seed in that race.

Trevor Carroll (200 freestyle) and Grigory Tarasevich (100 backstroke) are the other two top seeds for the Cardinals, whose morning swims will help determine just how many points last year’s runner-up team may reap in before tonight’s finals are done and dusted.


And Louisville Cardinal Nolan Tesone clears prelims remaining as the top seed in the 400 IM headed into tonight’s finals. The senior team captain ripped a smooth 3:42.69 to capture the 2nd fastest time of his career. At a time trial back in November, Tesone registered his personal best of 3:41.70, a mark just off the NCAA A standard of 3:41.15. No doubt Tesone will be gunning for that automatic qualifying time from the middle of the pool tonight.

Tesone will be joined by teammates Zach Harting and Ryan Massey, who scooped up the respective 6th and 7th place seeds, setting up a major point siege by the Cardinals in the event come tonight’s final.

But, last year’s ACC Champion, Robert Owen from Virginia Tech, is hot on Tesone’s heels, clocking a super swift time of his own in 3:43.30. Owen’s personal best is the 3:41.79 he threw down to take the title last year, so the Hokies swimmer certainly has a history of speed that may push him over the edge for a repeat title tonight.

The team atop the leader board, NC State, saw senior swimmer Austin Snyder claim the 3rd seed in a monster time of 3:44.65, almost 10 full seconds under his seed effort of 3:54.22 and 5 seconds under his career-best. Snyder’s time at this meet last year was a 3:49.23, which rendered the Wolfpack swimmer a 12th place finish.

Snyder’s teammate, Christian McCurdy also is in the hunt for a title, having finished as runner-up to Owen at 2015’s ACC Championships. McCurdy lands the 4th seed in a time of 3:45.62.

The top 3 finishers all fell beneath last year’s NCAA D1 invite time of 3:45.34, as well as register within the NCAA’s top ten at this point.

Top 8:

  1. Nolan Tesone, Louisville, 3:42.69
  2. Robert Owen, VT, 3:43.30
  3. Austin Snyder, NC State, 3:44.65
  4. Christian McCurdy, NC State, 3:45.62
  5. Henry Campbell, UNC, 3:47.55
  6. Zach Harting, Louisville, 3:47.81
  7. Ryan Massey, Louisville, 3:47.89
  8. Zachary Switzer, VT, 3:48.33


Another race, another Louisville Cardinal takes the top seed, as senior Pedro Coutinho scores a huge time of 46.02 to take lane 4 for tonight’s final. For Coutinho, his mark this morning ranks as the 9th-fastest in the NCAA and registers as the 4th-fastest of his career.

45.92 is what it took for Coutinho to earn the ACC Title in the event last year, but UNC’s Samuel Lewis may have something to say about a successful title defense.  Lewis finished in 3rd place last year in a time of 46.14, but the senior already surpassed that performance this morning. Lewis touched just .07 of a second behind Coutinho in 46.09 to set the stage for what is sure to be a to-the-finish battle for first tonight.

Louisville’s depth is on display yet again, as additional Cardinals’ qualifiers fall into 4th place with Josh Quallen‘s 46.85 and 6th place with junior David Boland‘s 46.90.

A potential dark horse is Notre Dame’s Matthew Grauslys, who crushed a monstrous personal best to clinch the 7th seed. As the only freshman in the final 8, Grauslys slashed over a second off of his incoming career-best mark of 48.30 and may have more time droppage in his near future once under the big lights.

2015’s NCAA D1 invite time was 46.38, rendering just Coutinho and Lewis under the mark.

Top 8:

  1. Pedro Coutinho, Louisville, 46.02
  2. Samuel Lewis, UNC, 46.09
  3. Youssef Hammoud, Georgia Tech, 46.62
  4. Josh Quallen, Louisville, 46.85
  5. Ben Colley, UNC, 46.87
  6. David Boland, Louisville, 46.90
  7. Matthew Grauslys, Notre Dame, 47.01
  8. Justin Plaschka, Notre Dame, 47.04


Scorching speed from NC State’s Simonas Bilis in the 200 freestyle prelim rendering the Wolfpack swimmer an NCAA automatic qualifying time, as the senior stopped the clock at 1:33.09. Bilis’ morning follow-up performance to his 2nd place finish in the 50 freestyle last night resulted in a new NC State school record, as well as a notch in the NCAA top rankings as the 2nd-fastest of the season.

Bilis’ personal best entering the meet was the mark of 1:33.31 he registered at last year’s NCAA Championships in prelims, after which he settled for a 10th place finish in a time of 1:33.68. After Bilis’ enormous effort this morning, only Georgia’s Matias Koski holds a faster time this season, and not by much, sitting on the throne in 1:33.07. Bilis’ time this morning would have rendered the Lithuanian a 3rd place finish at last year’s NCAA Championships.

Splits for Bilis: 21.22/24.09 (45.31)
23.65/24.13 (47.78)

Bilis’ swim also inspired a sweep of the top 3 seeds by his fellow Wolfpack members. Sophomore 50 free ACC Champion Ryan Held carries a 1:33.62 time into finals, followed by junior teammate Soeren Dahl and his mark of 1:33.71. A 4th NC State dynamo also made it to tonight’s A-final, in the form of freshman Justin Ress, who managed a 5th seed with his personal best of 1:34.70.

Of note with Held’s fiery time, he was ahead of Bilis at the 100 mark, clocking an opening split of 44.56 to Bilis’ 45.31. Moreover, the presence of 4 NC State swimmers in the 200 freestyle final has extremely threatening implications for the Wolfpack’s 800 free relay.

Louisville will have 2 dogs in the fight, as junior Trevor Carroll clocked a time of 1:33.84, just .2 over his entry time for the 4th seed, while Matthais Lindenbauer touched in 1:34.87 for 6th.

1:34.54 was last year’s NCAA D1 Invite time, so we saw 4 swimmers crush that mark already this morning.

Top 8:

  1. Simonas Bilis, NC State, 1:33.09
  2. Ryan Held, NC State, 1:33.62
  3. Soeren Dahl, NC State 1:33.71
  4. Trevor Carroll, Louisville, 1:33.84
  5. Justin Ress, NC State 1:34.70
  6. Matthias Lindenbauer, Louisfille, 1:34.87
  7. Lucas Bureau, VT, 1:35.21
  8. Trent Jackson, Notre Dame, 1:35.45


Virginia Tech takes its first top seed of the day, in a new pool and meet record to boot. Junior Brandon Fiala rocked a time of 51.86 to sit atop the ACC breaststroke throne, temporarily, and overtake the previous pool record of 52.36 held by Canada’s Richard Funk from 2014. The previous meet record was held by Duke’s Peter Kropp at 52.17 from last year.

Fiala’s time this morning is a personal best by over a second, as his swiftest time to date was the 53.23 he registered at this meet last year for 5th place. The Hokies swimmer also scored himself an NCAA automatic qualifying time with his morning performance, a mark which would have finished 8th at last year’s NCAA Championships.

The Hokie is now ranked as the 2nd-fastest swimmer in the NCAA, only behind Missouri’s Fabien Schwingenschlogl (51.36).

Florida State also sees its first swimmer make an A-Final today in the form of junior Jason Coombs, who touched in 52.15 to also dip beneath the previous pool record. For Coombs, he wound up 4th at the 2015 ACC Championships, so taking the 2nd seed is a valuable step up in heading towards a possible run at his first ACC title.

Louisville’s Venezuelan speedster Carlos Claverie sits in the 3rd spot after his 52.78 morning swim, the first time the sophomore has dipped beneath the 53-second threshold in the event.

The top seed entering the meet, Peter Kropp from Duke, is still very much ready to fight, taking the 5th seed in a mark of 52.96. After having been DQ’d in last year’s final, Kropp is seeking redemption, but will need to zoom into another gear to get into the 51-point zone that Fiala has entered.

The invite time last year sat at a quick 52.97, which the top 5 finishers from this morning all beat.

Top 8:

  1. Brandon Fiala, VT, 51.86
  2. Jason Coombs, FSU, 52.15
  3. Carlos Claverie, Louisville, 52.78
  4. Yannick Kaeser, UVA, 52.84
  5. Peter Kropp, Duke, 52.96
  6. Derek Hren, NC State, 53.00
  7. Kurt Wohlrab, UNC, 53.40
  8. Michal Seaberg, Duke, 53.76


After taking a back seat to NC State in the 200 free, Louisville takes back the top seed in the 100 backstroke event, led by Russian junior Grigory Tarasevich‘s time of 45.88. The mark is just off his entry of 45.46, but well under his ACC title-winning time of 46.21 from last year.

3rd and 4th seeds go to Wolfpack swimmers Hennessey Stuart and Andreas Schiellerup to secure additional point for NC State. For Stuart, his mark of 46.09 is a new personal best for the sophomore and also clears the 2015 invite time of 46.46. Schiellerup is just behind in 46.55.

UNC nabbed the 2nd seed with senior Nicolas Graesser, the runner-up behind Tarasevich last year.  In fact, 5 swimmers that made it to 2015’s ACC final are back for another round this year. Only FSU freshman Noah Hensley, Duke junior Kazumu Takabayashi and FSU sophomore Connor Kalisz are new to the party.

2015 invite time was 46.46, so we saw the first 3 finishers this morning slide beneath that barrier.

Top 8:

  1. Grigory Tarasevich, Louisville, 45.88
  2. Nicolas Graesser, UNC, 46.00
  3. Hennessey Stuart, NC State, 46.09
  4. Andreas Schiellerup, NC State, 46.55
  5. Samuel Lewis, UNC, 46.88
  6. Noah Hensley, FSU, 47.08
  7. Kazumu Takabayashi, Duke, 47.23
  8. Connor Kalisz, FSU, 47.23


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1:33:09for Bilis 200 free. Held 1:33:62 and Dahl 1:33:71. Perhaps the wolfpack could win the 4×200 free relay

Joel Lin

NCS in prelims 1:33, 1:33, 1:33 & 1:34. Two guys likely go into the 1:32s tonite. Their relays are just monstrous this year.

Eddie Rowe

Who is downvoting this?


Maybe jealous trolls, or Tar Heel or Blue Devil fans.

Eddie Rowe

“the presence of 3 NC State swimmers in the 200 freestyle final” – *FOUR*

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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