2016 ACC Men’s Champs: Day Four Prelims Live Recap

Karl Ortegon
by Karl Ortegon 11

February 27th, 2016 ACC, College, News


After a strong session that included a Wolfpack 1-2-3 finish in the 200 free, NC State holds a lead of more than 130 points over 2nd place Louisville with diving points factored in.

Simonas Bilis and Ryan Held, who’ve tangled in the 50 and 200 freestyles already this meet, will duel again today in the 100 free. This will be NC State’s strongest event of the day, and don’t be surprised if half (or more) of the top 8 in this event are made up of Wolfpack members.

Louisville also has a strong day ahead, with plenty of potential A-finalists across all events. The battle between VT and UNC is incredibly close for third, as is the team race between UNC and Georgia Tech right behind them. See full team scores (with diving) after last night’s finals session below.

NC State 928
Louisville 792.5
VT 688
UNC 659.5
GT 518
UVA 515
Duke 472
FSU 443
ND 441
Pitt 289
BC 160
Miami 88


Hennessey Stuart, an NC State sophomore, wasted no time in this race, getting out very quick in 47.89 and finishing up at 1:39.76. His teammate Justin Ress also made his way into the A final with a 1:41.29.

Sandwiched between those Wolfpack members were Louisville Cardinals Grigory Tarasevich (1:40.33) and Aaron Greene (1:40.94). Look for Tarasevich to challenge Stuart tonight.

Top 8

  1. Hennessey Stuart (NCSU), 1:39.76
  2. Grigory Tarasevich (LOU), 1:40.33
  3. Aaron Greene (LOU), 1:40.94
  4. Justin Ress (NCSU), 1:41.29
  5. Robert Owen (VT), 1:41.36
  6. Nic Graesser (UNC), 1:41.42
  7. Nolan Tesone (LOU), 1:41.66
  8. Rob Whitacre (ND), 1:42.17


NC State’s Simonas Bilis tore it up, shredding a 41.77 in the penultimate heat to set new conference, meet, and school records. He was out in 20.11 and came back hard in a 21.66, taking the top spot for finals tonight by almost eight full tenths.

As expected, this was a Wolfpack party, with Bilis, Held, and Joe Bonk grabbing the top three positions and Soeren Dahl joining them in the top 8 at 5th.

  1. Simonas Bilis (NCSU), 41.77
  2. Ryan Held (NCSU), 42.56
  3. Joseph Bonk (NCSU), 42.92
  4. Youssef Hammoud (GT), 42.93
  5. Soeren Dahl (NCSU), 43.01
  6. Justin Plaschka (ND), 43.14
  7. Trevor Carroll (LOU), 43.20
  8. Jason McCormick (FSU), 43.21


Virginia Tech’s Brandon Fiala, who took the 200 IM title earlier in the meet, blasted to new meet and pool records in the 200 breast. His time of 1:52.96 leads the field going into finals by nearly two full seconds.

Moises Loschi (1:54.95) of GT and Yannick Kaeser (1:55.13) of Virginia finished up in 2nd and 3rd. That was a school record for Loschi. Only UNC got more than one swimmer into the A final, with Kurt Wohlrab and Michael McBryan touching in 6th and 8th.

Top 8

  1. Brandon Fiala (VT), 1:52.96
  2. Moises Loschi (GT), 1:54.95
  3. Yannick Kaeser (UVA), 1:55.13
  4. Jason Coombs (FSU), 1:55.28
  5. Carlos Claverie (LOU), 1:56.32
  6. Kurt Wohlrab (UNC), 1:56.41
  7. Patrik Schwarzenbach (NCSU), 1:56.45
  8. Michael McBryan (UNC), 1:56.54


NC State’s Christian McCurdy was the sole swimmer under 1:44 this morning, turning in a 1:43.03 to take the top seed going into finals.

The rest of the field is seriously bunched up– 2nd place Zach Fong of UVA and 8th place Matthew Grauslys of Notre Dame are only separated by 59 hundredths.

  1. Christian McCurdy (NCSU), 1:43.03
  2. Zach Fong (UVA), 1:44.23
  3. Zach Harting (LOU), 1:44.40
  4. Austin Snyder (NCSU), 1:44.43
  5. Ben Colley (UNC), 1:44.71
  6. Thaxter Hensley (FSU), 1:44.74
  7. Joshua Quallen (LOU), 1:44.74
  8. Matthew Grauslys (ND), 1:44.82

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5 years ago

3 swimmers below 43. I’m calling it now NC state wins all the relays except for medley

Reply to  Uberfan
5 years ago

Simi would have had a good shot at the 100 fly as well. That would have been fun to see.

ct swim fan
5 years ago

Seems like a foregone conclusion that NC State will win this by over 200 points not even factoring in the 1650 where they have 3 of the top 5 seeds. I also believe Louisville loses Carroll and Tarasevich for the 400 free relay as they have already been in 4 relays.

Pack fan
5 years ago

I’m not even sure they couldn’t have won the 400 medley yesterday. They swam bonk as the free leg. Bilis or held could have swam faster and potentially made up the lost ground. Eventually an elite recruit will buy in to what is going on at state and the result will be incredible. There is no better place for someone like Hoffer. They develop swimmers like no other. They’re still holding back this week and they’re dominating the ACC. I follow this team very closely and know that they’re not even fielding their best swimmers in some events. 100 fly for example, Burkett is faster than both guys they put in yesterday. They haven’t even shown all their cards.

5 years ago

They got one of the blue chip sprinters from this years class. Some kid from Iowa who has been sub 20 and 43 mid… Was second or third behind hoffer at jnats.

Pack fan
Reply to  Nostradamous
5 years ago

I’ve actually followed his times and I’m surprised he’s not one of the top 5 recruits. He is faster than UNC commit Gregory Brocato in every event Brocato swims except 200 free and is actually more versatile. He swims a 19 50 free, 43 100 free, 48 100 back, 48 100 fly, 1:46 2IM, etc.

5 years ago

I am so excited for the next fews year. NC state is creating dynasty in the ACC and its’ only a matter of time until they create a dynsasty in NCAA

Lots of "IF"s
5 years ago

Nobody questions NC State’s dominance at this point on what that team has been able to do on a college level. They are yet to show anything on a national level and long course. Even their international kids are nothing special at both European and World level competition. Seems like an “all eggs in one basket” kind of deal. Which is ok, but athletes like Simonas Bilis or Ryan Held should be way better than 49 low long course. Do they not get enough opportunities to compete long course or is the training clearly not suitable for it?
Stuart is yet to break 1:59 in 200 back since he came in as a freshman. 1:39.3 backstroker should be able… Read more »

Reply to  Lots of "IF"s
5 years ago

I think they will have a good showing at ncaas this year. I think there are a couple guys on their team that may not be fully rested. Ispen for sure isnt fully rested and who knows about Mccurdy if he is or not. this will be their breakout year at ncaas barring another dq in the relays

ct swim fan
Reply to  Lots of "IF"s
5 years ago

Ryan Held if I recall, swam long course for the first time when he was a freshman. He never did it seriously until he came to college. I would say he is doing just fine. Bilis and Dahl both swam for their country in last summers world championships and swam quite well. Finally, quite a few of their current team members have Olympic Trial cuts in multiple events. There are very few current male college swimmers that will make the Olympic Team this summer, not just the ones at N.C. State.

Lots of Why nots
Reply to  Lots of "IF"s
5 years ago

What a lot of people tend to forget is that college swimmers are student-athletes. They represent their school and the school is interested in winning conference and NCAAs. You may not remember this but college swimming is 25 yd swimming not 50 meter and no you do not have to do both. When olympic swimmers are introduced do the announcers say what college they attend or do they say what country they are representing? Yes this is an olympic year and we are all a buzz about it, but come September and for the next 3 years we will not be even talking about the olympics. The swimmers at NC State are a work in progress. Ryan Held and Hennessey… Read more »

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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