All videos courtesy the Packswimanddive Youtube channel.
Women’s 200 Medley Relay (Above)
- Louisville, 1:35.43
- Virginia, 1:35.57
- North Carolina State, 1:36.43
Recap courtesy Braden Keith:
The women’s 200 medley relay was one of the most anticipated in the entire ACC women’s championship meet, with the Virginia and Louisville women both contenders for NCAA titles next month. The result lived up to the hype, with the Cardinals topping the Cavaliers by a margin of 1:35.43-1:35.57. Those times would’ve placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively, at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.
Both teams were dominant on their respective stars; Virginia got a huge lead on the opening leg with a 23.98 from Courtney Bartholomew in the 50 back, while Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell split 22.42 to make that margin back.
- Louisville splits: Alina Kendzior (24.78), Andee Cottrell (26.35), Kelsi Worrell(22.42), Mallory Comerford (21.88)
- Virginia splits: Courtney Bartholomew (23.98), Laura Simon (26.76), Ellen Thomas(22.99), Caitlin Cooper (21.84)
With both teams having matching freestyle anchors, that left the difference on whether Louisville’s All-America breaststroke Andee Cottrell could catch-up enough to Virginia All-America breaststroker Laura Simon to give her team a chance, and she did just that.
Other noteworthy splits was a 21.60 in the 50 free from North Carolina State anchor Riki Bonnema, and a 22.74 on the fly leg from North Carolina’s Hellen Moffitt.
The top 4 teams, including UNC in 1:37.04, earned NCAA Qualifying Standards.
Women’s 400 Medley Relay
- Virginia – 3:28.25
- Louisville – 3:28.32
- NC State – 3:30.58
Recap courtesy Jared Anderson:
Virginia and Louisville capped off the night with a thriller of a 400 medley relay that came down to just seven one-hundredths of a second.
True to form, Courtney Bartholomew came up huge for the Cavaliers on the leadoff leg, going 50.55 in the 100 backstroke to best the time she used to win the individual ACC championship earlier in the night. That’s the fastest 100 back in the NCAA this year, topping her own midseason mark.
But Louisville roared back on the breast and fly legs, with the reigning ACC champions reprising their roles in both spots. Unfortunately, splits appear to be missing on the live results page, so we don’t know exactly how fast Andee Cottrell and Kelsi Worrell went, but it was enough to pull Louisville into nearly a dead tie with Virginia with 100 yards to go.
Results list the anchor legs with the exact same 47.48 split, though it’s hard to tell if that’s accurate for Louisville with the mixed-up middle splits. Either way, Virginia senior Ellen Thomas outlasted Cardinal freshman Mallory Comerford (the 200 free champ earlier tonight) to win 3:28.25 to 3:28.32. Both teams broke the ACC meet record and earned automatic NCAA bids.
Virginia’s winning team also included a fast 58.53 breaststroke split from Laura Simon and a 51.69 on fly from 400 IM champ Kaitlyn Jones. Louisville got a 53.22 leadoff leg out of freshman Alina Kendzior.
NC State was solidly third, two seconds behind the leaders but four seconds up on fourth-place Virginia Tech. The Wolfpack had a great 47.54 split from Riki Bonnema on the anchor legto go 3:30.58 for the last automatic NCAA bid of the race.
Women’s 200 Free Relay
- NC State- 1:27.50
- Virginia- 1:28.45
- UNC- 1:28.63
Recap courtesy Lauren Neidigh:
After placing 3 swimmers in the top 8 of the 50 freestyle, it’s no big surprise that NC State came up with a win in the 200 free relay. The team of Riki Bonnema, Ashlyn Koletic,Natalie Labonge, and Krista Duffield posted a 1:27.50 to set a new ACC record, highlighted by Bonnema’s 21.92 leadoff.
Virginia (1:28.45) swam to 2nd place with a pair of 21 second splits from Ellen Thomas(21.95) and Caitlin Cooper (21.75). Behind UVA, Louisville and UNC battled it out for 3rd. Despite a blazing 21.40 split from Kelsi Worrell on the 2nd leg, Louisville (1:28.64) fell to 4th by just .01 behind the UNC women (1:28.63), who got a 21.77 on the second leg from Sarah Hitchens.
Women’s 400 Free Relay
- NC State- 3:11.90
- Virginia- 3:13.45
- UNC- 3:13.75
Recap courtesy Lauren Neidigh:
NC State topped off a stellar team performance at the ACC championships with another relay victory in the women’s 400 free relay. 3 of the 4 women were under 48 on their splits.Alexia Zevnik (47.95), Riki Bonnema (47.91), Courtney Caldwell (47.85), and Natalie Labonge (48.19) combined for a winning time of 3:11.90.
2nd place went to Virginia in 3:13.45, highlighted by a 47.98 anchor from Courtney Bartholomew. She closed fast enough to edge Virginia ahead of the UNC women, who took bronze in 3:13.75.
The fastest split of any relay belonged to Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell. Worrell swam the leadoff leg, tying her meet and conference record of 47.30 set earlier in the session. The Louisville quartet ended up in 4th overall with a 3:15.59.
Women’s 800 Free Relay
- Virginia: 6:59.98 (ACC Meet, Conference Record)
- NC State: 7:00.53
Recap courtesy Hannah Hecht:
The 800 free relay shaped up to be another exciting race all the way through the finish, when Jen Marrkand of the University of Virginia just outswam Natalie Labonge of North Carolina State to take the title and the ACC record.
The UVA team was the first in ACC Championships history to go under 7:00, clocking 6:59.98 to break their own ACC record from last season. North Carolina State also came in under the mark with 7:00.53, but they just weren’t fast enough. The relays would have placed 3rd and 4th at last year’s NCAA meet.
The old ACC record was a 7:00.93 set by Leah Smith, Hanne Borgerson, Kaitlyn Jones, and Cece Williams. Smith was the only returner to the relay this year.
The most exciting split of the race was a flat-start 1:43.15 from Leah Smith, which would have been quick enough for fourth place at NCAA Championships last year. And, with both Simone Manuel and Missy Franklin out of the picture this year, that leaves Stanford’s Lia Neal as Smith’s main competition going into the meet next month.
- Virginia splits: Leah Smith: 1:43.15, Megan Moroney: 1:45.96, Kaitlyn Jones: 1:45.31, Jen Marrkand: 1:45.56
- NC State splits: Rachel Muller: 1:44.61, Alexia Zevnik: 1:44.21, Michelle Craddock: 1:45.81, Natalie Labonge: 1:45.90
The fastest overall splits from the event came from Smith (flat: 1:43.15), Muller (flat: 1:44.61), Zevnik (1:44.21), and Louisville’s Abbie Houck (1:44.97).
Louisville’s Andrea Kneppers, Abbie Houck, Marah Pugh, and Mallory Comerfield finished third in 7:01.01.
Last year, the same top three teams took home the ACC medals. Last season’s Virginia team finished ninth at NCAAs with 7:03.79.
The top five teams, Virginia, NC State, Louisville, and the University of North Carolina (7:05.23), came in under the NCAA ‘A’ cut of 7:06.77. Smith was the sole first swimmer to hit the individual ‘A’ cut in the 200 free, a 1:43.82.
Men’s 200 Medley Relay
- North Carolina State – 1:23.19 (ACC Meet, Conference Record)
- Louisville – 1:24.01
- North Carolina – 1:24.01
Recap courtesy Braden Keith:
For the 3rd-straight year, the North Carolina State Wolfpack men have won the 200 medley relay at the ACC Championships. The team of Hennessey Stuart (21.22), Derek Hren (23.54), Simonas Bilis (20.27), and Ryan Held (18.16) have combined for a record-crushing 1:23.19 that clears the meet and conference records of 1:23.78 set by an entirely different Wolfpack foursome in 2014.
The 18.16 anchor by Held was the highlight of the relay, as he kept dangerously close to joining Vlad Morozov as the only swimmers under 18 seconds on a 50 free relay split.
The overall relay time is the fastest in the country by half-a-second, clearing the Florida Gators, and pending further results on Wednesday evening.
Louisville took 2nd in 1:24.01, while North Carolina was 3rd in 1:24.70. North Carolina’s Sam Lewis had the low split* on the 50 fly (20.26), and Duke’s Peter Kroppwas 23.43 on their breaststroke leg as Duke became the 4th relay to qualify for NCAA’s.
*Note – splits on Louisville’s 2nd-place relay had errors.
Men’s 200 Free Relay
- NC State – 1:15.65
- UNC – 1:18.02
- Louisville – 1:18.15
Recap courtesy Jared Anderson:
To little surprise, NC State won the 200 free relay with flying colors after obliterating competition in the 50 free. The Wolfpack went 1:15.65, just missing their own meet and conference record from last year by .03 seconds.
Though Ryan Held won the 50 earlier in the night, it was runner-up Simonas Bilis who provided the key split on the relay, going 18.24 on the second leg. Held led off in 19.31. Anchor Andreas Schiellerup also dipped under 19 with an 18.97, and Joe Bonk was 19.13. That was the same relay lineup as last year save for the graduated David Williams; his spot was taken by Bonk, who transferred in from Virginia Tech this season.
That time is easily #1 in the NCAA for the season, and is faster than Texas went in winning the NCAA title last year. NC State, of course, would have won the national title in the relay in 2015 were it not for a false start disqualification for the second year in a row. Now leading former NCAA leaders Florida by almost a second, NC State should again be title favorites if they can keep their starts legal.
The other team from North Carolina, the UNC Tar Heels, took second in 1:18.02, getting twin 19.3s from Logan Heck and Nicolas Graesser and a leadoff 19.65 from Sam Lewis. They held off Louisville, as the Cards were charging home to a 1:18.15 finish. Grigory Tarasevich led the way there with a 19.06 split.
NC State’s relay win propelled the Wolfpack to its first team points lead of the meet, meaning it took only one full day and 6 events to erase the 247-point lead Virginia Tech was sitting on after diving.
Men’s 50 Free
- Ryan Held, NCSU – 18.92
- Simonas Bilis, NCSU – 18.94
- Sam Lewis, UNC – 19.49
Recap courtesy Jared Anderson:
It was Simonas Bilis who was the defending champ, but his sophomore teammate Ryan Held ended the streak of repeat winners, going 18.92 for the first new ACC champ of the 2016 meet.
Held just touched out Bilis, who was 18.94 – that gives the Wolfpack a pair of sub-19 sprinters that should mean their 200 free relay won’t have to deal with the traditional question of whether to lead off with your top sprinter or use him as your anchor. NC State has the firepower to do both.
UNC senior Sam Lewis snuck in for third at 19.49, taking a little more than a tenth off his prelims time and touching out Andreas Schiellerup (19.52) to break up the Wolfpack sweep.
Duke’s James Peek was just behind in 19.54, with the final NC State championship finalist, Joe Bonk taking sixth in 19.57.
Factoring in the scores from all three diving events, NC State is on the cusp of offically taking the points lead away from Virginia Tech. VT held a 247-point lead over NC State after diving, where the Wolfpack entered no athletes. By our calculations, Virginia Tech currently has 441 points to NC State’s 427 with all three diving events included.
Louisville is third with 329 points, ahead of a Georgia Tech-UNC tie at 317.
Men’s 200 Free
- Simonas Bilis, NCSU – 1:32.46
- Soeren Dahl, NCSU – 1:32.88
- Ryan Held, NCSU – 1:32.97
Recap courtesy Loretta Race:
This NC State team has built its reputation around the sprint freestyles, but if you needed anymore indication that the Wolfpack can handle middle distance (you know, just in case last year’s 2nd place NCAA finish wasn’t enough evidence), NC State swept the top three spots in this event tonig.ht, with all three men finishing under 1:33.
Simonas Bilis, last year’s champion, was 21.35 to the feet on his first 50, followed closely by teammate Ryan Held, who then split 23.81 over the next 50 to take a narrow lead. Louisville’s Trevor Carroll actually had the fastest split on that second 50 (23.72), and around the halfway mark, it was still a four-man race. The fourth man was Soeren Dahl, who then split 23.21 for the third 50 to close on teammates Bilis and Held. But Bilis surged ahead over the final lap to overtake Held and repeat as champion.
All three NC State men finished with NCAA “A” cuts, while Carroll finished in fourth by a wide margin, touching in 1:33.52.