2019 ACC Men’s Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 46

February 28th, 2019 ACC, College


  • When: Wednesday, February 27th to Saturday, March 2nd | Prelims 10:00am | Finals 6:00pm
  • Where: Greensboro Aquatics Center, Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: NC State Wolfpack (results)
  • Live Results: here
  • Streaming: WatchESPN (subscription required)
  • Psych Sheet
  • Championship Central

The first full night of the 2019 ACC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships will feature the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, and the 200 free relay.

Unsurprisingly, NC State had a great morning, putting eight swimmers into A-finals, including four swimmers in the top eight of the 50 free, and the Wolfpack will occupy lane 4 in each of tonight’s A-finals.

Eric Knowles put up the fastest time of the morning in the 500 free. Swimming to his right will be Loiusville’s Marcelo Acosta and Notre Dame’s Zach Yeadon, the two highest finishers from last year’s A-final, and on his left will be UVA’s Brendan Casey, who had the 2nd-fastest time this morning.

Andreas Vazaois will be swimming for his 3rd-straight title in the 200 IM. He’s one of the few men to ever dip under 1:40 in this event, although the fact that’s he’s presumably not fully tapered may open the door for another swimmer, such as Georgia Tech’s Caio Pumputis, who was the top seed coming into today and put up the 2nd-fastest time this morning.

FSU’s Will Pisani had a great swim this morning, touching in 19.17, but Justin Ress was just a touch faster, going 19.14 and taking the lane four for tonight. Watch out for Nyls Korstanje, though, who will be on Ress’s other side, and seems to making a flawless transition to short course yards after coming from the Netherlands.

Finally, the Wolfpack should pretty easily take the 200 free relay tonight, although 2nd appears wide open, with Florida State or Virginia Tech appearing the most likely teams to take that spot, after both had pretty strong mornings.


500 Free Finals

  • Meet Record – Matt McLean, Virginia, 2010 – 4:10.00
  • ACC Record – Anton Ipsen, NC State, 2018 – 4:09.13
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 4:15.44
  1. Eric Knowles (NC State) – 4:12.13
  2. Brendan Casey (Virginia) – 4:12.63
  3. Lane Stone (Virginia Tech) – 4:13.10

One of the fun parts about the 500 is that it can draw out the drama, and while it turned out Eric Knowles led for the entire race, his opponents kept it close enough the entire way to keep things interesting.

Knowles jumped out to an early leading, flipping at 22.93 at the first 50, but Virginia Tech’s Lane Stone was right behind him, flipping at 22.30, and he stayed behind Knowles through the first 300, getting as close as 0.22s back at the halfway point.

Meanwhile, UVA’s Brendan Casey had hung back a bit early on, but started moving up during the middle laps, and eventually pushed past Stone. Casey out split Knowles the final 100, but it wasn’t quite enough, and Knowles made it to the wall a half second before Casey.

Stone hung on for 3rd and lowered the Hokies’ school record in the event by over a second and a half.

200 IM Finals

  • Meet Record – Andreas Vazaois, NC State, 2018 – 1:41.25
  • ACC Record – Andreas Vazaois, NC State, 2018 – 1:39.98
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 1:43.88
  1. Caio Pumputis (Georgia Tech) – 1:41.28
  2. Andreas Vazaois (NC State) – 1:41.30
  3. Norbert Szabo (Virginia Tech) – 1:43.17

UVA’s Bryce Keblish took it out fast and led after the fly leg, but NC State’s Andreas Vazaois, the two-time ACC defending champion, quickly caught and passed Keblish by the halfway point. Vazaois continued to build his lead during the breaststroke leg, as he was the only man in the field to split under 29.0, but Pumputis did just enough to stay with him.

The two men flipped nearly together at the final wall, and at first it looked like Vazaois would hang on, but Pumputis looked determined to hang tough, put his head down for the last few strokes, and with a final lunge, touched out Vazaois by 0.02s. Both men were just hundredths of a second off of Vazaois’s meet record from last year.

Virginia Tech’s Norbert Szabo was actually in 2nd place after backstroke, he was the only man besides the two eventual winners to go under 30 on the breast leg, and had built enough of a lead over the rest of the field by that point that he was able to secure 3rd, touching in 1:43.17.

50 Free Finals

  • Meet Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 2017 – 18.68
  • ACC Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 2017 – 18.56
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time –19.35
  1. Will Pisani (FSU) – 19.21
  2. Andrej Barna (Louisville) – 19.27
  3. Justin Ress (NC State) – 19.29

Anything can happen in the 50 free, right? Florida State not only got the win in the A-final, but actually posted the fastest time in each of tonight’s three heats.

This morning, Kanoa Kaleoaloha only made it into the C-final after winning a swim-off. Tonight, he dropped a 19.25 to win the C-final, a time that…spoiler alert…would’ve finished 2nd in the A-final.

Next up, teammate Jakub Ksiazek took the B-final in 19.44.

Perhaps buoyed by his teammates’ success, FSU senior Will Pisani rocketed off the blocks at the start of the A-final, and looked like he had a narrow lead as the field flipped at the sole wall. Sure enough, he held off a tight field to win the A-final, despite going 0.04s slower than he did in prelims this morning.

Louisville’s Andrej Barna grabbed 2nd, just touching out top-seeded Justin Ress 19.27 to 19.29.

While victory may not have won the event, they certainly picked up the most points, with Ress plus the other three Wolfpack swimmers earning a total of 100 here.

With all diving events included, here are the scores as we head into the 200 free relay:

  1. NC State – 489.5
  2. Louisville – 383
  3. Virginia Tech – 362.5
  4. Virginia – 348
  5. Florida State – 342
  6. Duke – 311
  7. Georgia Tech – 226
  8. Notre Dame – 214
  9. Miami – 161
  10. North Carolina – 157
  11. Pitt – 154
  12. Boston College – 64

200 Free Relay Timed Finals

  • Meet Record – NC State, 2018 – 1:15.34
  • ACC Record – NC State, 2018 – 1:14.50
  • NCAA ‘A’ Standard – 1:17.41
  • NCAA ‘B’ Standard – 1:18.11
  1. Florida State – 1:15.81
  2. NC State – 1:16.00
  3. Louisville – 1:17.15

What a night for the Seminoles’ sprint group. Pisani put FSU in the lead with a 19.24 lead off leg, while NC State got a 19.36 from Korstanje. Ress split 18.64 on the next leg to put the Wolfpack in the lead, and they still led after a 19.15 from Molacek. The Seminoles got a 19.12 from Ksiazek and a 18.88 from Muratovic, meaning that NC State led by a scant 0.09s heading into the anchor leg. Coleman Stewart put forth a great effort, going 18.85, but Kaleoaloha sealed it up with an 18.57 as the Seminoles’ broke the Wolfpack stranglehold on this relay by a 0.19s margin.

Louisville took 3rd in 1:17.15, with Barna’s 18.81 2nd leg leading the way for the Cardinals. All three teams were under the NCAA ‘A’ standard.

Teams Scores Through Day 2 (Including All Diving Points):

  1. NC State – 545.5
  2. Louisville – 437
  3. Virginia Tech – 412.5
  4. Florida State – 406
  5. Virginia – 392
  6. Duke – 357
  7. Notre Dame – 262
  8. Georgia Tech – 260
  9. Pitt – 206
  10. North Carolina – 197
  11. Miami – 161
  12. Boston College – 96

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NM Coach
4 years ago

Robert, this link goes to the women’s ACC Meet. Can we update this?

4 years ago

The results link doesn’t work for me. It takes me to the Women’s ACC’s. Anyone else have that problem? Can you update this please!? 🙏🏻

Reply to  OU PRIDE!
4 years ago

For results you can either get meet Mobil or the watch espn app and then enter your tv provider and click on swimming as the sport you want to watch and it will take you to the ACC network and click on ACC finals. You can watch the finals every night with rowdy commentating. ACC network coming to TV in August

4 years ago

UNC is 10th. I wear my ’83 ACC Championship ring every day with pride. RD show some pride and resign Sunday.

Reply to  UNC ALUM
4 years ago

RD is the definitive GENTLEMAN of swimming. He is humble, kind, gracious in defeat and effacious in victory. Why would such a stalwart of sport resign?? Why would anyone suggest that he resign. He needs a year of two of strong recruiting and BAM – UNC will be competing with NCState and Louisville. BANK on it.

Reply to  Ladymanvol
4 years ago

You must be the UNC AD

Eric Knowles Superfan
4 years ago

Eric Knowles went SICKO MODE

Hook em
Reply to  Eric Knowles Superfan
4 years ago

Hi burt

4 years ago

Vazaios just shy of 25- a bit old for NCAA swimming I should think

Pack Mack
Reply to  Aquaman
4 years ago

People compete in NCAA sports after serving in the military and there are many other reasons for attending college later in life.

2 Cents
Reply to  Pack Mack
4 years ago

True. The biggest one is usually if they are Mormon and do their mission thing (forgive my ignorance on what it is actually called) before enrolling in college. I also know Chris Weinke was very old when he played for FSU, but that was because he did baseball first then went to football. Not sure any of those reasons have ever really played out in swimming though.

Curious Bystander
4 years ago

Blame it on the lack of taper if you like, but NC State doesn’t look as dominant as years past.

Henry Savage
4 years ago

live results please

4 years ago

Great Relay for FSU Congratulations!

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