2019 ACC Men’s Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recaps

by Robert Gibbs 25

March 01st, 2019 ACC, College


It’s been an exciting first day and a half at the 2019 ACC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships. While NC State may have lost a couple of races unexpectedly, including last night’s 200 free relay, by and large their swimmers are in line with what they did last year. Meanwhile, FSU’s sprint free groups was lights-out last night, Virginia Tech has been looking strong, and we’ve seen plenty of other great swims from most of the rest of the schools.

The excitement continues with the 100 fly, 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breast, and 100 back, plus the 400 medley relay tonight.

NC State swimmers will be the top seed in three of this morning’s events. Coleman Stewart will be in lane four for the final heat of both the 100 fly and the 100 back, the event he won at last year’s NCAAs. Teammate Jacob Molacek holds the top seed for the 200 free.

Notre Dame’s Marci Barta tops the list of this morning’s 400 IM swimmers, coming in with a time of 3:41.67 from earlier this season. Last night’s 200 IM champ, Caio Pumputis of Georgia Tech, will be in lane 4 for the 100 breast.

While NC State is solidly in the lead, right now it’s shaping up to be a four-way battle for 2nd place, with Louisville, Virginia Tech, Florida State, and Virginia all within 45 points of each other. With five individual events today, we should begin to see some more separation this morning based on how many swimmers each of those teams can get into A-finals.

100 Fly

  • Meet Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 44.79 – 2017
  • ACC Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 44.79 – 2017
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 45.86

Top Eight

  1. Coleman Stewart (NC State) – 45.18
  2. Bryce Keblish (Virginia) – 45.53
  3. Zach Fong (Virginia) – 45.65
  4. Kanoa Kaleoaloha (FSU) – 45.66
  5. James Bretscher (NC State) – 45.72
  6.  Nick Albiero (Louisville) – 45.74
  7. Noah Hensley (NC State) – 45.79
  8. Blaise Vera (Pitt) – 45.99

NC State kicked off the morning by taking three of the top eight spots. The Wolfpack was led by junior Coleman Stewart, who posted a NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 45.18 in his first of two swims today. Teammates James Bretscher (45.72) and Noah Hensley (45.79) were also under the estimated NCAA invite time, as they put up the 5th- and 7th-fastest times of the morning.

Virginia teammates Bryce Keblish and Zach Fong swam two very different races, but both got the job done. Swimming in the penultimate heat, Fong was only 5th at the 50 after going out in 21.44, but brought it home in 24.22 to win the heat and post the 3rd-fastest overall time this morning. Meanwhile, Keblish was first to the 50 mark in the final heat, and while Stewart ran him down on the back half, his 24.71 was enough to touch in 45.53 for the 2nd-fastest time overall.

Florida State’s Kanoa Kaleoaloha had an eventful day yesterday that involved nearly missing the 50 free finals completely after missing his wall in prelims, winning a swim-off to get into the C-final, and then posting the 2nd-fastest overall time in the finals while winning that C-final. No such worries for the Seminole senior this morning, as he put up a 45.66 to secure a lane for tonight.

Louisville’s Nick Albiero (45.74) and Pitt’s Blaise Vera (45.99) round out tonight’s A-final.

400 IM

  • Meet Record – Robert Owen, Virginia Tech, 3:38.43 – 2017
  • ACC Record – Gal Nevo, Georgia Tech, 3:38.00 – 2009
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 3:43.81

Top Eight

  1. Brendan Casey (Virginia) – 3:41.42
  2. Ted Schubert (Virginia) – 3:42.59
  3. Daniel Sos (Louisville) – 3:42.79
  4. Eric Knowles (NC State) – 3:42.91
  5. Samy Helmbacher (Pitt) – 3:43.15
  6. Casey Storch (Virginia) – 3:43.28
  7. Samuel Tornqvist (Virginia Tech) – 3:46.74
  8. Andrew Winton (Notre Dame) – 3:46.89

The Cavaliers came out swinging in this event this morning. Last year, Ted Schubert DQ’d this event in the morning, then did a solo time trial that evening and swam a 3:39. He won’t have to do that again, as he dueled teammate Casey Storch in the 3rd heat and won with a 3:42.59 that’s well under the estimated NCAA invite time and held up for the 2nd-fastest time of the morning. Another Cavalier, Brendan Casey, easily won the final heat with a 3:41.42, the fastest time of the morning.

Casey finished 3rd in this event last year, and two other men from last year’s A-final will be joining him once again this year, Louisville’s Daniel Sos (3:42.79) and NC State’s Eric Knowles (3:42.91). Pitt’s Samy Helmbacher (3:43.15), Virginia Tech’s Samuel Tornqvist (3:46.74), and Notre Dame’s Andrew Winton (3:46.89) will also be in tonight’s A-final.

Top-seeded Marci Barta of Notre Dame was well off his seeded time of 3:41.67, as he went 3:50.41 this morning, which was still enough to make the C-final.

200 Free

  • Meet Record – Scot Robinson, Virginia, 1:32.45 – 2010
  • ACC Record – Andreas Vazaois, NC State, 1:31.32 – 2018
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 1:34.06

Top Eight

  1. Bartosz Piszczorowicz (Louisville) – 1:33.49
  2. Zach Harting (Louisville) – 1:33.52
  3. Ryan Baker (Virginia)- 1:33.98
  4. Lane Stone (Virginia Tech) – 1:34.01
  5. Andreas Vazaios (NC State) – 1:34.06
  6. Cooper Wozencraft (Virginia) – 1:34.11
  7. Justin Ress (NC State) – 1:34.43
  8. Colton Paulson (Louisville) – 1:34.63

Tonight’s A-final will be a battle exclusively among the four schools that are looking increasingly likely to finish in the top four in the team standings this week.

Louisville got a big boost by putting three men into the top eight after only getting one in each of the previous two events. Freshman Bartosz Piszczorowicz has come seemingly out of nowhere (he’s from Poland, in case you were wondering) and has made an impact for the Cardinals this week. First he dropped a strong split as part of Louisville’s gold-medal 800 free relay Wednesday night, and this morning he put up a 1:33.49, the fastest time of the morning. Teammates Zach Harting (1:33.52) and Colton Paulson (1:34.63) will join him tonight, promising some big points for the Cardinals.

NC State and Virginia each got two up. Andreas Vazaois and Justin Ress are both capable of much faster times than their 1:34.06 and 1:34.43 from this morning — Ress won last year and Vazaois finished 3rd.

The Cavaliers got A-final times from Ryan Baker (1:33.98) and Cooper Wozencroft (1:34.11), and VT’s Lane Stone (1:34.01) rounds out tonight’s A-final.

100 Breast

  • Meet Record – Peter Kropp, Duke, 51.46 – 2017
  • ACC Record – Brandon Fiala, Virginia Tech, 51.30
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 52.62

Top Eight

  1. Evgenii Somov (Louisville) – 52.26
  2. Caio Pumputis (Georgia Tech) – 52.49
  3. Daniel Graber (NC State) – 52.52
  4. Judd Howard (Duke) – 52.70
  5. Keefer Barnum (Virginia) – 52.87
  6. Valdas Albaliksta (North Carolina) – 53.03
  7. Sterling Smith (North Carolina) – 53.08
  8. Izaak Bastian (Florida State) – 53.16

Louisville’s Evgenii Somov will be swimming in lane four tonight as he defends his title. Next to him will be Georgia Tech’s Caio Pumputis, last night’s 200 IM champion. NC State’s Daniel Graber was right behind Pumputis, and will be on Somov’s other side tonight.

Perhaps the most notable thing about this race is that UNC got its first A-final swim of the week, and in fact, it got two A-finalists, in thanks to Valdas Albaliksta and Sterling Smith putting up the 6th and 7th-fastest times of the morning.

Duke and Virginia each got one man into the top eight, with Judd Howard representing Duke tonight and Keefer Barnum Virginia.

100 Back

  • Meet Record – Coleman Stewart, NC State, 44.54 – 2018
  • ACC Record – Coleman Stewart, NC State, 44.54 – 2018
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 46.08

Top Eight

  1. Coleman Stewart (NC State) – 44.44
  2. Joe Clark (Virginia) – 45.35
  3. Nick Albiero (Louisville) – 45.49
  4. Noah Hensley (NC State) – 45.50
  5. Mitchell Whyte (Louisville) – 45.63
  6. Max St. George (Duke) – 46.00
  7. Nikolaos Sofianidis (Louisville) – 46.19
  8. Jack Montesi (Notre Dame) – 46.33

It was a good morning the 100 fly/back double, as almost the entire top eight in the 100 back also swam (and made finals in) the 100 fly earlier this session.

NC State’s Coleman Stewart led the way, as he blasted a 44.44 that broke his own meet and conference records, and puts him #1 in the nation this year in this event. Teammate Noah Hensley pushed him the whole way, putting up a 45.50, and both men will be both A-finals tonight.

Nick Albiero will also be in both A-finals after putting up the 3rd-fastest time of the morning with a 45.49. Teammate Mitchell Whyte will be there as well, thanks to a 45.63. Both he and Notre Dame’s Jack Montesi (46.33) are also slated to swim the 100 fly C-final. Yet another Louisville swimmer, Nikolaos Sofianidis will be in this A-final (46.19) and the 100 fly B-final.

Rounding out the top eight in this event will be Virginia Joe’s Clark (45.35) and Duke’s Max St. George (46.00).

Leave a Reply

6 Comment threads
19 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
13 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Anyone know how to watch prelims?

Drive to Greensboro, sit in the stands.

Ask a friend in the Arena to stream on IGTV.

But seriously. That’s it.

Silent Observer

Poor Jakob Molacek… Must be really feeling the after effects of the flu. Apparently he came down with it a week ago.

The Wolf of Raleigh

Well Good thing NC State only need to peak at NCAA’s to win. ACC’s is a warm up

I think there’s an assumption that every time that a team has an off meet, that it’s just because they tapered for the other meet.

But, sometimes, coaches just miss taper, misjudge the rest their swimmers need or don’t need, teams get sick, flights get delayed, school causes stress… Even the best coaches. It happens. I guess in March we’ll get a clearer picture.

2 Cents

Yes, in college you have a COMPLETELY different team each year, roughly 33% turnover (and yes I know rough math says 25% for losing seniors, but I’m including the 1-2 swimmers who made the scoring team, then dont the next year, and the transfers if any…. so roughly 33%) which means you can’t do the same taper each year, it has to vary depending on the “new” team. Yes, the best coaches still miss it from time to time. I’m not ready to put Braden on the Mt. Rushmore of college swimming coaches yet, but even he can misjudge a taper. Not saying he did, but it is possible.

ACC fan

Exactly, I used to think Jack Bauerele was immortal and never missed a taper, but even Jack has done it. Not saying Braden missed this taper, but as you said, we’ll know more in March.


Which Braden?

The Wolf of Raleigh

If NC State doesn’t perform better at NCAA”s I will eat my fins!

2 Cents

Be smart, get a flu shot. When I was an athlete several years ago, we were forced to get them…. Excuse me for not having any pity here.

PS, if he did get one and it was some strange strand of it, then ignore my comment.

2 Cents

Really? no one agrees that getting a flu shot would have been the smart thing to do and something EVERY person should do, athlete or not (but especially athletes)??


Are there any live results? The link posted above is taking me to the women’s results.

Edit: just kidding, it was my browser

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!