2019 ACC Men’s Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 66

March 02nd, 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 final day of the 2019 ACC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships is here and the afternoon’s action will get underway with four early heats of the 1650 freestyle, then the evening’s session will start with the top eight swimmers battling it out in the final heat of the mile.

Notre Dame’s Zach Yeadon is the highest-finishing returner from last year’s 1650, but he’ll have his work cut out tonight against a field that includes last year’s 3rd- and 4th-place finishers, Louisville’s Marcelo Acosta and Virginia’s Brendan Casey. Casey won the 400 IM yesterday, and the mile could help determine the outcome of the race for 2nd place, where Louisville and Virginia are projected to be neck-and-neck.

UVA’s Joe Clark put up the fastest time this morning in the 200 back, and he’ll swim next to NC State’s Coleman Stewart, who will be swimming to sweep the backstroke events for the 2nd-straight year.

The 100 free should be another fun race. Pitt has shown up this week, and Blaise Vera took the top seed this morning. NC State’s Justin Ress, last year’s runner-up, is still looking for his first title of the week, and he’ll be to Vera’s left. Also keep an eye on FSU’s Kanoa Kaleoaloha, who had the 2nd-fastest overall time in the 50 free on Thursday and won the 100 fly last night.

Virginia has three men in the 200 breast A-final, included Matthew Otto, the top finisher from this morning. To his left will be Louisville’s Evgenii Somov, who swept the breaststroke events last year as a freshman and won the 100 breast last night.

The 200 fly might very well end up to be the best race of all. Four of the top five times from this morning came from the final heat, where defending champion Nick Albiero got his hand on the wall first. NC State’s Andreas Vazaois, who tied for 2nd last year, but who became the 3rd-fastest man ever in the event with his win at NCAA, will be right next to Albiero. Ted Schubert, the Virginia swimmer who tied Vazaois last year, is also in the final tonight, as are seniors Zach Harting (Louisville), Zach Fong (Virginia), and James Bretscher (NC State), all of whom were also in last year’s A-final.

Tonight’s action will conclude with the 400 free relay. A bearded NC State squad broke the American Record here last year, and they’ve got to be the favorites here again, especially with three men in the 100 free A-final and Coleman Stewart available, but FSU sprinters’ have brought their A-game all week and could at least give the Wolfpack a serious push.

As a reminder, here are the standings as we head into tonight, with all diving points already factored in:

  1. NC State – 968.5
  2. Louisville – 817
  3. Virginia – 724
  4. Florida State – 600.5
  5. Virginia Tech – 579.5
  6. Duke – 507
  7. Notre Dame – 479
  8. Georgia Tech – 396
  9. Pitt – 371
  10. North Carolina – 312.5
  11. Miami – 161
  12. Boston College – 111

1650 – Timed Finals

  • Meet Record – Anton Ipsen, NC State, 14:31.21 – 2018
  • ACC Record – Anton Ipsen, NC State, 14:24.43 – 2018
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 14:54.38
  1. Brendan Casey (Virginia) – 14:37.50
  2. Marcelo Acosta (Louisville) – 14:40.19
  3. John McIntyre (NC State) – 14:41.73

Louisville’s Marcelo Acosta and Notre Dame’s Zach Yeadon were the leaders early on, but Virginia’s Brendan Casey and NC State’s Eric Knowles made this a four-man race by around 1/3 of the way through. At the halfway point, less than 0.7s seconds separated the four men, but Yeadon began to fall off the pace, dropping to 5th at NC State’s John McIntyre moved up to 4th.

Around the 1000, Casey began pushed ahead, opening up a two-second lead, with Acosta behind. Knowles, McIntrye, and Yeadon kept shuffling the lead among them over the final few hundred yards, while Casey continued to extend his lead. McIntyre caught and passed Knowles and Yeadon, but couldn’t catch Acosta, who ended up 2nd, while Casey won by almost three seconds.

Early heats recap:

UVA’s Sam Magnan holds the top time heading into tonight’s fastest heat. Magnan out dueled Virginia Tech’s Lane Stone, winning the heat 14:54.03 to 14:54.65. NC State’s Daniel Erlenmeyer is the only other man under 15 minutes so far, as he won the 3rd heat with a time of 14:59.51

Those three times would end up putting the three men 6th-8th in the overall rankings. The top five men time’s were all under the estimated NCAA cut time, while Magnan’s time puts him right on the edge, and Stone had already secured his cut with his 500 earlier this week.

200 Back – Finals

  • Meet Record – Grigory Tarasevich, Louisville, 1:39.05 – 2017
  • ACC Record – Hennessey Stuart, NC State, 1:38.56 – 2016
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 1:41.01
  1. Coleman Stewart (NC State) – 1:39.10
  2. Mitchell Whyte (Louisville) – 1:40.39
  3. Joe Clark (Virginia) – 1:40.78

Coleman Stewart successfully his backstroke sweep for the 2nd straight year. The outcome was never really in doubt, as he led from start to finish and gave the meet record a scare, ultimately finishing just 0.05s off of it with a 1:39.10.

The top three finishers came from the same three schools as the top three in the 1650. Louisville freshman Mitchell Whyte and Virginia junior Joe Clark dueled it out in lanes 3 and 4, with Whyte ultimately touching ahead of Clark, 1:40.39 to 1:40.78.

FSU’s Griffin Alaniz was in dead last at the 100, but brought the final 50 home in 25.45 to move up to 4th, touching in 1:41.29.

100 Free – Finals

  • Meet Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 41.41 – 2018
  • ACC Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 41.05 – 2018
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 42.63
  1. Kanoa Kaleoaloha (Florida State) – 42.34
  2. Blaise Vera (Pitt) – 42.37
  3. Justin Ress (NC State) – 42.41

Florida State senior Kanoa Kaleoaloha has had quite the week. He missed his turn in the prelims of the 50 free, and only made the C-final after winning a swim-off. That night he won that C-final with a time that would’ve finished 2nd in the A-final. Yesterday, he got under 45 seconds and won the 100 fly.

Tonight, he had the fastest split on the second 50, a 22.09, to storm home and win the 100 free A-final in 42.34, just 0.03s ahead of runner-up Blaise Vera of Pittsburgh.

It’s been a hard-fought meet with most swimmers having to go full-blast to make A-finals, and it was definitely reflected in tonight’s final, where Kaleoaloha was the only man in the entire field to go faster than he did this morning. Last year, Kaleoaloha finished 22nd with a time of 43.67.

NC State’s Justin Ress, last year’s runner-up took 3rd in 42.41. While NC State is going to end up winning this meet by a wide margin, it is a bit remarkable that they have only one a single individual freestyle event this year, the 500 free.

However, none of the aforementioned men had the fastest time of the evening. That honor goes to another Seminole, Will Pisani, who won the B-final in 42.21, which would’ve been Kaleoaloha’s time by 0.13s.

200 Breast – Finals

  • Meet Record – Brandon Fiala, Virginia Tech, 1:52.39 – 2017
  • ACC Record – Brandon Fiala, Virginia Tech, 1:52.39 – 2017
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 1:54.28
  1. Caio Pumputis (Georgia Tech) – 1:51.46
  2. Evgenii Somov (Louisville) – 1:53.20
  3. Josh Bottleberghe (Notre Dame) – 1:53.90

Georgia Tech’s Caio Pumputis and Louisville’s Evgenii Somov found themselves taking the top two spots in this event for the 2nd year in a row, but this time the finishes were reversed, as Pumputis stormed out hard and never let up. He touched first in 1:51.46, lowering the meet and ACC record by almost a second.

Note: Pumputis had already set the conference record earlier in the season when swam a 1:52.38 at the Georgia Tech Invite. Apparently that change did not make its way into the ACC’s system. 

Notre Dame’s Josh Bottleberghe was in 6th at the 150 mark, but he brought it home in 29.22, the fastest final split in the field, to take 3rd in 1:53.90.

Virginia got a 4/6/7 finish from Keefer Barnum, Matthew Otto, and Casey Storch, which now puts them 1.5 points ahead of Louisville with two events to go. Notably, Otto had just competed in the final heat of the 1650 just over an hour before.

200 Fly – Finals

  • Meet Record – Nick Albiero, Louisville, 1:41.08 – 2018
  • ACC Record – Andreas Vazaois, NC State, 1:38.60 – 2018
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 1:42.37
  1. Nick Albiero (Louisville) – 1:40.70
  2. Andreas Vazaois (NC State) – 1:41.03
  3. Antani Ivanov (Virginia Tech) – 1:41.28

VT’s Antani Ivanov was out first with a 22.63, followed closely by Virginia senior Zach Fong. You could see Fong wanted to get after it, and he split 25.40 on the 2nd leg to put himself into the lead. He hung on through the third 50, but faded a bit down the stretch and ultimately finished 4th in 1:41.39.

Defending champion Nick Albiero split his race almost perfectly; he sat just behind Ivanov and Fong after the first 50, and then split 25.81/26.12/26.07 over the remainder of the finish to touch first in 1:40.70, breaking his own meet record.

2nd place went to NC State’s Andreas Vazaois, who hung back for the first home, but stormed home to finish in 1:41.03. Ivanov ended up 3rd in 1:41.28.

Albiero’s victory and teammate Zach Harting‘s 5th place finish (1:42.10), coupled with the points from Daniel Sos‘s 17th-place finish, now put the Cardinals 13.5 points ahead of UVA in the race for 2nd. That should pretty well secure a 2nd-place finish for the Cardinals, barring some sort of relay disaster.

400 Free Relay – Timed Finals

  • Meet Record – NC State, 2:45.59 – 2018
  • ACC Record – NC State, 2:44.31 – 2018
  • NCAA ‘A’ Standard – 2:51.39
  • NCAA ‘B’ Standard – 2:52.79
  1. Louisville – 2:48.35
  2. Florida State – 2:48.51
  3. NC State – 2:48.71

The Louisville men capped a strong meet with a 2:48.35 victory here. Nick Albiero led off in 42.84, followed by Andrej Barna (41.93) and Bartosz Piszczorowicz (42.08), then Zach Harting, fresh off the 200 fly, anchored in 41.50, giving the Cardinals a 0.16s margin of victory.

FSU took 2nd in 2:48.51. NC State ended up in 3rd, in 2:48.71, although they didn’t use Korstanje, Molacek, or Giovanni Izzo, all of whom finished between 7th and 11th individually, and instead went with Andreas Vazaois and Mark McGlaughlin on the middle two legs.

Virginia Tech won the first heat in 2:51.23, which put them just ahead of intrastate rivals UVA by 0.01s.

Final Standings

1. North Carolina State Universit 1396.5
2. Louisville, University of 1135.5
3. Virginia, University of 1108
4. VA Tech 820.5
5. Florida State University 819
6. Notre Dame, University of 687
7. Duke University 624
8. Georgia Institute of Technolog 550
9. Pittsburgh, University of 508
10. North Carolina, University of, 388.5
11. University of Miami (Florida) 161
12. Boston College

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Rowdy Fan
2 years ago

3/5/8/11 in the mile. Complete domination.

Excited to watch the Wolfpack jump in the pool tonight.

Curious Bystander
2 years ago

Taper or no taper, these results do not portend N.C. State challenging Cal, Texas and IU at the NCAAs.

Reply to  Curious Bystander
2 years ago


42.3 untapered isn’t going to be competitive when it turns into 40 high 41 low?

Coleman said he was surprised to go 44 mid. These guys probably rested a few days at most.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Curious Bystander
2 years ago

May not challenge, but they’re going to swim a lot faster there.

Fat swammer
Reply to  Curious Bystander
2 years ago

I don’t know that they have the depth to win the team title. Hope I’m wrong! Either way, they’ll have the horses to take plenty of hardware back to Raleigh.

2 years ago

Kanoa with his second title, remember the name he’s talented

That guy
Reply to  Ragnar
2 years ago

And that kid Blaise. First acc after not swimming half of last season. He’s had crazy drops this whole season.

Reply to  That guy
2 years ago

Plus he’s two years younger, you’re certainly right. Just get stoked seeing guys who swam at Kamehameha swim fast in college.

Captain Ahab
2 years ago

I thought Notre Dame would perform better than this.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Captain Ahab
2 years ago

Heard that during the college football playoffs, too.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

And their hoops team stinks on ice

ND Alumn
Reply to  Captain Ahab
2 years ago

ND will be the new UNC. Litzinger worked with deslem for years. Had multiple men quit last year due to how poorly he treated them and you can see by their poor relay results here. Excited to see what ND does with him.

Reply to  ND Alumn
2 years ago

Litzinger has always seemed like one of the nicest guys and very popular, so your comment is the first I’ve heard negative anywhere. Comparing them to UNC doesn’t make sense. His recruiting at UNC and their results while he was there told a strong story that started going down the day he left while ND has significantly improved and he has good recruits coming. Gotta get guys who buy in and it’s a lot easier with your own recruits. Gary Taylor’s had guys transfer; Desorbo’s had guys transfer…just a factor of new coaching and not a sign by itself.

Reply to  Captain Ahab
2 years ago

A number of ND swimmers swam through the meet with no taper.

2 years ago


The Wolf of Raleigh
2 years ago

This meet is all over! I called it days ago and people made a ruckus.

Can’t wait till NCAA’s when NC State fully taper and shave!


Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
2 years ago

Wow. You must be awesome at poker. Picked NC State to win? Way to go way out on the limb there.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

I bet he predicted the sun would rise this morning…. and posted about it afterwards

Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
2 years ago

Let me guess, last year at NCAA you’ve bet a whopping $10k on Stanford women to win.

2 years ago

Just to clarify, NCS’s entire team is shaved including Ress. 3 are not. Obviously, the focus for the team is on NCAA’s. The issue is the collateral damage. There are several higher end swimmers from the Pack that did not get it done at this meet and will not have an opportunity to swim individually at NCAA’s. Maybe a last chance meet? Not sure that was ever the plan.

Rowdy Fan
Reply to  HOK1E
2 years ago

Lollllll. Stay in your lane. Good meet VT!

Reply to  Rowdy Fan
2 years ago

Maybe they couldn’t see them because they were breathing to their left…

Rowdy Fan
Reply to  HOK1E
2 years ago

Also. Ress sure does have some hairy armpits this weekend. And dropped a 40.8 as an anchor on that relay.

PBG Pride
Reply to  HOK1E
2 years ago

You’re mistaking a lack of body hair as shaving. #PeachFuzz

Rowdy Fan
2 years ago

Really impressed with Louisville and FSU this weekend. You can tell those are well coached teams. NC State will be a beast at NCAA, excited to see some of those dudes shave down and fully taper. Great meet ACC!