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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5 years ago

Such an exciting meet! That last relay was so awesome. As a fan of swimming, you gotta love the effort from those athletes! As a fan of the Pack Nation I am thinking we will have some different results at NCs. It is so great to see the improvements across the conference, rested or not! I remember when the Pack was finishing 7th and 8th regularly so I know how tough it is for UNC to have fallen so far. Thankful for the incredible staff at State and looking forward to the big dance!

5 years ago

10th …. a fully funded program, what a disgrace.

Curious Bystander
Reply to  UNC ALUM
5 years ago

Somebody has to finish last (amongst fully funded programs) in the conference, not fun to be last, but hardly a disgrace.

Disgrace would be some sort of doping scandal, making a mockery of amateurism, or widespread academic fraud. Finishing last while playing by the rules sucks, but is far from a disgrace.

No Dog in This Derby
Reply to  Curious Bystander
5 years ago

Widespread academic fraud, you say? Making a mockery of amateurism, you say?

Whelp, sounds like we all agree then…

Reply to  No Dog in This Derby
5 years ago


Reply to  Curious Bystander
5 years ago

But finishing well behind non-fully funded programs such as Duke and GT (not sure about Pitt) doesn’t show well and not being competitive at all is embarrassing. It’s hard to turn that around without external change. They are good people who generally do things the right way (despite No Dog in this Derby trying to hang the swimming team with the fraud in the African American studies department that ended 15 years ago when most of these swimmers hadn’t started elementary school) but mediocrity and poor outcomes over time leads to change at Carolina.

Pack Mack
Reply to  WarmUpTheBus
5 years ago

SACS Restored UNC to Full Accreditation in June of 2016 so your 15 years ago claim misses the mark. Academic probation in 2015 & 2016 let that sink in a moment. The same PTB that ran that scandal are still in charge. Why do you think chancellor Carol Folt fell on her own sword over “silent sam”? She wanted out.

Reply to  Pack Mack
5 years ago

So….basically a collegiate generation ago now. Time to move on from that as a talking point

5 years ago

Anyone know how many swimmers NC state should have going to ncaas now? The top end talent didn’t need to show up at this meet but I’m curious if they got any of the bottom end guys in for extra bodies at ncaa’s.

Reply to  Swammer
5 years ago

right now I have them with 12 qualifiers…guessing a bit her on final cuts.

Reply to  wethorn
5 years ago

For comparison, I have IU with 14 swimmers and 2 divers likely to qualify..

And for Texas, I have an NCAA team of 16 swimmers and 3 divers likely.
Townley Haas
Charlie Scheinfeld
Tate Jackson
John Shebat
Austin Katz
Drew Kibler
Ryan Harty
Sam Pomajevich
Chris Yeager
Jeff Newkirk
Matt Willenbring
Jake Sannem
Andrew Koustic
Alex Zettle
Max Holter
Dan Krueger
Jordan Windle
Jacob Cornish
Grayson Campbell

Silent Observer
Reply to  wethorn
5 years ago

I think NCState will have 1-2 divers qualify. Won’t know until diving has it’s qualifiers

5 years ago

UNC loses to State by 1,000+pts!!! I didn’t even know that was a possibility; Vegas couldn’t have predicted that. Not sure what is going on over there and how Deselm has kept his job this long but they got to make a change and fast!

Reply to  TarheelBorn
5 years ago

Extend DeSelm?

5 years ago

Nice relay finish for Louisville – they showed guts and pride by winning the last event.

Reply to  Ladymanvol
5 years ago

And beating State

Fat swammer
5 years ago

Acc is stacked. The whole conference is better and better year over year… I’m excited to see how the conference does in Austin!

ACC Faithful
Reply to  Fat swammer
5 years ago

Except UNC. They are awful. Maybe the academic scandal is the root of all this?

Swim Fan
Reply to  ACC Faithful
5 years ago

No. I think everyone is aware of what the problem is, it’s not this.

5 years ago

UNC 10th. Pitt finished 120 points ahead of UNC.

Repeat…. Pitt…. 120 points better than Beisel’s “Tar Holes”…

Reply to  Hola
5 years ago

Pitt had some nice swims. GT did also. Good to see the depth building in the ACC

ACC Faithful
Reply to  Hola
5 years ago

NCSU is probably the second biggest factor in the decline there. You have lots of Charlotte and Raleigh talent going to the Wolfpack. ND fights with Indiana for talent. UVA and VT fight each other. Etc etc.

Reply to  ACC Faithful
5 years ago

That wouldn’t explain why Duke is also beating them

ACC fan
Reply to  SwimGeek
5 years ago

Duke got a lot of points from divers. I’m not saying Duke wouldn’t have beaten them anyway, but it would’ve been closer without diving.

Reply to  Hola
5 years ago

UNC is a joke, painful yo watch as an alum. rd needs to go

ACC fan
Reply to  Hola
5 years ago

Pitt finishes 120 points ahead of UNC with 0 diving points. That means they outswam UNC by nearly 200 points. Don’t sleep on Pitt. This is not the same team that we’ve been seeing every year since they joined the ACC. Their energy on deck this weekend was electric, and there’s a lot of talent in PA to draw from in years to come.

5 years ago

State didn’t win a single freestyle relay. But at least they didn’t DQ any, for a change….

Reply to  Hola
5 years ago

DQ a relay?? When did that happen?

Curious Bystander
Reply to  Swimmer
5 years ago

Happened over a few NCAAs, a couple of years back.

Reply to  Curious Bystander
5 years ago

Like 4 years ago.

ACC Faithful
Reply to  Swimmer
5 years ago

I think 5? Just a salty UVA fan. Ignore and maybe they will focus on getting better and competing to win a title.

Reply to  ACC Faithful
5 years ago

Sounds like you’re pretty salty, making accusations and getting upset over true statements.

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