2021 ACC Men’s Swimming Championships
- When: Wednesday, February 24th to Saturday, February 27th Prelims 10:00 am | Finals 6:00 pm (Wednesday timed finals at 4pm; 1650 prelims Saturday at 4:00 pm)
- Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, North Carolina (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: North Carolina State University (NC State) (29x, 6th-straight) (results)
- Streaming: ACC Network
- Championship Central: Here
- Detailed Timeline: Here
- Psych Sheets: Here
- Live Results
The swimming portion of the 2021 Men’s ACC Swimming & Diving Championships gets underway this afternoon in Greensboro with timed finals of the 200 medley relay and the 800 free relay.
No team besides Louisville or NC State has won either of these events at ACCs since 2013. During that span, Louisville won the 800 free in 2018 and 2020, and the 200 medley relay in 2019, with NC State winning the rest of the titles. Last year, Louisville touched first in the 200 medley relay, but was DQ’d for an early takeoff, leaving NC State the champions once again.
There’s a good chance that we see that trend hold today. Louisville’s medley relays have been looking sharp all season, although Georgia Tech does have the fastest time in the conference this season, with a 1:23.89 from mid-season that actually would have beaten NC State last year. Meanwhile, NC State hit 6:14.44 in the 800 free relay in the fall, one of the fastest mid-season times ever, and they seem to be in the driver’s seat for that event today, although Louisville is the defending champion and teams like Virginia and Virginia Tech could make some noise too.
200 Medley Relay
- ACC Record: 1:22.37, NC State, 2019
- ACC Meet Record: 1:22.37, NC State, 2019
- NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:24.30
- NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 1:24.97
- 2020 Champion: NC State, 1:24.13
- Louisville – 1:22.71
- Georgia Tech – 1:23.41
- Virginia – 1:23.86
The ACC came to play, and the conference now accounts for five of the eleven teams who’ve been under 1:24.0 this season.
Louisville came back with a vengeance after being disqualified last year for an early relay takeoff. Mitchell Whyte staked the Cardinals to a lead in the final heat with a 20.79 back leg, followed up by Evgenii Somov smoking a 22.91 breast leg. Freshman Dalton Lowe split 20.25 on fly, before Haridi Sameh anchored in 18.76, giving Louisville the victory by seven-tenths of a second, in 1:22.71. That’s now the top time in the country, with no other school having cracked 1:23 yet.
Coming into the meet, Georgia Tech had the fastest time in the conference this season, with a 1:23.89 from the fall. The Yellow Jackets shaved nearly half a second off of that time to take 2nd in 1:23.41. Kyle Barone led off in 21.00, Caio Pumputis split 23.20 on breast, Christian Ferraro split 20.07 on fly, and Austin Daniel anchored in 19.14.
Swimming in the same heat as Louisville and Georgia Tech, UVA fell behind early after a 21.83 backstroke leg from freshman Will Cole. But Keefer Barnum split 23.25 on breast and Max Edwards clocked 20.34 to keep the Cavaliers competitive, and freshman Matt Brownstead ripped a 18.45 anchor to touch in 1:23.86.
It was an incredibly tight race behind UVA, as the margin between Georgia Tech and UVA (0.35s) was the same as the margin between UVA and the 7th-place team, Pitt.
In heat 2, Florida State and Virginia Tech actually tied, just ahead of NC State. Freshman Mason Herbert put the Seminoles in the lead with a 21.11 backstroke leg, followed by Izaak Bastian (23.68), Max McCusker (20.11), and Peter Varjasi (19.01), for a 1:23.91. The Hokies matched that time with Blake Manoff (21.16), Carles Coll Marti (23.71), Antani Ivanov (20.13), and Tommy Hallock (18.91).
The top five teams were all under last year’s winning time of 1:24.13. Last year’s champion, NC State, took 6th with a 1:24.14 from the team of Kacper Stokowski (21.18), Rafal Kusto (23.49), Luke Sobolewski (20.38), and Giovanni Izzo (19.09). Pitt was also under the NCAA ‘A’ cut in the event, with Stephen Hopta (22.02), Cooper Van Der Laan (23.28), Blaise Vera (19.68), and Ellis Cannon (19.22) combining for a time of 1:24.20.
Assuming school record books are up to date, it looks like Louisville, Georgia Tech, UVA, Virginia Tech, and Pitt all set school records.
UNC was also under the NCAA ‘B’ cut with their 8th place time of 1:24.80, although they’d also hit that mark earlier this season. Notre Dame drew the only DQ of the event with an early takeoff by their anchor leg.
Again, it was a veritable quantum leap forward in this event this year. Last year, FSU took 2nd in 1:24.51. That time would have finished 8th this year. Georgia Tech, UVA, Virginia Tech, UNC, and Boston College were all over a second faster than they were last year, with Pitt and Duke showing just under a one second improvement each.
800 Free Relay
- ACC Record: 6:05.31, NC State, 2018
- ACC Meet Record: 6:09.92, NC State, 2017
- NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 6:17.18
- NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 6:21.85
- 2020 Champion: Louisville, 6:12.02
- NC State – 6:12.68
- Virginia Tech – 6:14.04
- Louisville – 6:16.61
In the final heat, Virginia Tech’s Blake Manoff got the Hokies going with a 1:32.23, which turned out to be the fastest split of the night, flat start or flying start. Teammate Antani Ivanov nearly matched it with a 1:32.61 2nd leg, but NC State had narrowly taken the lead after a 1:32.55 leadoff by Luke Miller and a 1:32.27 split by Eric Knowles. The Wolfpack maintained the lead from there, getting a 1:33.70 by Erge Gezmis and a 1:34.16 from Hunter Tapp, and winning in 6:12.68.
Virginia Tech had Carles Coll Marti (1:34.29) and Samual Tornqvist (1:34.91) on the back half, ultimately taking 2nd in in 6:14.04.
Louisville took 3rd out of the second heat. Nick Albiero led off in 1:32.31, followed by Colton Paulson, last year’s 200 free champion, who split 1:33.76. Michael Eastman (1:34.82) and Hayden Curley (1:35.72) brought it home for a 6:16.61. The top three teams were all under the NCAA ‘A’ standard.
Virginia (6:17.89), Georgia Tech (6:18.85), Notre Dame (6:19.07), North Carolina (6:20.96) and Florida State (6:21.26) were all under the NCAA ‘B’ standard.
Miller, Manoff, Albiero, UVA’s Jack Wright (1:34.29), and Georgia Tech’s Baturalp Unlu (1:33.16) all hit new 200 free lifetime bests leading off.
A couple interesting names were missing from this event, including Virginia Tech’s Lane Stone, who split 1:33.36 last year, and UVA’s Jack Walker, who split 1:34.51. In each case, those splits would have been better than two splits their respective teams got tonight.
NC State, Virginia Tech, and Louisville now rank #3, #5, and #7 in the nation, pending other results from tonight.
While the live results currently only include the 3m diving event, Meet Mobile (and our math) shows that this is what the team scores look currently with all three diving events and the first two relays all taken into account:
- UNC – 304
- Virginia Tech – 249
- Louisville – 238
- Miami (FL) – 207
- FSU – 205
- Georgia Tech – 191
- NC State – 174
- Duke – 152
- Pitt – 120
- UVA – 106
- Notre Dame – 82
- Boston College – 66