2021 ACC Men’s Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 63

February 24th, 2021 ACC, College, News, Previews & Recaps

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

Top 3:

  1. Louisville – 1:22.71
  2. Georgia Tech – 1:23.41
  3. 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

Top 3:

  1. NC State – 6:12.68
  2. Virginia Tech – 6:14.04
  3. 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.

Team Scores

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:

  1. UNC – 304
  2. Virginia Tech – 249
  3. Louisville – 238
  4. Miami (FL) – 207
  5. FSU – 205
  6. Georgia Tech – 191
  7. NC State – 174
  8. Duke – 152
  9. Pitt – 120
  10. UVA – 106
  11. Notre Dame – 82
  12. Boston College – 66


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Swim Parent
3 years ago

Would really be nice to allow limited senior parents access to NCAA’s. Would suggest senior parents/lottery on tickets since NC just changed its seating capacity requirements at college sports. As a parent of an underclassman, I see great value in allowing parents watch their kids last meets….. Even if they limit to those parents who have had vaccines would be another approach. They have managed to allow parents into other championships. I know its a fluid situation but I remain hopeful.

Here’s what’s new:

  • The curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. will be lifted.
  • Bars will be allowed to reopen at 30% capacity, including indoors. Capacity will be capped at 250 people. Alcohol cannot be served after 11
… Read more »

3 years ago

Well, at least Pittsburgh beat BC by over a pool length in the 800 FR.

3 years ago

Any chance the timing system is off by about 1/2 a second. I mean come on everyone is dropping time like its nothing.

Reply to  Taa
3 years ago

Maybe smart coaching?? ACC is a very competitive league these days. Some of the best coaches in the nation and the results show.

Maybe 1/2 second too fast at SEC with those 18s

3 years ago

Vera is now tied with Tom shields for 4th all time in fly splits

Bad Knees
3 years ago

UNC disappointing again……..I am an alum and was there back in UNC’s best days. Hope it turns around the remainder of the meet….

Bad Knees
Reply to  Bad Knees
3 years ago

Would love to know the negative vote explain if you have insight.

Reply to  Bad Knees
3 years ago

Both UNC relays went faster than last year, sure they added time in their 200 medley relay from their mid-season meet but that’s mainly because of Tyler Hill retiring/quitting and not being on that relay anymore. And yes, UNC is not as good as it used to be right now, but they are slowly rebuilding and this is only second year under Mark Gangloff so there’s no need to immediately start bashing UNC.

NC Fan
Reply to  Bad Knees
3 years ago

Why was UNC disappointing? Their existing swimmers have had significant improvements under Gangloff and the 800 got the ‘B’ cut which is good for that crew. The time difference in the 200 medley was exactly the difference of Tyler Hill quitting the team and not leading off backstroke. No clue why he left, but that is not unusual with new staffs who have been building a new culture from the lows they had reached. They can’t compete in the ACC yet, but they had a huge way to go with as bad as things had gotten under Deselm.

Tar Heel Swam
Reply to  Bad Knees
3 years ago

Hard to be thrilled with 7th and 8th place finishes tonight, but both relays were faster than last year for UNC, which is a bit of good news. Think it may just be a case of the entire ACC getting deeper and faster, which is good news for all teams in the conference. Also the Tar Heels are in a pretty good position to be in a battle for 5th place overall, which, if it holds, would be a pretty solid improvement from a distant 7th last year and 10th in 2019. Think that Gangloff has them trending in the right direction, given that he’s only been there for less than two years.

Bad Knees
Reply to  Tar Heel Swam
3 years ago

Looking at this morning’s results….nothing to worry about as you all have said :). I am a supporter, would like to see more progress that’s all.

Drippy drop
3 years ago

bruh get your feet out of the water after the race

3 years ago

Maybe I missed a rule change, but didn’t I see 2 teams on 200 Medley with -.01 exchanges? They were not Dq’d.

Reply to  Johnson
3 years ago

There is a buffer to what is allowed for a DQ by the timing system, I think its around -.07. Florida’s 2 medley yesterday also had a -.01 that was not DQ’d.

That guy
Reply to  Johnson
3 years ago

The fastest you can go is -0.03 before you get DQ’d

Reply to  That guy
3 years ago

Stopped officiating 2 years ago, must of changed. Used to be -.09 to +.09 was the pads call, no human verification required or accepted unless a pad/block malfunction. Thanks for the clarification

NC Fan
Reply to  Johnson
3 years ago

-.12 is what the ACC manual said for going to the video and -.03 is safe, -.04 is DQ

Reply to  NC Fan
3 years ago

Has their been an NCAA rule change? It used to be, as stated above, -.01 to -.09 on the on the pad was automatic DQ. Bigger jump than that and it would have to be confirmed with a call by an official.

3 years ago

Is Jack Walker not swimming for UVA at ACCs? His best time of 1:33.7 would’ve put them in 3rd ahead of Louisville

Reply to  PVSFree
3 years ago

He’s on the heat sheet for tomorrow. Coaches say he’s all good to go, they just wanted to see what those four guys had in them.

So, ‘coaches choice.’

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

Interesting, he went a 1:36 at ACC’s last year but dropped 4 seconds in his 500 to go 4:11. Maybe he’s doing more distance work which sacrificed the front end speed you need for a 200?

Reply to  PVSFree
3 years ago

His 1:33.7 is from his sophomore year in hs, he hasn’t touched that time since. To be fair he has improved a lot in the 500

Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

He improved his time from a 1:40 to a 1:33 in 1 week apart swims when he did that. Absolutely insane.

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