The Louisville Cardinals have now won three out of four relays, and lead the team standings, heading into the final day of the 2021 ACC Men's Championships. Current photo via Karl Moore/Louisville Athletics
The fourth relay of the 2021 ACC Men’s Championships proved to be the most dramatic so far. NC State and Pitt were disqualified after initially touching 2nd and 6th, respectively, and in both cases the DQ was called for the backstroker’s head failing to break the surface by the 15m mark.
Those DQ’s didn’t change the top of the podium, though, as the Louisville Cardinals won this relay for the second-straight year. That’s not surprising when their back, breast, and fly legs finished 3rd, 1st, and 2nd in those respective 100 yard races tonight, and their free leg took 3rd in the 50 yesterday.
NC State’s Kacper Stokowski, tonight’s 100 back champ, had the fastest backstroke leg by almost a second, except that he was one of the swimmers DQ’d for the 15m violation. Instead, the fastest legal leadoff came from Louisville’s Mitchell Whyte, who took 3rd tonight in the individual 100 back. Louisville also had the fastest breast leg, courtesy of a 50.58 by Evgenii Somov, who won his 4th title in the 100 breast earlier in the session. Virginia Tech opted to put 100 fly wunderkind Youssef Ramadan on free, but the Hokies still got the fastest 100 fly split, thanks to a 44.78 by Antani Ivanov. Pitt’s Blaise Vera had the fastest 100 split at 41.62, one of three anchors to go under 42, and setting up an exciting 100 free battle tomorrow night in the final session.