2021 Men’s ACC Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 28

February 26th, 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 (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
  • Friday Morning Heat Sheets

The second full day of swimming at the 2021 ACC Men’s Championships will feature prelims of the 100 fly, 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breast, and 100 back.

The Louisville Cardinals, riding high off of their first conference victory in the 200 free relay, will have the highest-returner from last year in four of the five events. Senior Nick Albiero will be looking to defend his title in the 100 fly, while Virginia Tech’s Youssef Ramadan holds the top seed. In the 200 free, 2020 champion Colton Paulson of Louisville returns, and he’ll face a field that includes top-seeded Baturalp Unlu  of Georgia Tech. In the 100 breast, senior Evgenii Somov will be aiming for four-year sweep in the event, having won the last three years. Officially, UVA’s Keefer Barnum has the top seed, but Somov was faster at the Louisville Invite, times from which are not in the official NCAA database. And in the 100 back, last year’s runner-up Mitchell Whyte holds the #3 seed, while Georgia Tech’s Kyle Barone will be swimming in lane 4 in the final heat.

The 400 IM is the only event of the morning in which Louisville doesn’t have the highest-returner from last year. Instead, that honor goes to Notre Dame sophomore Jack Hoagland, who took 2nd last year, and who won the 500 free yesterday.


*including all diving points

  1. Virginia Tech – 487
  2. Louisville – 470
  3. NC State – 456
  4. UNC – 372
  5. Florida State – 354
  6. Virginia – 335
  7. Georgia Tech – 307
  8. Pitt – 208
  9. Miami (FL) – 207
  10. Notre Dame/Duke – 203
  11. (tie)
  12. Boston College – 98

100 Fly – Prelims

  • ACC Record: 44.46 – Coleman Stewart (NC State), 2019
  • Meet record: 44.79 – Ryan Held (NC State), 2018
  • 2020 NCAA Invite Time: 45.97
  • 2020 Champion – Nick Albiero (Louisville), 44.86

Top 8:

  1. Youssef Ramadan (Virginia Tech) – 44.53
  2. Nick Albiero (Louisville) – 45.00
  3. Blaise Vera (Pitt) – 45.44
  4. Antani Ivanov (Virginia Tech) – 45.51
  5. Blake Manoff (Virgina Tech) – 45.60
  6. Christian Ferraro (Georgia Tech) – 45.81
  7. Boyd Poelke (UNC) – 46.17
  8. Lukę Sobolewski (NC State) 46.17

Virginia Tech fans were riding high on the Hokies’ butterfly group, and it looks like the hype was justified, as they put three men into the A-final. Leading the way was freshman Youssef Ramadan, who blasted a 44.53 to break the meet record and take over the fastest time in the nation this season, as well as break the Virginia Tech school record. With that time, Ramadan moves to #10 all-time in the event, displacing current Virginia Tech coach Albert Subirats. He’ll be joined in the A-final tonight by teammates Antani Ivanov (45.51) and Blake Manoff (45.60). Ivanov set a new best time, and Manoff matched his own from last year’s ACCs. Even bigger for the Hokies, all three of those times would’ve scored at the 2019 NCAA Championships.

Defending champion Nick Albiero of Louisville qualified 2nd in 45.00. Last year he went 44.83 in prelims before winning finals with a 44.86, and he swims the 100 fly/back double today, so it’ll be interesting to see if he has enough left in the tank to challenge Ramadan for the win tonight.

Pitt’s Blaise Vera qualified 3rd this morning with a lifetime best 45.44, and Georgia Tech’s Christian Ferraro was also under last year’s NCAA qualifying time with a 45.81, shaving 0.08s off of his lifetime best from November. UNC freshman Boyd Poelke hit a new best time with a 46.15, and NC State’s Luke Sobolewski (46.17) rounded out the top 8.

400 IM – Prelims

  • ACC Record: 3:38.00 – Gal Nevo (Georgia Tech), 2009
  • Meet record: 3:38.43 – Robert Owen (Virginia Tech), 2017
  • 2020 NCAA Invite Time: 3:44.36
  • 2020 champion: Ted Schubert (Virginia), 3:40.01

Top 8:

  1. Casey Storch (Virginia) – 3:44.24
  2. Eric Knowles (NC State) – 3:44.84
  3. Erge Gezmis (NC State) / Jack Hoagland (Notre Dame) – 3:44.85
  4. (tie)
  5. Sean Conway (Virginia) – 3:45.06
  6. Keith Myburgh (Virginia Tech) – 3:45.19
  7. Filippo Dal Maso (Virginia Tech) – 3:46.35
  8. Michael Moore (NC State) – 3:46.84

NC State came right back and matched VT’s three A-finalists in the previous event. Eric Knowles, who finished 6th last year, was the Wolfpack’s fastest swimmer of the morning, clocking a 3:44.84 that qualified him 2nd, just ahead of teammate Erge Gezmis and Notre Dame’s Jack Hoagland, both of whom touched in 3:44.85. NC State’s Michael Moore will also swim in tonight’s A-final after qualifying 8th in 3:46.84.

Last year, Hoagland took 2nd behind UVA’s Ted Schubert with a time of 3:40.73, with those two the only men under 3:44. Today, UVA’s Casey Storch qualified 1st with a time of 3:44.24. He’ll be joined by teammate Sean Conway, who qualified 5th with a time of 3:45.06. Storch and Conway way took 3rd and 8th in this event last year.

Virginia Tech also got two in the top 8: Keith Myburgh (3:45.19) and Filippo Dal Maso (3:46.45). Dal Maso placed 5th here last year, while Myburgh finished 9th overall with a win in the B-final.

All five non-seniors from last year’s A-final will return to the A-final tonight.

Speaking of the B-final, this year, half of the lanes in that heat tonight will be filled with Notre Dame swimmers after the Fighting Irish posted the 9th-12th fastest time of the morning.

200 Free – Prelims

  • ACC Record: 1:31.32 – Andreas Vazaois (NC State), 2018
  • Meet record: 1:32.45 – Scot Robison (Virginia), 2010
  • 2020 NCAA Invite Time: 1:34.07
  • 2020 champion: Colton Paulson (Louisville), 1:33.77

Top 8:

  1. Luke Miller (NC State) – 1:32.28
  2. Baturalp Unlu (Georgia Tech) – 1:32.87
  3. Blake Manoff (Virginia Tech) – 1:33.78
  4. Hunter Tapp (NC State) – 1:33.81
  5. Jack Wright (Virginia) – 1:34.36
  6. Colton Paulson (Louisville) – 1:34.86
  7. Peter Varjasi (Florida State) – 1:34.90
  8. Noah Bowers (NC State) – 1:34.99

NC State put three men up for the second-straight event, led by freshman Luke Miller, who blasted a lifetime best to take the top seed with a 1:32.28. Miller’s swim broke an 11 year-old meet record, a mark of 1:32.45 set by Virginia’s Scot Robison back in 2010. Miller will be joined tonight by teammates Hunter Tapp (1:33.81) and Noah Bowers (1:34.99), both of whom set lifetime bests with their wins this morning.

Georgia Tech freshman Baturalp Unlu topped the psych sheet, and he improved his time to take the #2 seed with a 1:32.87 out of the final heat. Virginia Tech’s Blake Manoff will swim the 100 fly/200 free double tonight after qualifying 3rd with a 1:33.78.

UVA’s Jack Wright (1:34.36) and Louisville’s Colton Paulson (1:34.86) will return from lat year’s A-final. Paulson won last year, while Wright took 7th. Florida State’s Peter Varjasi, who won the B-final last year, made the top 8 today with a 1:34.90.

100 Breast – Prelims

  • ACC Record: 51.30 – Brandon Fiala (Virginia Tech), 2017
  • Meet record: 51.46 – Peter Kropp (Duke), 2017
  • 2020 NCAA Invite Time: 52.46
  • 2020 champion: Evgenii Somov (Louisville), 51.85

Top 8:

  1. Evgenii Somov (Louisville) – 51.36
  2. Keefer Barnum (Virginia) – 51.93
  3. Cooper Van Der Laan (Pitt) – 51.94
  4. Valdas Abalikšta (UNC) – 52.02
  5. Noah Nichols (Virginia) – 52.09
  6. Caio Pumputis (Georgia Tech) – 52.18
  7. Joshua Bottelberghe (Notre Dame) – 52.31
  8. AJ Pouch (Virginia Tech) – 52.47

Three-time defending champion Evgenii Somov of Louisville broke the meet record, and was only 0.06s off of the ACC record, with his top time of 51.36 this morning. This event turned into a barnburner this morning. For the second year in a row, UVA’s Keefer Barnum qualified 2nd out of prelims. This year he did that with a 51.93; had he repeated last year’s prelims times of 52.38, he would’ve just made the A-final in 8th. Teammate Noah Nichols also made the A-final with a time of 52.09, knocking nearly a second off of his previous best time of 52.94. If a fun twist, Nichols set the UVA school record with his swim in heat 3, only for Barnum to top it two minutes later in heat 5.

Pitt’s Cooper Van Der Laan joined Somov and Barnum in cracking 52, qualifying 3rd with a 51.94 and setting a new lifetime best, as well as breaking his own school record that he set in January. UNC’s Valdas Abalikšta (52.02), Georgia Tech’s Caio Pumputis (52.18), and Notre Dame’s Joshua Bottelberghe (52.31) will all return from last year’s A-final, with  Virgina Tech’s AJ Pouch, who won the B-final last year, made the top eight this year with a 52.47. Bottelberghe and Pouch both hit new lifetime bests.

100 Back – Prelims

Top 8:

  1. Nick Albiero (Louisville) – 45.26
  2. Kacper Stokowski (NC State) – 45.33
  3. Kyle Barone (Georgia Tech) – 45.43
  4. Mitchell Whyte (Louisville) – 45.54
  5. Mason Herbert (Florida State) – 45.93
  6. Nikolaos Sofiandis (Louisville) – 46.22
  7. Justin Grender (Virginia) – 46.35
  8. Forest Webb (Virginia Tech) 46.54

Louisville joined NC State and Virginia Tech in the “three up in an event’ category today. Nick Albiero led the field with a 45.26. Mitchell Whyte, last year’s runner-up, qualified 4th with a time of 45.54. Whyte will square off against Virginia’s Max Edwards around 11:50 for a swim-off for the 100 fly B-final. Edwards also did the 100 fly/back double, making for a busy morning for both men. Nikolaos Sofiandis was the third Cardinal to qualify for the A-final, posting the 6th-fastest time of the morning with a 46.22.

NC State sophomore Kacper Stokowski will make his first ACC A-final after transferring for Florida; he had the 2nd-fastest time of the morning with a 45.33. Right behind him was Georgia Tech’s Kyle Barone, who put up a 45.43 this morning.

Florida State freshman Mason Herbert was also under 46, with a time of 45.93. UVA’s Justin Grender (46.35) and Virginia Tech’s Forest Webb (46.54) round out the top eight.

Of note, Boston College is on track to earn their first individual points of the meet after Samuel Roche qualified 22nd with a time of 27.31.

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2 years ago


2 years ago

I love seeing what’s happening at VT – they’re giving the two ACC powers a run for their money!

Reply to  Sarcastic
2 years ago

The 2 ACC powers being Virginia and NC State. Hahaha.

Go Hoos! No on a serious note Im a Wahoo fan but impressed with VT (hate to say it).

Say’s Phoebe
Reply to  WahooWah
2 years ago

UVA did beat Louisville last year in 200 Medley Relay, the first race at ACC champs.
Since then it has been Louisville seven times in a row.
In 2019 Louisville finished ahead of Virginia in all five relays.
As far as “Go Hoos!” goes, I’ll add another one here: Go Hoos!!
Keefer Barnum; fantastic development over four years!
And I really want to see Storch Q for NCAA’s tonight.

Joel Lin
2 years ago

Georgia Tech continues to impress. Virginia Tech rising. This conference is fast.

Reply to  Joel Lin
2 years ago

Yeah over the past few years, the ACC as a whole has really progressed.

Partially spurred by Holloway at NCSU bringing them to the top, Albiero at Louisville, Desorbo at UVA. Now we have changes at UNC with Gangloff making waves, Sergio at VT and other schools bringing in the competition.

The whole conference has been growing and ya love to see it for that much better competition.

Clown Show
Reply to  Yup
2 years ago

Gangloff is not making waves

Reply to  Clown Show
2 years ago

In 2019, UNC only managed to stay in front of Miami(diving only) and BC(non scholarship). I get UNC has a tremendous history but Gangloff did not inherit a top 50 program. UNC has to keep climbing but there is no doubt the team is improving. The women’s team struggled this season, missing athletes due to Covid protocols is unfortunate but not something that indicates a coaches ability. I feel like Gangloff is going to have UNC fighting for a top 20 finish next season. The are going in the right direction.

2 years ago

The top 6 in the 400 IM are within a second of each other. You don’t see that every day. I don’t know the field well enough to know if anyone loafed it this morning, but if not, it will be a great race tonight!

Say’s Phoebe
2 years ago

45.97 for Whyte in the swim off.
Would have been safely in the A final if he had done that first thing in the morning.

College Swimmer
2 years ago

Shocking how deep the ACC is this year in butterfly. 24th in the 100 fly would have placed 9th in the SEC.

Last edited 2 years ago by College Swimmer
Reply to  College Swimmer
2 years ago

.71 between making the A final and not making finals altogether. That’s insanely close

2 years ago

Pitt had a great showing in breast this morning

Say’s Phoebe
2 years ago

47.31 for Samuel Roche from BC!
Great chance to score!

Say’s Phoebe
Reply to  Say’s Phoebe
2 years ago

B final for Roche and BC!
Tremendous swim!

Say’s Phoebe
Reply to  Say’s Phoebe
2 years ago

Oops. One more heat.

Say’s Phoebe
Reply to  Say’s Phoebe
2 years ago

There it is … C heat for BC tonight!

Reply to  Say’s Phoebe
2 years ago

There we go! Always love seeing a BC swimmer making finals.

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