2022 ACC Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 54

February 15th, 2022 News, Previews & Recaps

2022 ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships

  • When: Tuesday, February 15th to Saturday, February 19th Prelims 10:00am | Finals 6:00 pm (Tuesday 11:00am/4:30pm)
  • Where: McAuley Aquatic Center, Atlanta Georgia (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champions
    • Women: University of Virginia (17x) (results)
    • Men: University of Louisville (1x) (results)
  • Streaming: ACC Network
  • Championship Central: Here
  • Detailed Timeline: Here
  • Psych Sheets: Here
  • Live Results

The swimming portion of the 2022 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships gets started tonight with timed finals of the 800 free relay. This is a new format, as usually men and women compete on separate weeks, and the first night of competition features the 200 medley and 800 free relay.

Instead, tonight we will have timed finals of both the women’s and men’s 800 free relay, as well as finals of the women’s 1m and men’s 3m diving.

The NC State women top the 800 free relay psych sheet with a 7:03.72, but watch for the race to be much faster than that. Similarly, the Wolfpack men lead the psych sheet with a 6:13.95, but we could see NC State, Louisville, and perhaps another team or two edge towards, or get under, 6:10.

In terms of diving, UNC sophomore Aranza Vazquez led prelims with 339.10. Vazquez won the 3m and the platform events last year, and and took 2nd in the 1m. On the men’s side, Miami’s Max Flory led prelims this morning with a score of 429.80, but both UNC and Florida State put two men into the top eight, so they should haul in some early diving points this evening.

Women’s 1m Diving – Finals

Top 3:

  1. Margo O’Meara (Duke) – 354.75
  2. Mia Vallee (Miami) – 353.85
  3. Emma Gullstrand (Miami) – 344.65

Duke freshman Margo O’Meara moved up from 2nd in prelims to secure her first ACC title, narrowly winning the 1m over Miami’s Mia Vallee, who won this event last year. Vallee’s teammate Emma Gullstrand took 3rd, while last year’s runner-up, UNC’s Aranza Vazquez finished just outside a podium position with a score of 338.65.

Women’s 800 Free Relay – Timed Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 7:00.86
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 7:05.88
  • Meet Record – 6:54.31, UVA (2021)
  • Conference Record – 6:52.56, UVA (2021)

Top 3:

  1. Virginia – 6:53.37
  2. NC State – 6:59.04
  3. Louisville – 7:00.62

The Virginia Cavaliers stormed to a new meet record, taking down their own mark by nearly a second. Reilly Tiltmann led off in 1:43.63 to establish an early lead, then Ella Nelson split 1:43.49 on the second leg. Ella Bathurst kept things moving with a 1:44.72 split, then Alex Walsh stormed home with a 1:41.63 anchor leg, as the Cavaliers won by over five seconds.

NC State took 2nd in 6:59.04. Abbey Webb (1:44.83), Annabel Crush (1:44.42), and Kate Moore (1:44.20) all split 1:44s, then Julia Poole anchored in 1:45.59. Their combined time was just about six-tenths of a second slower than their 2nd-lace time from last year of 6:58.48.

Louisville lopped nearly seven seconds off of last year’s time to take 3rd. Arina Openysheva led off in 1:45.49, then Paige Hetrick split 1:43.44 after splitting 1:47.41 last year as a freshman. Newcomer Polina Nevmovenko split 1:44.94, then Alena Kraus anchored in 1:46.75, as the Cardinals touched in 7:00.62, just under the NCAA ‘A’ cut.

Emma Atkinson led off for Virginia Tech in 1:44.25, keeping Tiltmann in her sights and propelling the Hokies to a school record time of 7:01.32.  The second heat proved to be a great battle, as Duke beat their archrivals UNC 7:05.32 to 7:05.35, with both schools getting under the NCAA ‘B’ cut and Duke setting a school record. Last year, Duke went 7:10.46 here, while a depleted UNC squad went 7:14.77. Glancing down the rest of the results, every school except Georgia Tech swam faster than they did last year, with Boston College setting a new school record.

Men’s 800 Free Relay – Timed Finals

  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut – 6:16.80
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut – 6:21.32
  • Meet Record – 6:09.82, NC State (2017)
  • Conference Record – 6:05.31, NC State (2018)

Top 3:

  1. NC State – 6:08.35
  2. Louisville – 6:09.84
  3. Virgina – 6:13.71

On paper, it looked like this race should come down to NC State and Louisville, and sure enough, those were the top two team by a sizable margin, although the Wolfpack won by nearly 1.5s, setting a new meet record.

We’ve been getting some Sam Hoover hype in the comments lately, and sure enough, the freshman delivered, leading off the Wolfpack with a 1:32.62, setting a new personal best by over two seconds. Luke Miller extended the NC State lead with a 1:31.03, which could make him the early favorite to win the individual 200 free later this week. Last year, as a freshman, he took 3rd in the 200 free with a 1:32.93. Eric Knowles split 1:32.73, then Hunter Tapp anchored in 1:31.97. Tapp took 4th individually last season with a 1:33.93. Their combined time of 6:08.35 bested the previous meet record of 6:09.82, which NC State set back in 2017. Last year, NC State won with a time of 6:12.68

Louisville took 2nd in 6:09.84. Brazilian Olympian Murilo Sartori led off in 1:32.38, followed by Nick Albiero (1:31.82), Israel Olympian Denis Loktev (1:33.28), and 2020 individually 200 free champion Colton Paulson (1:32.37). The Cardinals set a new school record in the process, getting under 6:10 for the first time. Last year, the Cardinals took 3rd with a time of 6:16.61.

Like the top two teams, the Virginia Cavaliers shaved several seconds off of last year’s time, improving from 6:17.89 to 6:13.71. Matt Brownstead, who won the 50 and the 100 freestyles here last year, led off in 1:33.48. Freshman Jack Aikins split 1:33.50 on the second leg, over two seconds faster than his individual best of 1:35.87 from just over a week ago. Justin Grender split 1:34.07, then Jack Wright anchored in 1:32.66.

Virginia Tech took 4th in 6:14.19, just 0.16s slower than their 2nd-place finish from last year. The Hokies were put in an early hole when Blake Manoff led off in 1:35.02 (versus 1:32.23 last year), but Carles Coll Marti and Antani Ivanov both improved from last year’s ACC splits, while Luis Dominguez split 1:34.27 in his ACC debut.

UNC improved by exactly four seconds from last year to take 5th in 6:16.96, just outside the NCAA ‘A’ cut, but establishing a new school record. FSU and Pitt both shaved a few seconds off of last year’s time, with both FSU and Georgia Tech nabbing ‘B’ cuts. Boston College improved from 6:42.48 last year to 6:33.47 tonight and took three seconds off of the school record. Duke and Notre Dame both drew disqualifications, as Duke apparently swam in a different order than listed on relay card, and Notre Dame’s leadoff swimmer false started.

Men’s 3m Diving – Finals

Top 3:

  1. Max Flory (Miami) – 448.50
  2. Anton Down-Jenkins (UNC) – 445.10
  3. Alexander Hart (UNC) – 406.40

The top three finishers from this morning’s prelims retained their exact positions in finals, with Miami’s Max Flory beating UNC’s Anton Down-Jenkins by just over three points, 448.50 to 445.10. The Tar Heels took two of the three podium positions, as Alexander Hart secured 3rd with a score of 406.40

Scores After Day 1

With one diving event complete and just one swimming event, the standings are currently weighted toward teams that are stronger in diving. Expect these standings to change fairly drastically tomorrow, when there will be four swimming events.


  1. Miami (FL) – 119
  2. Duke – 111
  3. North Carolina/Virgina – 96
  4. (tie)
  5. Notre Dame – 95
  6. NC State – 81
  7. Virginia Tech – 74
  8. Georgia Tech – 63
  9. Louisville – 61
  10. Florida State – 46
  11. Pittsburgh – 40
  12. Boston College – 30


  1. North Carolina – 105
  2. Louisville – 102
  3. Florida State – 97
  4. Virginia Tech – 86
  5. NC State/Georgia Tech – 84
  6. (tie)
  7. Pittsburgh – 75
  8. Virginia – 62
  9. Duke – 46
  10. Boston College – 43
  11. Miami (FL) – 32

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1 year ago

That NC State 800 free relay is a real shocker for me. I knew they’d be strong in free as always but I wasn’t expecting 6:08.3. Solid splits across the board, but I don’t know if they’ll be able to hang with Texas and Florida. Without a stud leadoff they’ll be in the hole by at least 2 seconds after the first leg, and the battle back will be rough. I think Florida can go 6:06 high if Kieran nails the leadoff, and Texas has kept its cards close so far so I can’t give a solid prediction there, but it looks like a 2 team race for the win here.

I was bullish on Georgia to win this relay… Read more »

Reply to  Swammer
1 year ago

The big question mark still is Texas. They’ve got a pair of 1:30-point caliber legs (if not 1:29) in Foster and Kibler, and about four other guys who are 1:32 capable, but they’ve gotta make the right choice(s) on the first day of the meet.

If they pick right they’re at least 6:06-something.

1 year ago

OK, it’s clear that Alex Walsh will have a monster NCs. She’s operating with Olympic medallist confidence. But I am really really rooting for Gretchen to wreck shop! From that recent interview, she has a good mindset.

1 year ago

Will the NC State men get their own headline article for breaking the meet record in the 800 relay? Just asking 😁

Last edited 1 year ago by Breezeway
Reply to  Breezeway
1 year ago

Will the NC State clout-seekers continue to work tirelessly throughout the week? Just asking 😁

Joel Lin
1 year ago

The hype is real. Sam Hoover is the real Keyser Soze.

Joel Lin
1 year ago

Of course Alex Walsh writes a new story every time she swims, but I thought the real alpha in the UVa relays were Tiltmann & Aikins throwing down great 200 frees.

Both look ready to really blow up in the backstrokes this week.

Golden Panther
1 year ago

Let’s Go Pitt! Let’s Go Pitt! Let’s Go Pitt! Let’s Go Pitt!

1 year ago

Reilly Tiltmann’s leadoff was impressive. Also, I’m curious to see if UVA replaces Emma Weyant for Ella Bathurst in the 800 FR at NCs. I would think Emma could split maybe 1-2 seconds faster.

Reply to  lightning
1 year ago

UVA getting multiple 1:43s (including a leadoff) from women who won’t even swim the 2 free individually. That’s quite the flex. I suppose Tiltmann might need to consider 2 free as her third event — but I seriously doubt she’ll do that b/c that would be a nasty double and with the new 4-day format, the 100 fly / 100 back double (which she did last year) is split up.

Reply to  swimgeek
1 year ago

Ella Nelson is a superstar in her own right and is just totally overshadowed by her Olympic medalist teammates. A 2:04 breaststroker who can also do a casual 1:43 on a relay . . . it’s Seliskar-esque.

1 year ago

Somebody tell that clown🤡 announcer, its NC State not North Carolina.

Reply to  Breezeway
1 year ago

same thing… 🙂

Reply to  Breezeway
1 year ago

The announcer also kept mentioning that relays were faster than their morning times – this relay was a time final – something the announcer obvious missed.

NC Fan
Reply to  Breezeway
1 year ago

They’re just on the ACC Network. Why would they know anything about the ACC? The dude only said NC State or State maybe once. It was only North Carolina or North Carolina State to him. TheACC.com preview wasn’t any better since it talked about Noe Ponti being top seed in the 200 fly (which was based on an SCM conversion from SC Worlds) Way to show the love ACC!

Reply to  NC Fan
1 year ago

whats wrong with North Carolina State? Thats what it is….

Reply to  NC Fan
1 year ago

Florida State is also in the conference, so just going by state may be confusing. I agree that NC State should be used.

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