2023 ACC Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 41

February 17th, 2023 College, News, Previews & Recaps


Friday Morning Heat Sheets

The 2023 ACC Championship keep rolling along this morning with prelims of the 200 fly, 100 back, and 100 breast. Unlike yesterday, where we saw former ACC champions in every event, some events are guaranteed to have a new swimmer atop the podium.

Women’s 200 Butterfly

  • NCAA Record: 1:49.51, Ella Eastin (STAN) – 2018 Pac-12 Championships
  • ACC Record: 1:50.61, Kelsi Worrell (LOU) – 2016 NCAA Championships
  • ACC Championship Record: 1:52.81, Grace Oglesby (LOU) – 2019
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:52.86
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:56.14

Top 8:

  1. Abby Hay (Louisville) – 1:54.61
  2. Abby Arens (NC State) – 1:54.98
  3. Abby Harter (Virginia) – 1:55.79
  4. Grace Sheble (NC State) – 1:56.15
  5. Edith Jernstedt (Florida State) – 1:56.65
  6. Ellie Vannote (UNC) – 1:56.85
  7. Tristen Ulett (Louisville) – 1:57.11
  8. Martina Peroni (Duke) – 1:57.16

If you were cheering for an “Abby” in any of the last three heats, you were cheering for a winner, three different women with that name won the final three heats of the morning, and collectively put up the fastest three times in the field.

Abby Hay of Louisville led the way out of heat 4, clocking a 1:54.61 that’s just a bit off of her prelims time from last year. Hay ultimately finished 3rd in the A-final last year with a time of 1:54.77. Today, teammate Tristen Ulett (1:57.11) and UNC’s Ellie Vannote (1:56.85) also qualified fro the A-final out of the same heat.

Defending champion Abby Arens of NC State posted the 2nd-fastest time fo the morning with a 1:54.98 in the final heat. Duke’s Martina Peroni (1:57.16) was the only other women to qualify for the A-final from that heat.

Third seed went to Abby Harter of UVA, who won heat #3 with a time of 1:55.79. In that race, she held off NC State’s Grace Sheble (1:56.160 and Florida State’s Edith Jernstedt (1:56.65), both of whom made the top eight overall.

Six of today’s A-finalists also competed in last year’s A-fina, with Vannote and Peroni being the two new additions.

Men’s 200 Butterfly

  • NCAA Record: 1:37.35, Jack Conger (TEX) – 2017 NCAA Championships
  • ACC Record: 1:37.92, Nick Albiero (LOU) – 2022 ACC Championships
  • ACC Championship Record: 1:37.92, Nick Albiero (LOU) – 2022
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:40.20
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 1:42.42

Top 8:

  1. Noah Bowers (NC State) – 1:41.36
  2. Aiden Hayes (NC State) – 1:41.77
  3. Josh Fong (Virginia) – 1:43.03
  4. Adam Mahler (Pitt) – 1:43.24
  5. Luke Miller (NC State) – 1:43.32
  6. Landon Gentry (Virginia Tech) – 1:43.81
  7. Patrick Hussey (UNC) – 1:44.02
  8. Gustavo Saldo (Louisville) – 1:44.49

NC State senior Noah Bowers hit a new personal best of 1:41.36 this morning to lead the field. Last year, Bowers went 1:42.42 in prelims before taking 4th in finals with a 1:41.91, which stood as his personal best until this morning.

Bowers’ teammate Aiden Hayes qualified 2nd overall this morning with 1:41.77. Hayes finished 3rd in the A-final last year, and has a best of 1:40.39. The Wolfpack put a third man into the A-final as Luke Miller qualified 5th overall with a time of 1:43.32. Luke won the B-final last year.

No other school put more than one man into the A-final.

UVA’s Josh Fong qualified 3rd with a time of 1:43.03. Fong will join Bowers and Hayes as the only three men from last year’s A-final to make the top 8 this morning.

Pitt’s Adam Mahler (1:43.24), Virginia Tech freshman Landon Gentry (1:43.81), UNC’s Patrick Hussey (1:44.02), and Louisville’s Gustavo Saldo (1:44.49) round out the top 8. The race for 8th was particularly tight, as only 0.14s separated Saldo from the 13th-place swimmer, Boyd Poelke of UNC (1:44.63).

Women’s 100 Backstroke

  • NCAA Record: 48.74, Katharine Berkoff (NCSU) – 2021 NCAA Championships
  • ACC Record: 48.74, Katharine Berkoff (NCSU) – 2021 NCAA Championships
  • ACC Championship Record: 49.41, Katharine Berkoff (NCSU) – 2022
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 50.89
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 52.46

Top 8:

  1. Katharine Berkoff (NC State) – 50.53
  2. Kennedy Noble (NC State) – 51.46
  3. Reilly Tiltmann (Virginia) – 51.58
  4. Grace Countie (UNC) – 51.70
  5. Kylee Alons (NC State) – 51.75
  6. Emma Muzzy (NC State) – 52.03
  7. Carly Novelline (Virginia) – 52.18
  8. Sophie Lindner (UNC) – 52.35

The NC State women are locked into a big battle with Louisville for 2nd, but they got a boost out of this event, as they qualified four women for the A-final.

Katharine Berkoff led the way with a 50.53, a time that appears to move her to #4 in the nation this season. Freshman Kennedy Noble hit a new best time, clocking 51.46 to qualify 2nd overall. Kylee Alons (51.75) returns to the A-final for the Wolfpack, while last year’s B-final champion, Emma Muzzy, moves up to the championship final after going 52.03.

UNC swimmers Grace Countie (51.70) and Sophie Lindner (52.35) are also returning A-finalists, as is UVA’s Reilly Tiltmann (51.58). UVA freshman Carly Novelline (52.18) qualified for her first ACC championship final as well.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

  • NCAA Record: 43.35, Luca Urlando (UGA) – 2022 NCAA Championships
  • ACC Record: 43.98, Coleman Stewart (NCS) – 2019 NCAA Championships
  • ACC Championship Record: 44.04, Coleman Stewart / Kacper Stokowski
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 44.79
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 45.87

Top 8:

  1. Giovanni Izzo (NC State) – 45.41
  2. Kacper Stokowski (NC State) – 45.58
  3. Tommy Janton (Notre Dame) – 45.61
  4. Berke Saka (Georgia Tech) – 45.68
  5. Max Edwards (Virginia) – 45.86
  6. Matt Brownstead (Virginia) – 45.91
  7. Mason Herbet (Florida State) – 46.07
  8. Dalton Lowe (Louisville) – 46.10

There will be a lot of new faces in this year’s A-final, as only three men will compete for the title tonight out of last year’s championship final.

NC State’s Giovanni Izzo posted the top time of the morning with a new personal best of 45.41. He’ll be joined in the A-final by teammate and reigning champion Kacper Stokowski, who qualified 2nd with a 45.58.

Notre Dame freshman Tommy Janton has been looking strong all season, and he made his first ACC championship final with a 45.61, knocking nearly a second off of his previous best. Georgia Tech’s Berke Saka was out like a rocket in heat 4, and he was the only man out of that heat to qualify for the top eight, winning with a 45.68. Saka won the B-final last year.

UVA senior Max Edwards got under 46 for the first time in his career, qualifying 5th with a 45.86. Teammate Matt Brownstead, who finished 8th last year, qualified 6th with a 45.91.

FSU’s Mason Herbet (46.07) made the A-final again, and Louisville’s Dalton Lowe (46.10) rounds out the top 8.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

  • NCAA Record: 55.73, Lilly King (IU) – 2019 NCAA Championships
  • ACC Record: 56.72, Sophie Hansson (NCS) – 2022 ACC Championships
  • ACC Championship Record:56.72, Sophie Hansson (NCS) – 2022
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 58.10
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 59.87

Top 8:

  1. Alex Walsh (Virginia) – 58.79
  2. Andrea Podmanikova (NC State) – 58.95
  3. Heather MacCausland (NC State) – 59.04
  4. Tara Vovk (Miami) – 59.11
  5. Emma Weber (Virginia) – 59.14
  6. Skler Smith (UNC) – 59.30
  7. Kaelyn Gridley (Duke) – 59.65
  8. Aubree Brouwer (NC State) – 59.72

Alex Walsh of UVA will be aiming to snap a four-year NC State winning streak in this event, but she’ll have to deal with plenty of Wolfpack competitors tonight. Walsh posted the top time of the morning (58.79) after scratching the 200 fly in favor of this event. Freshman teammate Emma Weber joins her in the A-final after a 59.14 this morning.

But NC State should be in the mix to continue their streak, as Andrea Podmanikova (58.95) and Heather MacCausland (59.04) touched just behind Walsh. NC State freshman Aubree Brouwer also qualified for the top eight with a 59.72.

The Wolfpack qualified a total of nine women for A-finals today, compared to just two for Louisville. That puts NC State in good position to move back ahead of the Cardinals in the team competition; heading into today, Louisville had a 54.5 point lead.

Miami’s Țară Vovk (59.11), UNC’s Skyler Smith (59.30), and Duke’s Kaelyn Gridley (59.65) all qualified for the A-final as well.

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

  • NCAA Record: 49.69, Ian Finnerty (IU) – 2018 NCAA Championships
  • ACC Record: 51.03, Evgenii Somov (LOU) – 2021 ACC Championships
  • ACC Championship Record: 51.03, Evgenii Somov (LOU) – 2021
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 51.40
  • 2022 NCAA Invite Time: 52.20

Top 8:

  1. Noah Nichols (Virgina) – 51.03
  2. Mason Hunter (NC State) – 51.76
  3. Carles Coll Marti (Virginia Tech) – 51.84
  4. Flynn Crisci (Pitt) – 51.93
  5. Denis Petrashov (Louisville) – 52.06
  6. Cooper Van Der Laan (Pitt) – 52.30
  7. AJ Pouch (Virgina Tech) – 52.55
  8. Daniel Worth (Virginia) / Ethan Maloney (Virginia Tech) – 52.81*

All sorts of great storylines in this event.

We’ll start at the top, where Noah Nichols of UVA tied Evgenii Somov’s meet and conference records with a 51.03. Somov, who finished his eligibility with Louisville last year, won this an event five years in a row, thanks to the NCAA granting all athletes who competed in the 2020-2021 season an extra year of eligibility.

If Nichols can get his hands on the wall first tonight, he’ll be the first Cavalier to win this event since Vanja Roguli won three-straight titles from 2005 to 2007. Only Leon Marchand at 51.01 has been faster than Nichols this season, pending other results from this morning.

NC State’s Mason Hunter qualified 2nd overall with a time of 51.76, lowering the Wolfpack record of 51.86 set by Rafal Kusto last year. Hunter, a grad transfer who competed for Michigan previously, has been a huge boost for NC State this season.

Virginia Tech’s Carles Coll Marti qualified 3rd with a 51.84, and teammate AJ Pouch also made the A-final with a 52.55. The Hokies actually had the last ACC champion in this event not named Evgenii Somov — Brandon Fiala won in 2017.

Pitt also put two men into the A-final. Flynn Crisci, who transferred from William & Mary in the wake of the school cutting its swim program (although ultimately reinstating it), got under 52 for the first time this morning with a 51.93. That should punch his NCAA ticket. Teammate Cooper Van Der Laan qualified 6th at 52.30. Van Der Laan took 3rd last year.

Denis Petrashov of Louisville joins Van Der Laan, Nichols, Coll Marti, and Crisci in making the top 8 again, going 52.06 this morning.

UVA initially also had Max Iida qualify for the A-final with a 52.64, but he was DQ’d. That sets up a swim-off for the final spot in the championship final, between teammate Daniel Worth and Virginia Tech freshman Ethan Maloney, both of whom went 52.81 this morning.

Update: Maloney won the swim-off, going under 52 with a 51.9.

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1 year ago

UNC (men)… again.. again.. what’s goin on

1 year ago

Did Sophie Hansson win all 4 of those UNC 100 breast titles, or were there other UNC breaststrokers in that time? I can’t remember.

Reply to  Meow
1 year ago

Pretty sure Sophie didn’t win any UNC 100 breast titles…

1 year ago

Mens team race for 2nd ups & downs:

Louisville: 3/4/2
UVA: 4/4/2
VT: 4/2/3

The relay tonight will be HUGE. Looking like it will come down to the last day between these three teams. Hope they saved their best swims for last!

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  ACCfan
1 year ago

UVA is 94.5 points behind Louisville and 76.5 points behind VT. I don’t see how UVA could catch either team.

Reply to  Samuel Huntington
1 year ago

Yeah I think people underestimate how big a 75 or 100 point gap is. It’s going to be hard to close it without a relay DQ – which is plausible if Louisville and VT get aggressive trying to beat one another.

But even that might not be enough.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

UVA’s last day is going to be their best, they have a strong 2br group, 2back will put on a show, and maybe see 3 A finalists, and their 100 free is in good hands with Connery and Brownstead. They’ll be there in podium contention on the last relay, too.
All depends on how many swims Louisville and VT have left, and how the mile turns out. Could be closer than we think, imo

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  ACCFan
1 year ago

3 A finalists in 2 back?? Aikins and ??

Louisville and especially VT are strong on the last day.

Extremely unlikely UVA catches either team.

Reply to  ACCFan
1 year ago

Yeah true. And, it looks based on Robert and Andrew’s math, that they have a chance to halve that gap today.

Maybe I spoke too soon…

Say's Phoebe
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
1 year ago

Working off of the Ups/Mids/Downs post from earlier today:

Louisville 673.5 (+19 on projected score)
VT 636 (-4)
UVA 603 (-8)

Still have the relay tonight

Reply to  ACCfan
1 year ago

If my math is right, teams have the following swims left:
VT: 17
UVA: 16

If VT has a good morning tomorrow they should get 2nd. I think Louisville holds onto 3rd over UVA because of diving

K Chilly
1 year ago

Noah Nichols ties the ACC record in prelims with second place Mason Hunter casually getting a NC State team record in that 100 breast! That finals race will be fun to watch

Reply to  K Chilly
1 year ago

Ethan Maloney of VT went a 51 in a swim off to qualify for the A final. Pretty sure all 8 finalists have been 51 at some point or another now.

Reply to  Robert Gibbs
1 year ago


Last edited 1 year ago by PancakeLover
Reply to  K Chilly
1 year ago

Florida, termed “University of Freestyle”, with men Breststrokers going 50.73, 50.90, and 51.52. Yikes!

1 year ago

Pitt with an awesome session

X Glide
1 year ago

Kacper Stokowski with the easiest 11.87 last 25 I’ve ever seen in a 100 back

Reply to  X Glide
1 year ago

That’s what I’m saying. As far as I could tell, the only hard strokes he took were on the 3rd 25. Hopefully we’ll get to see that big time 43 that we would have gotten from C. Stewart back in 2020 if they hadn’t been cancelled.

Reply to  Riley
1 year ago

Stewart and his stache were in the house last night!

K Chilly
Reply to  X Glide
1 year ago

50 warm up, 25 fast, 25 Cool down appeared to be his race strategy

1 year ago

Did Sam Baron and Jaycee Yeager scratch outta this meet? They’re both potential NCAA qualifiers

Reply to  Ervin
1 year ago

Yep. Didn’t make the final conference list. “Home preparing for potential NCAAs” per DeSorbo.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Not going to conference but NCAA qualifiers… embarrassment of riches.

Same with Hoover from NCSU I presume?

1 year ago

Abby domination in the top 3 of 200 fly

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