2024 ACC Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap


The third day of action from the 2024 ACC Championships will kick off with preliminary action in the 400 IM, 100 fly and 200 free.

After a record-breaking Day 2, Gretchen Walsh has opted to race the women’s 100 fly, while Alex Walsh has notably forged her entries in the 400 IM, 100 fly and 200 free, indicating she’ll race either the 200 fly or 100 breast on Friday in addition to the 200 breast on Sunday.

In addition to G. Walsh in the 100 fly, Virginia holds the top seeds in both the 400 IM and 200 free with Ella Nelson and Aimee Canny, with Nelson the defending champion in the former and Canny the 2023 runner-up in the latter behind A. Walsh.

For the men, NC State’s Owen Lloyd (400 IM) and Luke Miller (100 fly), along with UND’s Chris Guiliano (200 free) hold the top seeds. Guiliano is the defending champion in the 200 free, while the reigning champ in the 100 fly is also the current national champion, Youssef Ramadan.


  • NCAA Record: 3:54.60, Ella Eastin (Stanford) – 2018
  • ACC Record: 3:57.25, Alex Walsh (Virginia) – 2022
  • ACC Championship Record: 3:59.33, Ella Nelson (Virginia) – 2023
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:03.62
  • 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 4:11.36

‘A’ Final Qualifiers:

  1. Ella Nelson (UVA), 4:09.07
  2. Ella Bathurst (UVA), 4:11.28
  3. Anna Keating (UVA), 4:12.36
  4. Kim Herkle (Louisville), 4:12.61
  5. Grace Sheble (NC State), 4:12.85
  6. Katherine Helms (NC State), 4:12.86
  7. McKenzie Campbell (GT), 4:13.64
  8. Rye Ulett (Louisville), 4:14.49

Despite the absence of reigning national champion Alex Walsh, the Virginia women still managed to snag the top three seeds heading into tonight’s final in the women’s 400 IM, led by defending conference champion Ella Nelson.

Nelson cruised to the top time of the morning by over two seconds in 4:09.07, with teammates Ella Bathurst (4:11.28) and Anna Keating (4:12.36) sitting 2nd and 3rd. Nelson owns a season-best of 4:03.61, while Bathurst has been 4:10.46 and Keating 4:10.11.

Louisville’s Kim Herkle was 4th-fastest in 4:12.61, while NC State’s Grace Sheble was 4:12.85 for 5th.

Sheble currently ranks 3rd in the conference this season at 4:09.12, and was the runner-up to Nelson last year in 4:04.98.


  • NCAA Record: 3:28.82, Leon Marchand (Arizona State) – 2023
  • ACC Record: 3:38.00, Gal Nevo (Georgia Tech) – 2009
  • ACC Championship Record: 3:38.43, Robert Owen (VA Tech) – 2017
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 3:38.90
  • 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 3:42.99

‘A’ Final Qualifiers:

  1. Tommy Bried (Louisville), 3:42.36
  2. Owen Lloyd (NC State), 3:44.07
  3. Kyle Ponsler (NC State), 3:44.50
  4. Matthew Styczen (UVA), 3:44.60
  5. Max Matteazzi (Pitt), 3:45.07
  6. Sebastien Sergile (UVA), 3:45.22
  7. Louis Dramm (UNC), 3:45.59
  8. Nico García (VT), 3:45.90

Louisville’s Tommy Bried unloaded a season-best of 3:42.36 to touch first in the fifth and final heat of the men’s 400 IM, outpacing top seed Owen Lloyd (3:44.07) to claim Lane 4 in tonight’s final.

Bried’s swim overtakes Lloyd (3:42.54) for the fastest in the ACC so far this season, and comes within a second of his personal best of 3:41.50 set at the UofL Last Chance Meet last year.

Lloyd qualified 2nd, while his NC State teammate Kyle Ponsler put up the #3 time out of the opening heat in 3:44.50. Ponsler was entered with no time but has been as fast as 3:42.72, done in last year’s ACC final where he placed 5th.

UVA’s Matthew Styczen (3:44.60) and Pitt’s Max Matteazzi (3:45.07) both set lifetime bests to qualify 4th and 5th overall, while last season’s ACC runner-up, Nico García, sneaks into the final in 8th.


  • NCAA Record: 48.46, Kate Douglass (Virginia) – 2023
  • ACC Record: 48.46, Kate Douglass (Virginia) – 2023
  • ACC Championship Record: 48.84, Kate Douglass (Virginia) – 2023
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 50.69
  • 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 52.20

‘A’ Final Qualifiers:

  1. Gretchen Walsh (UVA), 49.32
  2. Gabi Albiero (Louisville), 51.15
  3. Sophie Yendell (Pitt), 51.24
  4. Christiana Regenauer (Louisville), 51.33
  5. Abby Arens (NC State), 51.53
  6. Carly Novelline (UVA), 51.85
  7. Giulia Carvalho (Miami), 51.87
  8. Jenny Halden (FSU), 52.13

Gretchen Walsh continued to put her incredible form on display in the heats of the women’s 100 fly, firing off a time of 49.32 in what is the second-fastest official time of her career.

Walsh owns a PB of 49.11, set against Texas this past October, but clocked 48.30 swimming fly in the 100 free final at the Tennessee Invite in November which indicates Kate Douglass‘ all-time record of 48.46 will be at risk in the final.

Finishing 3rd behind Douglass and Walsh last season was Louisville’s Gabi Albiero, who was nearly two seconds off Walsh’s blistering pace this morning but still advanced 2nd in 51.15, nearing her season-best of 50.83 from the Ohio State Invite.

Pitt’s Sophie Yendell set a seismic best time of 51.24 to qualify in 3rd, having come in with a PB of 52.08 set at the 2023 Minnesota Invite.

Christiana Regenauer (51.33) and Abby Arens (51.53), who were 6th and 4th last season, respectively, comfortably moved through in 4th and 5th.

Miami’s Giulia Carvalho, who was 24th in the event last year, makes the ‘A’ final this time around in 51.87, having set a PB of 51.51 at the SMU Invitational in November.


  • NCAA Record: 42.80, Caeleb Dressel (Florida) – 2018
  • ACC Record: 43.15, Youssef Ramadan (VA Tech) – 2023
  • ACC Championship Record: 43.90, Youssef Ramadan (VA Tech) – 2022
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 44.64
  • 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 45.57

‘A’ Final Qualifiers:

  1. Youssef Ramadan (VT), 44.37
  2. Aiden Hayes (NC State), 44.77
  3. Luke Miller (NC State), 45.01
  4. Noah Henderson (NC State), 45.12
  5. Boyd Poelke (UNC), 45.29
  6. Dalton Lowe (Louisville), 45.38
  7. Noah Bowers (NC State), 45.40
  8. Abdelrahman Elaraby (ND), 45.50

Reigning NCAA champion Youssef Ramadan secured the top seed for tonight’s final of the men’s 100 fly by firing off a season-best time of 44.37, knocking half a second off his 44.85 from earlier this month to move into 4th in the country.

The 2023 NCAA champion in the 200 fly, Aiden Hayes, also logged a new season-best in 44.77 to qualify 2nd, nearing his PB of 44.35 set at last season’s NCAAs. Hayes’ season-best coming into the meet stood at 45.94.

Hayes’ NC State teammate Luke Miller, the fastest man in the nation this season at 44.17, moved through in 3rd in a time of 45.01, while Noah Henderson (45.12) and Noah Bowers (45.40) make it four Wolfpack swimmers in the ‘A’ final.

UNC’s Boyd Poelke fell just short of his lifetime best (45.11) in 45.29 to qualify 5th overall after he was on the outside looking in last season, placing 10th from the ‘B’ final.

The same goes for Notre Dame’s Abdelrahman Elaraby, who was in the ‘C’ final last season (while with Louisville) but dropped a PB of 45.50 to make the championship heat this time around, knocking a tenth off his previous mark from 2022.


  • NCAA Record: 1:39.10, Missy Franklin (Cal) – 2015
  • ACC Record: 1:39.80, Mallory Comerford (Louisville) – 2018
  • ACC Championship Record: 1:40.23, Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) – 2024
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:42.84
  • 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 1:45.31

‘A’ Final Qualifiers:

  1. Aimee Canny (UVA), 1:43.58
  2. Reilly Tiltmann (UVA), 1:44.40
  3. Paige Hetrick (Louisville), 1:44.72
  4. Maxine Parker (UVA), 1:44.76
  5. Cavan Gormsen (UVA), 1:45.20
  6. Annabel Crush (NC State), 1:45.38
  7. Sarah Foley (Duke), 1:45.73
  8. Tess Howley (UVA), 1:46.03

Aimee Canny led a group of five UVA swimmers who qualified for the ‘A’ final of the women’s 200 free, as last year’s runner-up put up a time of 1:43.58 to comfortably top the eighth and final heat.

Canny owns a season-best time of 1:42.93 from the Tennessee Invitational.

Cavalier junior Reilly Tiltmann put up a season-best time of 1:44.40 to lead the first circle-seeded heat, while senior Maxine Parker, swimming in one of the early heats, put up a time of 1:44.76 to advance 4th, just ahead of freshman Cavan Gormsen (1:45.20), who beat Canny head-to-head in last night’s 500 free.

Canny (49.96) and Parker (49.81) both went out fast in their swims, while Titlmann used a different strategy, opting to really press on the third 50 (26.08) after opening in 51.68.

Louisville’s Paige Hetrick will be surrounded by Virginia swimmers tonight, securing Lane 3 in the final after a strong prelim swim of 1:44.72, lowering her season-best of 1:45.41 from the SMU Classic.

The biggest ‘A’ final miss was another Cardinal, Summer Cardwell, who went 1:44.95 earlier this season but fell to 9th this morning after clocking 1:46.21.


  • NCAA Record: 1:29.15, Dean Farris (Harvard) – 2019
  • ACC Record: 1:31.16, Luke Miller (NC State) / Chris Guiliano (Notre Dame) – 2022 / 2024
  • ACC Championship Record: 1:31.16, Luke Miller (NC State) / Chris Guiliano (Notre Dame) – 2022 / 2024
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:31.74
  • 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 1:32.85

‘A’ Final Qualifiers:

  1. Chris Guiliano (ND), 1:32.91
  2. Batur Unlu (GT), 1:33.09
  3. Daniel Diehl (NC State), 1:33.31
  4. Guy Brooks (Louisville),  1:33.51
  5. Murilo Sartori (Louisville), 1:33.73
  6. Patrick Hussey (UNC), 1:33.74
  7. Brendan Whitfield (VT), 1:33.81
  8. Luis Domínguez (VT), 1:33.88

The men’s 200 free prelims were hotly contested as the eight ‘A’ finalists were separated by less than a second, with Chris Guiliano fittingly leading the charge.

Giuliano has been on fire this week and did what he had to do to secure Lane 4 in the final, out-touching Batur Unlu (1:33.09) in the sixth and final heat to advance 1st overall in 1:32.91.

Notre Dame’s Guiliano won last year’s final in 1:32.43 but set a new standard for himself on the lead-off leg of the Fighting Irish’s 800 free relay on Tuesday, clocking 1:31.16 to tie the conference record set by Luke Miller in 2022.

Unlu, who tied for 2nd last season in 1:32.47, qualified 2nd with a new season-best after he led off the Georgia Tech relay in 1:33.58, while NC State’s Daniel Diehl paced the first circle-seeded heat in 1:33.31, just shy of his relay lead-off from the beginning of the meet (1:32.93).

Louisville’s Guy Brooks touched 1st in the penultimate heat in 1:33.51 to advance in 4th, dipping under his season-best of 1:33.96. Brooks touched 1st in the consolation final last season in 1:33.19.

After setting a personal best of 1:33.06 on UNC’s 800 free relay, Canadian native Patrick Hussey had another solid showing to advance 6th overall in 1:33.74.


  • ACC Record: 531.00, Nick McCrory (Duke) – 2014
  • ACC Championship Record: 531.00, Nick McCrory (Duke) – 2014

‘A’ Final Qualifiers:

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I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
1 month ago

Conspiracy theory: Greg Meehan is “Need More Yards”

1 month ago

Something that I don’t think got mentioned is Noah Nichols went 27.37 breast split in the IM yesterday. That’s gotta be the fastest breaststroke split all-time, right? Final time was a 1:44 though

Last edited 1 month ago by bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

At SECs, Alex Sanchez went something ridiculous as well if I’m remembering correctly. Like a 27 mid

Reply to  Swimfan27
1 month ago

Update: he split 27.41

Reply to  Swimfan27
1 month ago

Marchand split 27.66 when he went the 1:36…

Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

probably yeah, I’ve only found a handful of other swimmers who have split sub 28 (Marchand, Lasco, Licon, Fallon) and of them, Marchand appears to be the fastest at 27.66

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

Well, he went 28 in the back lol.

Reply to  Samuel Huntington
1 month ago

His first 100 was behind Kate Douglass in her AR swim.

1 month ago

UVA men choked again lmao

Samuel Huntington
1 month ago

Men’s 100 fly C final has some interesting names…

Molla Yanes

Especially wondering how Stokowski ended up in the C final.

Boxall's Railing
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
1 month ago

This will get downvoted, but based off last year’s NCAAs and his general pre-race behavior observed, my initial reaction is that he has a bad attitude and was dogging it.

But to be fair, there’s no reason for him to be rested for this meet and perhaps that’s genuinely all he had. Also is more focused on back than fly. But I’ve seen enough to not be a fan.

Reply to  Samuel Huntington
1 month ago

Stokowski and Molla Yanes just got back from Doha, don’t think they are rested for this meet, especially since both have LCM ambitions for this summer.

tea rex
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
1 month ago

Molla Yanes was 51.4 LCM just last week.

Disappointing to see Bloebaum and Gentry still not improving at VT.

Need More Yards
1 month ago

UVA men might not have done enough yards this year

Reply to  Need More Yards
1 month ago

UVA men did not like this comment

1 month ago

Gretchen’s start is awful. Amazing swim but last off the blocks again.

Reply to  RMS
1 month ago

Thanks, AVD.

Reply to  RMS
1 month ago

Didn’t Gretchen say she had been working on her start? I feel like at this point she is well aware it could improve but she more than makes up for it in the race and it doesn’t need to be something pointed out every single time she swims.

Reply to  FlyFly
1 month ago

I’ve only said it once. Just goes to show that even one of the best sprinters in the world has a weakness. Lastly, for all those Gretchen stans that got their feelings hurt with my previous comment, I did say her swim was amazing.

ncaa fan
Reply to  RMS
1 month ago

Being powerful and explosive from a crouched positions is much harder for someone who is tall and slender… Certainly room for improvement, but it isn’t preventing her from being the best SCY swimmer since Dressel

Reply to  ncaa fan
1 month ago

Reminds me of how much people used to bag on Tom Dolan because his turns sucked. Didn’t keep him from the AR in the 500 and two Olympic Gold Medals hanging on his neck, did it? Swimming fans are so intolerable.

Reply to  RMS
1 month ago

Downvote all you want, but watch the replay from last night’s 50 final and this morning’s 100 fly prelim. Can’t argue with it, but I’ll take the hate for being right.

Reply to  RMS
1 month ago

Reaction time is such a horrible metric to use to say someone has a bad start

Reply to  Eagleswim
1 month ago

It’s very clear and noticeable.

1 month ago

UVA put 5 in the A final without 3/4 of their 800 FR

Reply to  anon
1 month ago

That team is just too deep. You can split them into 2 teams and both would probably top 5 at NCAAs

1 month ago

Tiltmann with some nasty UWD on that 3rd 50

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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