Berkoff, Stokowski, And Co. Nab Day 2 Individual Wins As NC State Sweeps Tennessee

Yanyan Li
by Yanyan Li 14

October 16th, 2022 ACC, College, National, News, SEC


On Saturday, the NC State men and women extended upon their lead against Tennessee, closing out on their season opener by winning eleven more events and taking the overall win on both sides.

Final Scores: 

Men: NC State 198, Tennessee 155

Women: NC State 207.5, Tennessee 140.5

Men’s Recap

NC State’s ‘B’ team of Aiden Hayes (21.44), Mason Hunter (24.69), Luke Miller (20.80), and Quintin McCarty (19.11) took the 200 medley relay in a time of 1:26.04, edging out Tennessee’s ‘A’ team of Harrison Lierz (22.32), Michael Houlie (23.96), Jordan Crooks (20.48), and Gui Caribe (19.32) by 0.04 of a second. NC State’s ‘A’ team of Kacper Stokowski (21.57), Giovanni Izzo (24.68), Nyls Kostanje (20.09), and David Curtiss (19.10) had combined for a time of 1:25.44, but they were ultimately DQed.

As always, with relays come the analysis about splits. The 20.09 from Korstanje is a particularly eye-popping time for October, just over half a second off the 19.55 he split at NCAAs last year. On freestyle, McCarty and Curtiss splitting nearly the exact same time creates debate on who’s going to be the anchor come time for championship season. Curtiss has the faster personal best at 18.74, but McCarty was just 0.09 seconds off of his own on Friday—something that points towards major drops that could come when he’s fully rested.

NC State’s Michael Cotter nabbed the first individual win of the day for the pack, taking the 200 free in 1:36.47. After opening in 23.09, he descended the rest of his race, splitting 24.69/24.42/24.27 on his last 150. Then, Tennessee’s Landon Driggers took the 400 IM in 3:52.41. Driggers is a transfer from the University of Indianapolis, and was the 2021 NCAA DI runner-up in the 400 IM.

The 100 fly was won by Korstanje, who clocked a 46.39 and beat out Miller (46.62) and Crooks (46.84). Korstanje was 0.02 seconds faster than the 46.41 he went at last year’s edition of the NC State-Tennessee meet, which also happened in mid-October. Next, Stokowski won the 100 back by over a second in 46.13, a time that is faster than what any other swimmer has gone this year in bona fide competition, only sitting behind his 45.71 relay leadoff from day one of this meet.

Tennessee’s Joaquin Vargas won the 500 free in 4:22.69, beating out the NC State duo of Will Gallant (4:25.48) and Ross Dant (4:25.50) that went 1-2 in the 1000 free the day prior.

The Vols had one of their best individual events showings to close of the meet, as Jarel Dillard (53.22), Houlie (53.62), and Lyub Epitropov (55.06) went 1-2-3 in the 100 breast. Giovanni Izzo, NC State’s top finisher in this race, was fourth with a 55.07. And while people shouldn’t be jumping towards conclusions because of a dual meet, this race is somewhat representative of NC State’s breaststroke weakness, as the team is taking major hit following the loss of Rafael Kusto—the team’s top 100 breaststroker last year.

In fact, the Tennessee men were on a three-event winning streak to close off the meet, as Crooks (42.72), Caribe (42.72), Bjoern Kammann (44.03), and Alekskey Tarasenko (43.91) took the 400 free relay in 2:53.58. They beat out NC State’s Curtiss (43.66), Miller (42.84), Sam Hoover (43.77), and Stokowski, who were second in 2:53.76. Crooks’ leadoff time is the second-fastest 100 free time in the country this year that was not set at an intrasquad, only slower than Danny Krueger‘s 42.69 from the SMU classic. Tennessee and NC State’s 400 free relay times are also second and third in the nation, just behind Arizona State’s 2:52.89.

Women’s Recap

The NC State women dominated the 200 medley relay, as Katharine Berkoff (24.48), Andrea Podmanikova (27.81), Kylee Alons (23.14), and Abby Arens (22.68) combined for a time of 1:38.11, beating Tennessee’s ‘A’ relay of Josephine Fuller (25.17), Mona McSharry(27.26), Olivia Harper (24.41), and Julia Burroughs (22.82) by over a second. Notably, NC State’s Meghan Donald anchored in 22.57 on the ‘B’ relay, a time faster than what Arens anchored in on the ‘A’ relay.

NC State’s Abbey Webb opened things off individually by clocking a 1:47.05 in the 200 free, winning the race by over two seconds. She nearly even-split her race, opening in 53.33 and closing in 53.72. In addition, she also clocked a 26.61 final 50 split, which was the only sub-27 closing split of the field. Webb was significantly faster than she was in this race at last year’s NC State-Tennessee dual, as in that meet she had finished fourth in 1:49.35.

In the 400 IM, NC State’s Grace Sheble won in a time of 4:19.05. She wasn’t at the NC State-Tennessee meet last year, but her time on Saturday was three seconds faster than the 4:22.03 she swam at NC State’s dual meet against Auburn and Kentucky last year, which was her first official 400 IM of the 2021-22 season. This could indicate a potential bounce back year for Sheble, who entered last season as the #3 recruit in the class of 2021 but only ended up scoring one point at NCAAs.

Alons won the 100 fly by over a second in 52.53, 0.24 seconds faster than her winning time of 52.77 from last year’s edition of this meet. She’s now the fourth-fastest woman in the NCAA for the 2022-23 season, behind Maggie MacNeil (50.84), Gabi Albiero (51.19), and Christiana Regenauer (52.31).

Next, NCAA, U.S. Open, and American record holder Berkoff took the 100 back by nearly a second, clocking a 52.45. She was slightly slower than her of 52.15 from last year’s version of this meet and her 52.29 relay leadoff from Friday that didn’t count because her team got DQed, but her time is still good enough to make her the second-fastest swimmer this year in official NCAA competition, just behind MacNeil who went 51.10.

NC State’s Brooke Travis won the 500 free with a time of 4:51.50, over a second faster than the 4:53.14 she clocked at last year’s meet. McSharry took Tennessee’s only individual event win in the 100 breast, swimming a 1:00.51. However, Podmanikova, who was swimming exhibition, was faster at 1:00.45.

All of NC State’s relays swam exhibition in the 400 free relay, so Tennessee’s Brooklyn Douthwright (50.80), Burroughs (50.17), Sara Stotler (50.79), and McSharry (50.31) won with a 3:22.07. NC State’s Webb (50.22), Arens (50.20), Alons (49.66), and Berkoff (50.29) combined for a 3:20.37, which was over two seconds faster than what the Tennessee team went.

What’s Next?

Both Tennessee and NC State will be back in action next week, as Tennessee will travel to compete against Louisville on October 21 and NC State will host Kentucky on the same date.

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3 months ago

Will/has there been a recap of the Cal/Utah meet from last week?

K Chilly
3 months ago

Insane Depth that NC State men showed in sprinting. Their B team put up the fastest unsuited 200 Medley relay time .6 off of the top time in the nation. The B team! And this was with people like Noah Henderson and Hunter Tapp missing.

Then look at the distance program, you have Dant and Gallant battling it out for top positioning with Norris and Plage not far behind, and Owen Lloyd missing from the meet. Mikey Moore was absent from displaying IM dominance for the pack. While breastroke may look concerning, Mason Hunter seems to be putting up similar October times comparable to his January performances before he went 51 his junior year (indicative he is a huge… Read more »

Reply to  K Chilly
3 months ago

It looks like they put their a team as b team throughout the meet

K chilly
Reply to  Curious
3 months ago

That was just the 400 free relay on Saturday. The A team DQd with a time of 1:25.44 in the 200 Medley relay

Cousin Eddie
Reply to  K Chilly
3 months ago

IM is in good hands. Watch what happens as the freshman get some experience. You won’t see Ponsler give up a lead in the backstroke leg again maybe ever. Norris is solid too and and blow up anytime. These guys are young and hungry and going to be a force.

Reply to  K Chilly
3 months ago

Noah and Hunter sick. 😢

K Childress
Reply to  K Chilly
3 months ago

K Chilly knows too much

Joel Lin
3 months ago

For more than a decade at men’s NCAAs it’s been Texas, then Cal or Cal, then Texas & after that a wide gap. NC State men won’t unsettle the top 2 this year, but that wide gap is gone. It’s a big three now.

maximum mchuge
Reply to  Joel Lin
3 months ago

Your math is wrong. Michigan won in march of 2013, about 115 months ago. Notice how 115 is not greater than or equal to 120 months or 1 decade. Also, NCST won’t magically come up with 100+ points that they need to be near cal or Texas.

Joel Lin
Reply to  maximum mchuge
3 months ago

Yes, I missed UM 2013 breaking up the Cal/Texas lock market.

My guess is NCS me could get within 60-70ish points of second this year. They’re closing in materially this year.

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Joel Lin
3 months ago

just dont have breaststrokers. All the sprint depth is going to block their own teammates from points.

Reply to  Joel Lin
3 months ago

I am truly thinking these guys have a shot at upsetting Texas and Cal this year. If they hit on all cylinders they will be incredible.

Argentina on top 🇦🇷
3 months ago

@Yanyan off topic, but do you know why USA Swimming hasn’t published the SC Worlds roster yet? Have you asked/ received a response from them?

It was supposed to be uploaded on the 14th of October. 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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