Bilis Splits 41.6 To Close 2015 Nike Cup; Duke Men, UNC Women Win

NC State star Simonas Bilis was absent from the first two days of the 2015 Nike Cup, but arrived on day 3 to blast a huge relay split in the winning 400 free relay.

Meanwhile, deep team efforts saw the Duke men and North Carolina women win the meet despite no swimming wins for either program on day 3.

Full results

Men’s Meet

NC State won 4 of 7 events on the final night to seal a second-place team finish, though the story of the meet for the Wolfpack was often who wasn’t swimming as much as who was.

Star sprinter Simonas Bilis missed the first two days of the meet and only swam a relay on day 3. But the senior made his one swim count, blasting a 41.63 split on the second leg of the 400 free relay as NC State won in a blowout. Ryan Held led off in 42.87 and Joe Bonk and Andreas Schiellerup were 43-lows as NC State went 2:50.94. The Wolfpack were NCAA runners-up in this relay at last year’s NCAAs.

Held won the 100 free individually, going 42.94 in a 1-2-3-4 sweep for NC State. Bonk and Schiellerup were second and third, with Soeren Dahl fourth and Bilis not even entered.

The Pack also got a 1650 free win from Anton Ipsen, who was 14:52.00 to run away with the win, and late in the night, Christian McCurdy went 1:42.61 to take the 200 fly.

The notable absence Saturday, though, was All-American backstroker Hennessey Stuart, who qualified first in the 200 back with an outstanding 1:40.22 in prelims. He did not swim the final, allowing UNC’s Nic Graesser to pick up the win for his team in 1:46.41.

Navy got a big win in the men’s 200 breast, with Marlin Brutkiewicz going 1:56.66. Brutkiewicz trailed by half a second at the 100 mark, but flew home in a closing split of 29.92 to pick up the come-from-behind win.

Duke’s Josh Owsiany took the platform diving title to help seal the team win for the Blue Devils, who are looking poised to make a move in the crowded ACC this season. Despite a relatively quiet night 3, Duke won the meet handily over the defending conference champs.

Team Scores:

  1. Duke – 1721
  2. NC State – 1545.5
  3. UNC – 1434
  4. Navy – 1297
  5. Yale – 1038.5
  6. East Carolina – 905
  7. Old Dominion – 593

Women’s Meet

The UNC women continued their hot streak this season, winning the Nike Cup title over a feisty Duke squad. That came on a big night from the Tar Heel roster top-to-bottom, as UNC held onto the meet without taking a single event.

The closest call came in the 200 back, where Tar Heel star Hellen Moffitt battled Duke’s Maddie Hess in a ferocious matchup. Hess jumped out to a lead of .7 seconds at the 100, and though Moffitt closed hard in the closing 50, it wasn’t quite enough to top Hess’s 1:55.14. Moffitt was 1:55.52 for runner-up honors.

Duke picked up two more wins late in the night, while trying to run down UNC in the points. Isa Paez won the 200 fly by a wide margin, popping a 1:56.14. And Mack Willborn added a platform diving title with 253.40 points.

NC State also had a big night on the women’s side. Alexia Zevnik led a 1-2-3 finish in the 100 free, going 48.60 to just top teammate Riki Bonnema (48.69). Natalie Labonge was third.

Then Kayla Brumbaum won the 200 breast going away, putting up a 2:10.62 to best the field by three seconds.

The Wolfpack would win the 400 free relay, combining the forces of Labonge, Zevnik and Bonnema with Krista Duffield to go 3:14.39. Bonnema was a quick 48.0 on the anchor leg, with Zevnik going 48.3 and Labonge leading off in 48.88, faster than the 49.13 she went individually.

Yale’s women dominated the distance race, with Eva Fabian going 16:17.09 to win the 1650 in a touchout of teammate Cailley Silbert (16:17.27).

UNC ultimately held off Duke by just over 40 points. The Tar Heels are looking to dethrone perennial ACC champs Virginia this season, and are building up some serious momentum this semester.

Team Scores:

  1. UNC – 1815
  2. Duke – 1769
  3. Yale – 1519
  4. NC State – 1328.5
  5. East Carolina – 698.5
  6. Marshall – 661.5
  7. Old Dominion – 551.5
  8. Clemson – 195
  9. James Madison – 49

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Edgar Frog

The downfall of the unc men compared to other ACC schools is staggering. That team has no momentum. While they somehow signed a great sprinter for next year the rest of the signing class in unimpressive (local talent McMilllan chose Stanford)


To say UNC’s men have the worst downfall in the ACC is a bold statement when you actually look at any results and see that UVA’s men went from 1 to 7 at ACCs in a year… Not sure how you can justify saying UNC’s is worse but that’s just me. NC State was also suited to some extent, Duke was completely suited and rested, while UNC was not at all so obviously it’s going to be difficult to win. It’s incredibly impressive that UNC’s women were able to win this meet without suits or a taper and just shows their level of excellence this season!

Edgar Frog

HMMMM of course UVA is largest decline but to me that is a different scenario. They had an abrupt coaching departure and lost almost double digit men ncaa qualifiers to transfers. UNC on the other hand has had the same coach for almost 10 years. The hype on UNC getting a new coach was huge and they signed several top 10 recruiting classes in the first few years as a result. However, nothing really ever materialized. Now, over the past 5 years, VT, Louisville, and NC State have all passed UNC. With Bernadinos departure, DeSelm was handed the acc, yet could do nothing. Now, NC State is in a completely different league, and all it took was 3 years. That… Read more »

swim fan

UNC can’t even get the legacy kids to swim there anymore. Looks like Litzinger hit the eject button at the right time. They are not catching NC State anytime soon.

ct swim fan

He was sick for Texas last weekend. I assume he was either still sick or the coaches wanted him to train rather than race after being sick.

Gary Hall, III

I have to agree with Edgar.

Certainly UVA’s fall was more abrupt and unforeseen. Even after Dino left, at the start of the season, one would be deemed a heretic for predicting they would fall to 7th at ACCs. Augie has had his troubles, but he still has yet to have a full class matriculate.

UNC, on the other hand, a seemingly well-funded program at a top public school, as wallowed in mediocrity under DeSelm for almost a decade. They have had no bonafide shots at conference titles and Duke outscored them at NCAAs many years. All of this while being fully funded with robust facilities and a large coaching staff. Riddle me that.


UNC did not shave, taper, or suit up for this meet. They are not nearly close to their prime. I’m not sure about other teams, but I am assuming that this is their big meet of the fall meaning that they most likely rested. UNC is not on a downfall, they are only on the up.

Edgar Frog

Unc loses 4 of their top swimmers who are virtually on every relay. They are in real trouble. They just can’t compete with nc state. Nc state didn’t even swim finals or bring everyone to the meet and still beat unc. It’s a real Shame. Alumni are not happy and then you throw duke winning as well. Third in the triangle. Wow

Edgar Frog

Nc state continues to impress. No better program to go swim for in the country right now if you ask me. Hats off to the Duke teams. Obviously rested but they are really coming on strong. Men need funding now too. Unc women are a decent team but way way over rated. Few stars and decent relays but their depth is only good at a duel meet level. Top conference level or ncaa level meet and it drops dramatically. They are 11-15 rank not top 10 or 5 as the dual meet rankings show.


If Coach K can kick a little of his bball money over to fund men’s swimming, Duke swimming could be come the Stanford of the East

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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