2021 ACC MEN’S SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- When: Wednesday, February 24th to Saturday, February 27th Prelims 10:00 am | Finals 6:00 pm (1650 prelims Saturday at 4:00 pm)
- Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, North Carolina (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: North Carolina State University (NC State) (29x, 6th-straight) (results)
- Streaming: ACC Network
- Championship Central: Here
- Detailed Timeline: Here
- Psych Sheets: Here
- Live Results
- Saturday Morning Heat Sheets
There were a rush of disqualifications for stroke infractions in prelims on Saturday at the ACC men’s swimming & diving championships that could impact the final outcome of the meet.
Virginia’s Sam Schilling touched in 1:56.16 in heat 4, lane 2 before being disqualified for multiple dolphin kicks off the last wall.
A heat later, Virginia’s Matthew Otto swam in lane 3 and Virginia Tech’s Keith Myburgh swam in lane 4. Otto was disqualified for a one-hand touch, while Myburgh was disqualified for the same infraction as Schilling. Otto’s ultimate 1:53.73 would have placed him in the A final, while Myburgh’s would have made him the top qualifier in the B final.
It appears that all three infractions were called by the same official.
The challenge is not so much disbelief that three swimmers could have committed infractions in breaststroke at a meet of this level. To the contrary: videos of elite breaststroke races reveal that a mere fraction of disqualifiable infractions are called.
This leaves uncertainty for athletes about what is and isn’t allowed. Sports officiating is full of judgement calls, but what athletes usually hope for most is consistency so they know what to expect.
But the official in question can’t really be faulted for calling infractions, if in fact they were seen (we haven’t found any good video yet to confirm or reject them).
This all leads to the need for video judging, above and below water, especially in breaststroke, because the infractions are too hard to call consistently, too easy to get away with, and all-too frequent.
One event later, UNC’s Santos Villalon Centenera was disqualified in the 200 fly for a one-handed touch after a 1:45.93. That’s another swim that would have been a B-final qualifier.
Otto repeated his 200 breaststroke post-session in a time trial, swimming even faster at 1:53.41. That should safely earn him an NCAA Championship invite.
The original official who called the first disqualification also adjudicated the time trial, but this time the hand stayed down.