Florida State’s Kanoa Kaleoaloha Talks 50 Free Redemption (Video)


  • When: Wednesday, February 27th to Saturday, March 2nd
  • Where: Greensboro Aquatics Center, Greensboro, NC
  • Champion: NC State Wolfpack
  • Live Results: here
  • Championship Central

Florida State senior Kanoa Kaleoaloha had some very impressive performances at the recent 2019 ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships. In Greensboro, Kaleoaloha won both the 100 fly (44.93) and 100 free (42.34), and swam a time in the ‘C’ final of the 50 free (19.25) that would have been good enough for 2nd overall in the ‘A’ final.

Despite entering the meet with the 6th-fastest seed time in the 50, Kaleoaloha tied for 24th in the prelims, requiring a swim-off. In the two-man race for the right to swim it again for team points in the finals, Kaleoaloha put up a blazing fast 19.40 to out-touch his competitor by a whopping 0.74. In the finals, Kaleoaloha improved his time again, posting a 19.25, which would have been fast enough for 2nd overall, behind only his Seminole teammate Will Pisani, who touched in 19.21.

Reported by Robert Gibbs.


  • Meet Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 41.41 – 2018
  • ACC Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 41.05 – 2018
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 42.63
  1. Kanoa Kaleoaloha (Florida State) – 42.34
  2. Blaise Vera (Pitt) – 42.37
  3. Justin Ress (NC State) – 42.41

Florida State senior Kanoa Kaleoaloha has had quite the week. He missed his turn in the prelims of the 50 free, and only made the C-final after winning a swim-off. That night he won that C-final with a time that would’ve finished 2nd in the A-final. Yesterday, he got under 45 seconds and won the 100 fly.

Tonight, he had the fastest split on the second 50, a 22.09, to storm home and win the 100 free A-final in 42.34, just 0.03s ahead of runner-up Blaise Vera of Pittsburgh.

It’s been a hard-fought meet with most swimmers having to go full-blast to make A-finals, and it was definitely reflected in tonight’s final, where Kaleoaloha was the only man in the entire field to go faster than he did this morning. Last year, Kaleoaloha finished 22nd with a time of 43.67.

However, the fastest time of the evening goes to another Seminole, Will Pisani, who won the B-final in 42.21, which would’ve been Kaleoaloha’s time by 0.13s.

100 FLY

  • Meet Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 44.79 – 2017
  • ACC Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 44.79 – 2017
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time – 45.86
  1. Kanoa Kaeloaloha (Florida State) – 44.93
  2. Coleman Stewart (NC State) – 45.09
  3. Noah Henlsey (NC State) – 45.33

When we spoke with FSU head coach Neal Studd last night, he suggested that Kanoa Kaleoaloha had a shot at breaking the 45-second mark in this event today, and sure enough, the Seminole did just that tonight, winning in a time of 44.93 that moves him ahead of Maxime Rooney for the #1 time in the country this season.

In the post-race interview, Kaeloaloha said that he had no clue where he was in relation to the rest of the field, but that he knew he hurt a lot so that “must be good.” Kaleoaloha was out in 20.89, putting him 2nd behind Virginia’s Bryce Keblish at that point, and closed in 24.04, the fastest in the field.

Top-seeded Coleman Stewart was near the front of the pack the whole way, but couldn’t quite catch Kaeloaloha, and ended up settling for 2nd, in 45.09. Teammate Noah Hensley knocked 0.44s off his time from this morning to take 3rd in 45.33.


  • Meet Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 2017 – 18.68
  • ACC Record – Ryan Held, NC State, 2017 – 18.56
  • Estimated NCAA Invite Time –19.35
  1. Will Pisani (FSU) – 19.21
  2. Andrej Barna (Louisville) – 19.27
  3. Justin Ress (NC State) – 19.29

Anything can happen in the 50 free, right? Florida State not only got the win in the A-final, but actually posted the fastest time in each of tonight’s three heats.

This morning, Kanoa Kaleoaloha only made it into the C-final after winning a swim-off. Tonight, he dropped a 19.25 to win the C-final, a time that…spoiler alert…would’ve finished 2nd in the A-final.

Next up, teammate Jakub Ksiazek took the B-final in 19.44.

Perhaps buoyed by his teammates’ success, FSU senior Will Pisani rocketed off the blocks at the start of the A-final, and looked like he had a narrow lead as the field flipped at the sole wall. Sure enough, he held off a tight field to win the A-final, despite going 0.04s slower than he did in prelims this morning.

Louisville’s Andrej Barna grabbed 2nd, just touching out top-seeded Justin Ress 19.27 to 19.29.

While victory may not have won the event, they certainly picked up the most points, with Ress plus the other three Wolfpack swimmers earning a total of 100 here.

Final Team Scores:

1. North Carolina State University 1396.5
2. Louisville, University of 1135.5
3. Virginia, University of 1108
4. VA Tech 820.5
5. Florida State University 819
6. Notre Dame, University of 687
7. Duke University 624
8. Georgia Institute of Technology 550
9. Pittsburgh, University of 508
10. North Carolina, University of, 388.5
11. University of Miami (Florida) 161
12. Boston College

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About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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