Florida State’s Neal Studd: “I Think We’re a Much More Balanced Team” (Video)

2020 ACC MEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • When: Wednesday, February 26th to Saturday, February 29th 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, 5th-straight) (results)
  • Streaming: ACC Network
  • Championship Central: Here
  • Detailed Timeline: Here
  • Psych Sheets: Here
  • Live Results

After two nights of swimming-only competition at the Greensboro Aquatic Center–as well as a vital diving competition that wrapped up last week–the Florida State Seminoles are sitting third in the overall team standings at the 2020 Men’s ACC Swimming & Diving Championships. At the conclusion of Thursday’s finals session, FSU was hunkered between the University of Virginia and the University of Louisville in the team standings with two full days of competition to go–frontrunner NC State, meanwhile, led UVA by 50 points.

The early leg-up the Seminoles received from diving might appear to give them only a temporary advantage, but FSU’s swimmers are especially solid this year. While the Seminoles have conceded some of their early diving points to perennial ACC powerhouse Virginia, the Tallahassee-based Seminoles have plenty of firepower remaining to tip the scales back towards their favor.

With two more days of swimming remaining every team’s final standing is uncertain, however, a look at Swimulator rankings shows Florida State finishing 2nd in the team championship, indicating the Seminoles might be in for a comeback over UVA, who currently sits second.

Reported by Robert Gibbs.

Thursday

200 FREE RELAY – TIMED FINALS

  • ACC Championships record – 1:15.34, NC State, 2018
  • ACC record – 1:14.50, NC State, 2018
  • 2019 champion – Florida State, 1:15.81
  1. Florida State – 1:16.69
  2. Louisville – 1:16.94
  3. NC State – 1:17.70

Florida State had six men in the finals of the 50 free. The one with the slowest time in the individual 50 free tonight proved to be the relay hero.

From the get-go, we expected this to be a battle between NC State, Louisville, and Florida State, and a 19.19 leadoff leg by Korstanje put the Wolfpack in the lead early. A 19.09 2nd leg by Andrej Barna moved Louisville into the lead, and they held that as the anchor legs dove in. Max McCusker, who finished 21st individually tonight with a 19.75, dove in and split 18.93, running down Louisville’s anchor Tanner Cummings to give FSU its 2nd-straight victory in this event, touching in 1:16.69 to Louisville’s 1:16.94.

Notably, Louisville came within a whisker of drawing a relay disqualification for the second straight night row, as Cummings’ reaction time was -0.01s, considered to be within the margin of error and therefore not drawing an automatic DQ, but cutting it close.

NC State seemed to be focusing on safe relay starts and ended up 3rd in 1:17.70. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, actually put up the 4th-fastest time of the night while swimming in the initial heat, also slipping under the NCAA ‘B’ cut with a 1:17.84. Tommy Hallock split under 19 for the second straight tonight, swimming the 2nd leg in 18.83.

UNC (1:17.88) and Virginia (1:17.93) were just over the NCAA ‘B’ cut of 1:17.86. Tyler Hill led the Tar Heels with a 18.97 split on the second leg, while UVA got a 19.06 split by August Lamb.

Boston College DQ’d due to an early takeoff by the anchor leg. Miami scoring 197 diving points already meant that BC was unlikely to pass them in the team totals, given that they were only likely to score a handful of individual points, but a relay DQ would seem to end whatever hope they had.

SCORES THROUGH DAY 2 (INCLUDING ALL DIVING POINTS)

  1. NC State – 488
  2. Virginia – 438
  3. Florida State – 420.5
  4. Louisville – 393
  5. Virginia Tech – 359
  6. North Carolina – 315
  7. Notre Dame – 294.5
  8. Duke – 258
  9. Pitt – 223
  10. Georgia Tech – 216
  11. Miami (diving only) – 197
  12. Boston College – 66

Wednesday

200 MEDLEY RELAY – TIMED FINALS

  • ACC championship record – 1:22.37, NC State (2019)
  • ACC record – 1:22.37, NC State (2019)
  • 2019 champion – NC State (1:22.37)
  1. NC State – 1:24.13
  2. Florida State – 1:24.51
  3. Georgia Tech – 1:24.95

We’re not about mincing words here, and this was not a particularly fast event, as only three teams hit this year’s NCAA ‘B’ cut. NC State won with a 1:24.13, almost two seconds slower than their winning time of 1:22.37 from last year. Coleman Stewart led off in 20.83, fairly in line with his 20.75 leadoff last year, Rafal Kusto then split 24.30 on breast, Luke Sobolewski put up a 20.38 fly split, then Nyls Korstanje brought it home in 18.62. NC State has now won this event six of the last seven years, despite only Stewart and Korstanje returning from last year’s team, and Korstanje switching to free after splitting 19.81 on the fly leg last year.

Florida State took 2nd. Senior Griffin Alaniz led off in 21.13 to put FSU in 3rd off the bat, then they got a pair of strong legs in the middle of the race from Izaak Bastian (23.93) and Max McCusker (20.24) before Jakub Ksiazek anchored in 19.21 to touch in 1:24.51. While that’s nearly a second slower than their time from last year, only Bastian returns from their 2019 relay, and everyone other than Alaniz are sophomores.

The next four teams all finished between 1:24.95 and 1:25.03, with three of those four teams racing each other in the second heat. Georgia Tech came out on top, thanks large to Caio Pumputis‘s 23.77 breast split and a 19.22 anchor by Corben Miles.

UVA took 4th in 1:24.98, a tantalizing 0.01s off the NCAA ‘B’ cut, with Keefer Barnum splitting 23.63 on breast (on an as-close-as-you can 0.00s reaction time) and freshman August Lamb anchoring in 19.08. Backstroker Joe Clark split 21.75 after going 21.25 last year. On the positive side for the Cavaliers, that’s a solid split from Lamb and fellow freshman Max Edwards (20.52), promising signs for a freshman class that we ranked 3rd in the nation (NC State’s was 2nd).

Pitt and Virginia Tech tied for 5th in 1:25.03. Pitt got a 20.03 fly leg by speedster Blaise Vera. Senior Luke Smutny led off in 21.63, the fastest 50 back time in Pitt history. Virginia Tech won thad he first heat with a time of 1:25.03 with a strong back half, as Blake Manoff split 20.21 on the fly leg and Tommy Hallock anchored in 18.49.

Although in different heats, Notre Dame finished just ahead of UNC for 7th, 1:25.84 to 1:25.94. Duke (1:26.34) and Boston College (1:30.09) finished 9th and 10th.

Louisville, the 2018 champion in this event and last year’s runner-up, actually touched first by a wide margin, but was disqualified for an early takeoff by the anchor. Mitchell Whyte led off in 20.82, Evgenii Somov split 23.26 on breast, and Nick Albiero went 19.84 on the fly leg. All of those times were the fastest in the field. Mihalis Deliyiannis split 18.48 on the anchor leg, but drew the disqualification with an -0.08s reaction time. Even adding a few tenths onto that for a safe start would’ve given Louisville a time well under 1:23 and a very comfortable win. That DQ could cost Louisville big time in what should be a race for 2nd place against UVA.

Like we said, this race was much slower than last year. NC State was the only team under the ‘A’ standard, whereas last year four teams were under that cut, and another three teams finished under the ‘B’ cut.

800 FREE RELAY – TIMED FINALS

  • ACC championship record – 6:09.82, NC State (2017)
  • ACC record – 6:05.31, NC State (2018)
  • 2019 champion – Louisville (6:11.84)
  1. Louisville – 6:12.02
  2. NC State – 6:14.98
  3. Florida State – 6:15.94

Louisville came back from the disqualification to win this event for the second year in a row, touching first by nearly three seconds with a time of 6:12.02. The Cardinals were a model of consistency, with all four men splitting between 1:32.4 and 1:33.4, and all relation exchanges between 0.10s and 0.19s. Nick Albiero led off with a 1:32.45 to put them in the lead from the get-go. Colton Paulson split 1:32.87 on the 2nd leg, and Andrej Barna and Sam Steele brought it home in 1:33.29 and 1:33.41, respectively.

NC State took 2nd in 6:14.98. Eric Knowles led off in 1:34.01, followed by Coleman Stewart (1:33.06), Hunter Tapp (1:33.06), then Noah Hensley (1:33.58). Hensley was the only returner from last year’s relay, where he split 1:34.00 and NC State finished 4th in 6:16.48.

Florida State jumped up two spots from last year’s rankings to take 3rd in 6:15.94. Freshman Peter Varjasi led off in 1:32.76 to put the Seminoles in 2nd early on. Jakub Ksiazek split 1:35.71, almost two seconds off his 1:33.83 anchor from last year, then another freshman, Mohamed Ghaffari went 1:33.48 on the 3rd leg, and Vladimir Stefanik anchored in 1:33.99. FSU’s time tonight was over two seconds faster than last year’s 5th place time of 6:18.35.

This was a fairly tight field, with less than a second separating 3rd place from 6th. Virginia Tech used a strong front half by Blake Manoff (1:33.69 leadoff) and Lane Stone (1:33.36) to take 4th in 6:16.36. UVA got three 1:34s, plus a 1:33.79 split by Sam Schilling, taking 4th in 6:16.68.  Notre Dame took 6th in 6:16.86, with anchor Zach Yeadon putting up the fastest split in the field with a 1:32.53. All of the top six teams were under the NCAA ‘A’ cut.

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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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