Lilly King, Mallory Comerford, Zach Apple and Justin Ress are among the key names highlighting rosters for the 2018 ACC/Big Ten Challenge, pitting the two major NCAA conferences against one another in a dual meet style setting.
Each school is represented by at least two men and two women on the conference all-star roster. The meet will take place on Nov. 10-11 at Purdue University.
The ACC lineup features world champ Comerford among 11 Louisville athletes: 5 male swimmers, 5 female swimmers and a female diver. NC State and Virginia lead with 12 total athletes: 5 male and 5 female swimmers apiece, with two divers from each program as well.
ACC Roster by School
The Big Ten lineup is led by world record-holder King of Indiana, one of 13 Hoosiers on the squad. Indiana, Ohio State and Minnesota all hit 13 total athletes (with the help of divers). Ohio State is led by Paul DeLakis on the men’s side. Minnesota has Bowen Becker to lead its men’s group and Indiana’s lineup features transfer Zach Apple.
Big Ten Roster by School
Though we don’t know who will swim what as of yet, a few event disciplines already look to have some outstanding Big Ten vs ACC matchups:
- Women’s Mid-Sprint free: Louisville’s Mallory Comerford vs Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey is always an explosive show. Watch the 100 and 200 frees for that battle.
- Women’s backstrokes: Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson should be in the mix for both backstroke titles, but she’ll have to fight Virginia’s Megan Moroney (ranked 2nd in the NCAA this season) in the 200 and NC State’s Elise Haan (4th at NCAAs last year) in the 100.
- Women’s butterfly: Louisville’s Grace Oglesby finished in the top 8 in both butterfly races at NCAAs last year, but Michigan freshman Maggie MacNeil has been on fire this fall with the nation’s top time in the 100. The 200 could be a great battle between Oglesby and another Wolverine: Vanessa Krause, who finished one spot behind Oglesby at NCAAs.
- Men’s sprints: maybe the marquee matchup of the meet: it’s NC State’s Justin Ress vs Indiana’s Zach Apple, two of the best freestylers in the nation from the 50 up to the 200 free. Ress could swim backstroke instead, but let’s be honest: we’re all hoping to get a preview of the battle for the NCAA crown in at least the 100 and 200 frees. Bowen Becker (the fastest returning 50 freestyler nationwide) is also in the mix for Minnesota.
- Men’s distance: Notre Dame freshman Zach Yeadon was a revelation last year, and only appears to be getting better in his sophomore campaign. He matches up with Michigan’s Felix Auboeck, who was 2nd at NCAAs in both the 500 and the mile.
- Vazaios vs Lanza: They don’t exactly swim one discipline, but NC State’s Andreas Vazaois matched up with Indiana’s Vini Lanza twice at NCAAs. Vazaios was 2nd in the 200 IM and won the 200 fly, while Lanza was 6th in the IM and 3rd in the fly.
- Men’s butterfly: Lanza and NC State’s Coleman Stewart are currently tied for the NCAA lead in the 100 fly at 47.14. That should be an amazing showdown to complement a potential Lanza-Vazaios battle in the 200 fly. Louisville’s tough duo of Nicholas Albiero and Zach Harting should make both butterfly races into can’t-miss battles across the pool.