After a grueling fall dual meet schedule, there appears to be a mixed bag of rest for the North Carolina State Wolfpack at this weekend’s Nike Cup Invitational, hosted by North Carolina.
One swimmer, though, who’s put his best foot forward is sophomore Hennessey Stuart, who nailed down his plans for March already with an NCAA Automatic Qualifying Time in the men’s 200 yard backstroke on Saturday morning.
Stuart swam a 1:40.22 to dominate the morning heats of the race and clear the “A” time standard by .11 seconds.
The second qualifier through to finals was UNC’s Nic Graesser, who generally specializes more in the 100 back, in 1:47.12.
The Wolfpack dominated the top seeds through the first few races of the morning session, though with no long course/short course split at this meet as we’ve seen across the country, there’s less pressure to push in the morning sessions in Chapel Hill.
Alexia Zevnik led the way in the women’s 200 backstroke with a 1:53.66, but lurking as the 4th qualifier is UNC’s Hellen Moffitt (1:58.78), who ranked 2nd in the ACC in this event coming into the weekend.
Zevnik came back shortly thereafter and took the second position in the women’s 100 free in 49.08, behind teammate Riki Bonnema (48.89).
Other Top Qualifiers on Day 3:
- Ryan Held led the men’s 100 free in 42.32, with his teammate Joe Bonk qualifying 2nd in 43.36. Duke’s Sean Tate palced 3rd in 44.47.
- NC State’s Kayla Brumbaum swam 2:11.74 in the women’s 200 breaststroke to lead the way, followed by East Carolina’s school record holder Vendela Norrman (2:14.39).
- Duke’s Victor Chen led the way in the men’s 200 breaststroke in 1:56.91, which is his season-best by more than 6 seconds. His teammate Peter Kropp scratched the race.
- Duke took back-to-back top qualifiers when Isa Paez led the women’s 200 fly heats in 1:57.12 She’ll be sided by her teammate Anna Quinn (1:58.84) and Yale’s Sydney Hirschi (1:59.24) in finals.
- North Carolina All-American Ben Colley led the men’s 200 fly prelims in 1:46.70. The top 5, all closely bunched, were under the NCAA “B” standard.