NC State Men Hold Off North Carolina To Open Up Season

by Robert Gibbs 12

November 07th, 2020 ACC, College, News, Previews & Recaps

North Carolina v NC State

  • Saturday, November 7, 2020
  • Koury Natatorium, Chapel Hill, NC
  • SCY
  • Dual Meet Format
  • Score: NC State 212.5, UNC 201.5

Wrapping up a two-meet that began yesterday when the women’s teams squared off, the NC State men traveled to Chapel Hill today to face ACC rivals North Carolina. While the Tar Heel men claimed a fair share of event wins, unlike the women yesterday, even winning both relays, the Wolfpack ultimately finished on top, 212.5-201.5.

Hunter Tapp swept the shortest three freestyle events, going 20.51/44.16/1:10.85 in the 50/100/150 free. With ACC champion Nyls Korstanje sitting out this year, Tapp is NC State’s highest returning finisher in the 100 free from the 2020 ACCs, where he took 13th.

Veteran Eric Knowles and freshman Mikey Moore managed to even split the three IM events. The duo touched simultaneously in the 100 IM (51.51), while Moore took the 200 IM in 1:50.51 and Knowles took the 300 IM in 2:52.79.

John Healy also doubled for the Wolfpack, taking the 100 and 150 backstrokes in 49.50 and 1:18.13. Distance ace Ross Dant won the 600 free in 5:22.33, while Zach Brown took the 150 fly in 1:16.51.

NC State was noticeably missing a lot of its international contingent, including Erge Gezmis, Giovanni Izzo, and Kacper Stowkowski. All three are currently listed on the Wolfpack’s roster, but appear to currently be training in their respective home countries.

UNC got cranking out of the gate, taking the 200 medley relay in 1:27.73, with a 24.09 breaststroke by Valdas Abaliksta the strongest split.

Abaliksta went on to lead the Tar Heels with three individual victories, sweeping the 50/100/150 breaststroke events with times of 24.85/54.90/1:26.47. Abaliksta finished 2nd in the 100 breast at the 2020 ACC Championships with a time of 52.00.

Dimitrios Dimitriou toppled Dant in the other two freestyle events, takin the 400 free in in 3:30.46 and the 200 free in 1:40.21. Freshman Boyd Poelke made a splash in his collegiate debut, going 21.81/47.76 to win the 50 and 100 fly events. That’s Poelke’s 2nd-fastest time ever in the 100 fly, and barely half a second off of his lifetime best. Diver Anton Down-Jenkins swept the 1m and 3m events on the boards, while Tucker Burhans won the 50 back in 22.37.

The Tar Heels closed out the day with a victory in the 200 free relay, holding off the Wolfpack to win 1:21.51 to 1:21.62.

NC State Release

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – NC State’s fourth-ranked men’s swimming and diving squad wrapped up a perfect opening weekend as it defeated No. 24 North Carolina by a 212.5-201.5 score on Saturday.

In total, the Pack men posted the fastest time in 10 swimming events, including all three individual medley races that were contested. Sophomore Hunter Tapp led the way with individual victories in three events, with John Healy, Eric Knowles and Michael Moore also completing multi-win outings.

Saturday marked the first collegiate action in the pool for both teams since the 2020 ACC Championship meet, and the squads swam an adjusted slate of events to get back in the swing of things.

Sprint freestyler Tapp put on a show as he touched first in the 50-yard (20.51), 100-yard (44.16) and 150-yard (1:10.85) events. Healy put together a pair of wins of his own in the 100-yard (49.50) and 150-yard (1:18.13) backstroke races.

The Pack’s IM crew continued to show off its strength as it posted the top three times in the 200-yard race. Moore led the way in 1:50.51, followed by Knowles (1:50.73), Conall Monahan (1:51.58) and Zachary Cram (1:53.12). Knowles and Moore also tied for first in the 100-yard individual medley with times of 51.51, and Knowles added a victory in the 300-yard race as well (2:52.79).

Ross Dant (600-yard freestyle, 5:22.33) and Zach Brown (150-yard butterfly, 1:16.51) also earned top finishes on the day.

Wolfpack divers Patrick O’Brien and Matt Sexton opened their seasons, with O’Brien earning a third-place finish and an NCAA Zones cut on three-meter (326.10).

“I think we had a solid outing over the two days,” said head diving coach Yahya Radman. “On the women’s side, the long break in competition showed, but a lot of promise is also very evident, which I’m excited to see unfold throughout the season. I’m very proud of how the men competed and took a lot of what we’ve been working on and applied it in today’s competition. A special shout out goes to Patrick for earning his first Zones cut so early in the season against such a formidable rival. I think and I feel that we are in for a very exciting year.”

The remainder of NC State’s 2020-21 slate will be released at a later date.

• 200 medley relay: Hamlet, Moranetz, Sobolewski, Henderson (2nd place – 1:28.53)
• 600 freestyle: Ross Dant (1st place – 5:22.33)
• 50 butterfly: Luke Sobolewski (2nd place – 21.93)
• 50 backstroke: Thomas Hamlet (2nd place – 22.64)
• 50 breaststroke: Jack Moranetz (3rd place – 25.75)
• 50 freestyle: Hunter Tapp (1st place – 20.51)
• 100 IM: Eric Knowles/Michael Moore (1st place – 51.51)
• 100 butterfly: Noah Henderson (2nd place – 47.85)
• 100 backstroke: John Healy (1st place – 49.50)
• 100 breaststroke: Jack Moranetz (3rd place – 55.73)
• 100 freestyle: Hunter Tapp (1st place – 44.16)
• 200 IM: Michael Moore (1st place – 1:50.51)
• 400 freestyle: Ross Dant (2nd place – 3:30.71)
• 150 butterfly: Zach Brown (1st place – 1:16.51)
• 150 backstroke: John Healy (1st place – 1:18.13)
• 150 breaststroke: Jack Moranetz (2nd place – 1:27.43)
• 150 freestyle: Hunter Tapp (1st place – 1:10.85)
• 300 IM: Eric Knowles (1st place – 2:52.79)
• 200 freestyle: Ross Dant (2nd place – 1:40.50)
• 200 freestyle relay: Sobolewski, Tapp, Miller, Knowles (2nd place – 1:21.62)
• One-meter: Patrick O’Brien (4th place – 264.60)
• Three-meter: Patrick O’Brien (3rd place – 326.10)

North Carolina Release

CHAPEL HILL – North Carolina men’s swimming and diving faced off against NC State Saturday morning at Koury Natatorium. The meet was a continuation of the Tar Heels’ first dual meet of the 2020-21 season, which began Friday evening with the women’s competition. The Wolfpack edged out the Tar Heels by a final score of 212.5-201.5.

“We were racing one of the best teams in the country and almost peeked out a win. We fell a little short at the end, but for us, it’s a big growth moment for our program to be as competitive as we were today and to win as many races as we did,” said head coach Mark Gangloff.

“We are a much more well-rounded team… Last year, there were events that we were weak in, but this year, I think that we are really solid in every single event, which allows us to be competitive.”

In the first race of the meet, Carolina’s 200-yard medley relay of Tucker Burhans, Valdas Abaliksta, Boyd Poelke and Tyler Hill (1:27.73) edged out NC State by less than a second, setting a competitive tone for the rest of the morning.

The Tar Heels continued the trend of victories by a tight margin. Poelke placed first in the 50-yard butterfly (21.81) and 100-yard butterfly (47.76), and Burhans finished first in the 50-yard backstroke (22.37). Abaliksta and Jacob Rauch tag-teamed first and second in both the 50-yard breaststroke (24.85, 25.16) and the 100-yard breaststroke (54.90, 55.35).

Further, Hill and Tomas Sungaila secured second and third in the 50-yard freestyle (20.56, 20.72), and Sungaila and Koenigsperger pulled off second and third in the 100-yard freestyle (45.40, 45.42).

Later in the meet, Dimitrios Dimitriou out-touched an NCSU competitor to win first in the 400-yard freestyle (3:30.46). Dimitriou also placed first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:40.21), wrapping up the individual events on a high note for the Tar Heels.

To end the meet, Carolina closed out another competitive relay with Coan, Hill, Koenigsperger and Sungaila taking first in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:21.51). With this strong finish, the Tar Heels only fell to the Wolfpack by a slim margin of 11 points.

Men’s diving competed well, especially with the new additions of transfer Anton Down-Jenkins and freshman Conor Watling. Down-Jenkins took first the 1-meter (379.88) and 3-meter diving (396.00), and Alex Hart secured second in both events (340.65, 357.38). Conor Watling finished third in the 1-meter (273.00), which only allowed NCSU one spot on the podium the entire competition.

“It’s been a long beginning of the season, but we’re finally able to compete, and we’re really excited. It was fun to see them performing at a high level,” said Yaidel Gamboa, the head diving coach for the Tar Heels.

“I think the boys are doing great every day, they’re training really hard. Being able to get out and compete today is really going to motivate and help them to keep going and keep their mind on the big goal at the end of the season.”

North Carolina will travel to Greensboro, N.C. on November 13 to participate in the U.S. Open before facing off against the University of South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, S.C. on November 14.

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3 years ago

NC ST had a dude win the 100 at ACC, in addition to their 13th place guy.

Reply to  Robert Gibbs
3 years ago

ah gotcha, didn’t realize he wasn’t coming either

3 years ago

Once again, NC State has no breaststroker…

NC Fan
Reply to  Yup
3 years ago

Is Kusto still in Poland or just didn’t swim?

3 years ago

1:27 to open the medley relay had to be pretty eye opening across the board.

Reply to  Heine
3 years ago

The word you’re looking for is ‘solid’

1:27 isn’t THAT fast.

Reply to  Swimmin85
3 years ago

I’m thinking more unexpected

3 years ago

NC State is looking mighty weak without its international group. Are they joining mid season?

If not, they will be fighting for 3rd place at the ACC after Louisville and UVA. Maybe even behind VT.

Go Horns
Reply to  Swimmin85
3 years ago

Yes, generally unimpressive performance.

Dawg Dad
Reply to  Swimmin85
3 years ago

Gezmis is listed on the Greensboro psych sheet. Unsure about the others.

NC Fan
Reply to  Swimmin85
3 years ago

Rafal Kustos was another State international missing. If none of them get back to the States and with Norgaard deferring a year, it could be a lean year in Raleigh without the Europeans. Scary though if all of them stay for an extra year with the added eligibility. Guess this year may be the sacrifice for a fun few next years.

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