NC State Men Return Two 2022 NCAA Qualifiers as 5th Years This Season

NC State senior men Rafal Kusto and Giovanni Izzo have announced they will be staying at NC State to use their COVID-19 fifth year of eligibility.

This past season, Kusto helped the NC State men to the 2022 ACC Championship title. He scored 43 individual points at ACCs as he finished seventh in the 200 breast (1:53.71) and ninth in the 100 breast (51.86). Both of those were personal best times. He also competed in the 50 free swimming a 20.45 to finish 52nd.

Kusto went on to compete at 2022 NCAAs. There he swam in prelims of the 100 breaststroke (34th, 52.83) and the 200 breaststroke (45th, 1:56.59). He also was key to NC State’s medley relays swimming the breaststroke legs. The team’s 200 medley relay finished tied for third and their 400 medley relay finished fifth. Both relays set NC State school records in the process.

Freshman Senior
100 Breast 53.55 51.86
200 Breast 1:56.22 1:53.71

As seen above, Kusto has improved in his first four years while at NC State. Kusto is originally from Lublin, Poland so he was new to the yards format when he first arrived.

Also returning is Izzo who scored 54 individual points at the 2022 ACC Championships. Izzo made finals in all three of his individual events. There he finished third in the 200 IM (1:42.97), 12th in the 100 fly (46.07), and 15th in the 100 back (46.69). Notably, his 200 IM was a best time.

Izzo went on to swim at NCAAs where he swam in prelims of the 100 back, 100 free, and 200 IM. He finished 23th in the 100 back (45.58), 33rd in the 100 free (42.50), and 34th in the 200 IM (1:43.93). His 100 free and 100 back times were personal best times.

Freshman Senior
200 IM N/A 1:42.97
100 Free 42.95 42.5
100 Back 47.15 45.58
100 Fly 45.92 46.07

As seen above, Izzo has also improved in his time at NC State. Most notably, Izzo never competed in the 200 IM until his senior season.

The return of Izzo and Kusto is huge for NC State as they look to defend their ACC Championship title and look to improve upon their fourth place finish at 2022 NCAAs. After having 14 individual swimmers qualify for NCAAs in 2021, the NC State men had 18 swimmers invited to NCAAs this past season. The Wolfpack men ran into the problem of having too many qualifiers, therefore, having to scratch a swimmer for NCAAs.

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Condors Fan
1 month ago

Rafal Kusto is from Lubań (town in southwestern part of Poland), not Lublin. (

1 month ago

Some of that Ponti money getting reallocated on the men’s side.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
1 month ago

How do 5th years work? Are they still doing classes or just swimming?

Reply to  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
1 month ago

If they’re working towards finishing their undergrad they can sometimes be enrolled less than full-time, but that would typically coincide with a December graduation and not completing another full year. Seems like most 5th years are pursuing master’s degrees.

Reply to  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
1 month ago

They have to be enrolled full time (or close to it) in an academic program which can be undergraduate or graduate.

1 month ago

Seems like the women returning are the bigger story. Did we already know about them, or are they getting a separate write-up?

Reply to  Willswim
1 month ago

Anya has a list of about 40 swimmers returning for 5th years next season to work through. We could put them all in one article, but that wouldn’t really be as much fun, would it?

We’ll summarize at the end, of course.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Sounds good, looking forward to consuming all the NCAA swimming buzz you can throw at us.

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Government & Law and Economics at Lafayette College. There she is …

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