North Carolina State University owned the sprint races in their regular season finale at home against Virginia. That was enough for the men to power away from the Cavaliers, but the Wolfpack women dropped the meet to a hard-charging Virginia squad.
NC State won 157-141 on the men’s side, while Virginia took home a 178.5-115.5 women’s decision.
The Wolfpack won every race of 50 and 100 yards, dropping only 6 events on the way to a decisive season-closing victory. Jonathan Boffa won a pair of races, pacing the 200 free (1:37.72) and 100 free (44.80), both events that were big wins point-wise for NC State. Simonas Bilis denied Boffa his third win in the 50 free 20.41 to 20.68, but the two still combined with Barrett Miesfeld to sweep the top three spots.
Miesfeld won his own event, the 100 fly, late in the meet, going 47.10 to crush the field. The other 100-yard races went to NC State’s Ian Bishop (100 breast, 54.75) and Andreas Schiellerup (100 back, 48.46).
Virginia showed toughness in the distance races. Bradley Phillips went 9:15.70 in the 1000 free, nipping teammate Jan Daniec by .06 and leading a 1-2-3 Cavalier charge. Phillips returned late in the meet for a 4:28.68 win in the 500 free, another 1-2 punch with Daniec.
The other double winner for Virginia was diver JB Kolod, who swept the boards, scoring 339.00 on 1-meter and 386.02 on 3-meter.
A benefit to NC State were the sprint-based relays. Both events were 200 yard distances, and the Wolfpack won both. The 200 medley went 1:28.60 led by Miesfeld’s 20.80 butterfly split. To close the meet, NC State went 1:19.60 for a runaway 200 free relay win, spurred on by 19.7s from Boffa and Schiellerup.
The Wolfpack did make a foray into some longer race victories as Christian McCurdy was outstanding in the 200 fly and 400 IM. He went 1:45.74 to run away with the 200 fly by three seconds, then won the 400 IM in 3:50.58, another three-plus second victory.
Other event winners were Virginia’s Luke Papendick (200 back, 1:45.76) and Yannick Kaeser (200 breast, 2:00.84).
Virginia won 10 events on the women’s side in a mirror image of the NC State men: the Cavaliers won every individual race 200 yards and above.
Leah Smith spearheaded the effort, winning the 1000 (9:45.66) and 500 (4:47.56) freestyles virtually unchallenged. Shaun Casey was another big Virginia winner. She touched out teammate Alison Haulsee 2:00.61 to 2:00.80 in the 200 fly, then returned to win the 400 IM in 4:20.57.
Of course, Virginia’s superstar backstroker Courtney Bartholomew was a major factor herself, swimming away with both backstroke wins with times of 53.54 and 1:56.48.
The Cavaliers also swept the diving events. Rebecca Corbett (271.05 on 1-meter) and Katherine Warburg (290.63 on 3-meter) combined to accomplish that feat and stake Virginia to a big lead early
NC State did sweep the relays to help keep things close. The 200 medley team went 1:40.51 to touch out Virginia by three tenths; that was thanks to splits of 23.7 from butterflyer Ashlyn Koletic and 22.5 from anchor Riki Bonnema.
The 200 free relay team went 1:30.86 for a blowout win to end the night; Natalie Labonge was 22.5 swimming third on that relay.
Bonnema won the open 50 for NC State with a dominating 23.12. Koletic was second in 23.23. Hannah Freyman picked up where Bonnema left off by winning the very next swimming event, the 100 free, in 50.89.
The Wolfpack also took the 100 breast (Kayla Brumbaum in 1:02.68) and 100 fly (Zina Grogg in 54.82).
Other event winners for Virginia were Rachel Naurath in the 200 free (1:50.21) and Laura Simon in the 200 breast (2:16.29).