Kentucky v. NC State
- October 21, 2022
- Casey Aquatic Center, Raleigh, NC
- SCY (25 Yards)
- Full Results
- Women: #5 NC State – 172 v. #12 Kentucky – 126
- Men: #4 NC State – 188 v. Kentucky – 105
Once again, the depth of the NC State men was on full display as they rolled past Kentucky in their 2022-23 home opener.
Among that depth, Nyls Korstanje‘s performance in the 100 fly stood out. Swimming exhibition, the senior ripped a 44.95. That time would have placed 11th at last year’s NCAAs, where Korstanje finished fourth in 44.17. It’s a monster time for October, and stands up as one of the fastest times of the season. It’s also much faster than he was at this point last season; in October 2021, the Dutchman posted 46.41 and 46.24 in his two dual meets of the month.
Korstanje also fired off a 20.41 fly split on NC State’s winning 200 medley relay (1:25.38), and placed second in the 50 free (19.51) behind David Curtiss.
The Wolfpack men also went 1-4 in back-to-back events. First, Luke Miller led the way in the 200 freestyle with a 1:34.78. He won by over two seconds ahead of his teammates Michael Cotter (1:36.81), Bartosz Piszczorowicz (1:37.56), and Sam Hoover (1:38.18). Miller holds a lifetime best of 1:31.16 from his fourth place finish at 2022 NCAAs. Half of the men’s 200 free ‘A’ final won’t return this season, including national champions Drew Kibler and Matt Sates. The event should still be a competitive one, and Miller is beginning to look like one of the prime candidates for the 2023 title.
In the next event, the 100 back, it was freshman Quintin McCarty who led the sweep. McCarty took the win in 47.02, less than half a second off his 46.55 best. He earned the win easily ahead of Giovanni Izzo (48.51), Ryan Weaver (49.15), and Stephen Conrad (49.29).
Later in the meet, McCarty earned his second individual win with a 43.43 in the 100 freestyle. It’s still early, but the early returns for McCarty in Raleigh have been strong. In addition to his times here, he was just .09 seconds off his 50 free lifetime best with a 19.44 at NC State’s dual versus Tennessee.
For Kentucky, the highlight of the meet came in the first individual event. In just his second collegiate meet, freshman Levi Sandidge broke Kentucky’s school record in the 1000 free, hitting 8:57.81 to win the event. That brings the program record under 9 minutes for the first time, as the previous mark stood at 9:01.42, set by Adam Rosipal in 2021. It’s also a lifetime best for Sandidge, whose former best was a 8:58.77.
Sandidge followed up by pulling out a narrow victory in the 500 free. He eked out the win ahead of Will Gallant, 4:26.25 to 4:26.41. He was just under two seconds off his personal best, which sits at 4:24.50. He also raced the 200 IM, where he took fourth in 1:53.70, 1.20 seconds off his best.
Fifth-year Mason Wilby, who earned all of Kentucky’s 11 2022 NCAA points, also grabbed an individual win. He earned the full nine points in the 200 IM with a 1:49.18. It was NC State’s Hoover who touched first in 1:48.96, but he was swimming exhibition.
Junior Abby Arens put on a show in the women’s meet, capturing three individual event wins. She got started with a win in the 200 fly, posting a 1:55.65, only .23 seconds off her own pool record and winning by almost three seconds. Arens holds a lifetime best of 1:54.11 from 2022 ACCs, but this time is faster than the 1:56.20 she went at last year’s NCAAs. Had she gone her best, she would have landed in the ‘B’ final and ultimately 14th. Her early season speed is a good sign for the Pack, as they’ll need those points to stay competitive with a charging Alabama team. Last season in October, Arens put up a pair of 1:56-lows, so this is an improvement on those as well.
Just two events later, Arens was back, taking the win in the 100 free in 49.33. That led a sweep of the Wolfpack women’s own, as Abbey Webb and Katherine Helms took second and third. Finally, Arens won the 200 IM, clocking 1:58.35. She was the only woman in the field under the 2:00 mark.
The backstroke duo of fifth-year Emma Muzzy and freshman Kennedy Noble also had a strong day, going 1-2 in both the 100 and 200 back. It was Muzzy who earned the win in both events, in 53.45 and 1:55.34, respectively. Noble was just behind in 53.75 and 1:56.23.
Muzzy and Noble hold similar lifetime bests in the 100 back, with Noble just faster in 51.51 compared to Muzzy’s 51.72. Muzzy tied for 13th at NCAAs, and 51.51 would have put Noble 12th. In the 200, Muzzy took 7th, and Noble’s best of 1:51.91 would have taken 11th. That’s a powerful pair that could make some serious noise at NCAAs and pick up more valuable points for NC State.
Notably, NC State’s Worlds medalist and NCAA 100 back champion Katharine Berkoff did not compete.
The Kentucky women picked up two individual event wins on the day. They came in the back-to-back events of the 200 breast and 500 free. It was Gillian Davey who took the win in the breaststroke, posting 2:11.30 and touching almost a second ahead of Andrea Podmanikova. Then, it was Izzy Gati‘s turn to shine. Like the men’s race, the women’s 500 was quite competitive with the fifth-year Gati ultimately took the win in 4:50.31 ahead of Brooke Travis‘ 4:50.74. It’s a significant improvement on October 2021 for Gati, who went 4:56.64 this time last year.
NC State will take a break from dual meet action as their next meet is their annual invitational from November 17-19. The Wildcats face SEC foes Texas A&M for a dual on November 3rd.