Pitt Posts Highest ACC Points Tally With 513 In Program History

by SwimSwam 12

March 02nd, 2017 AAC, College

Pitt men’s swimming concluded the ACC Championships Thursday at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center as the Panthers finished the meet in 10th place with 513 team points, setting a new Pitt men’s swimming & diving record for highest team tally by over 100 points.

“This was a really memorable meet for our team, and I’m very happy that the seniors finished with such a successful and fun experience,” Pitt first-year head coach John Hargis said. “This was an important step forward for our program. The heart and toughness we showed allowed us to compete all week right with the best in the ACC, and it was great to see so many records broken and memories made.”

After a week of numerous finals appearances and Pitt school records, the final day of the ACC men’s meet was no different for the Panthers as six swimmers advanced to the evening’s finals and two more school records dramatically dropped.

Sophomore distance swimmer Aaron Sett was the first record-setting Panther on Thursday, setting a new Pitt record in the 1,650-yard free with a time of 15:11.65 to break the previous 2002 school standard held by Eric Limkemann. Sett’s ninth-place finish in the ACC freestyle mile was his second top-10 swim of the week, following his eighth-place swim in the 500 free that also resulted in a Pitt record.

Freshman Eben Vorster tallied a top-10 finish of his own for the Panthers with a new Pitt record by finishing as the runner-up in the ACC’s 200 fly B Final with a time of 1:44.58. Vorster’s 10th-place swim in the event broke Martin Vogel’s previous school record from 2014 and earned Pitt its sixth top-10 individual placement of the meet, which was two more than the Panthers amassed at their previous three ACC Championships combined.

Pitt’s other finalists were highlighted by 200 breast consolation B finalist Zach Lierley, who finished 16th with a time of 1:58.26. In the bonus C finals, Henrique Machado placed 21st in the 200 back by touching in 1:45.45, Gabe Larson took 18th (1:58.87) and Haden Calegan earned 23rd (2:00.18) in the 200 breast andLuke Smutny secured a 20th-place finish in the 200 fly in 1:46.90.

Senior Scott Simmer also tallied for the Panthers in the 1650 free, finishing 19th in 15:29.52.

In the meet’s last event, the 400 freestyle relay, Brian Lovasik, Henrique Machado, Eben Vorster and Gabe Larson placed ninth with a time of 2:55.93, just .06 seconds off the school record from 2002.

Pitt’s other swims on the final day of ACCs in Atlanta included Spencer Gray taking 28th in the 1650 free with a time of 16:02.96, Kohle Kerchner also placing 28th in the 200 back by touching in 1:48.66 and Brian Lovasik (32nd, 44.28) and Tommy Cestare (45th, 46.24) competing in the 100 free. Also, the group of Brian Ramsey (26th, 2:00.45), Boris Kulizhnikov (27th, 2:00.80), Nick Stachel (29th, 2:01.89) and Samy Helmbacher (30th, 2:02.21) just missed out on qualifying for the 200 breast finals and Jake Tovey (27th, 1:47.87) narrowly missed the 200 fly finals.

The Panthers finished the 2017 ACC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships with 11 school records, six swimming top-10 finishes, four diving top-10 efforts by Dominic Giordano and Joe Ference two weeks ago and by far Pitt’s highest-ever point total at ACCs in its four-year history in the conference.

Pitt’s 168-point improvement on last year’s ACC team tally of 345 was the second-biggest increase in the league, behind only this year’s bronze medalist team, Notre Dame. North Carolina State won the ACC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships for the third straight season with 1297.5 points.

News courtesy of Pitt Athletics.

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4 years ago

Didn’t they just start scoring C finals…..?

Reply to  Swimmmer
4 years ago

They started 3-4 years ago. I think about the same time Pitt landed in the ACC

Joel Lin
4 years ago

The ACC is a beast. Without doubt one could argue that the top 1-2 punch conferences are PAC12 (Cal, Stanford) or B1G (IU, Mich) or possibly ACC (NCS, Lou). Without doubt UT is the gold standard team to beat. But, if you look at the #3-7 teams in every conference across the country, it isn’t even close…the ACC is king. Programs like Pitt, FSU are in a good “rocket up” position. VT & ND are really sound and are looking up on a national level. UVA & UNC have too much to offer to stay down for long, and each show signs of moving back up again. Duke had some really outstanding performances. It goes on and on.

College swimming… Read more »

PK boo I\'m sad my name is too short now
Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

I think you’re falling prey to the fallacy of expectations. The ACC has improved, no doubt, but is it any better than the SEC or Pac 12? Especially given that there are 12 teams, you would naturally expect that the depth at the C Final level would be better than especially the Pac 12, but otherwise I would argue that the B and C final times are going to be pretty similar.

Winning B final times-
Conference ACC PAC12 SEC B1G
500 Free 4:19.24 4:20.11 4:18.88 4:17.12
200 IM 1:44.26 1:43.73 1:45.39 1:44.71
50 Free 19.49 19.66 19.48 19.61

Winning C final times
Conference ACC PAC12 SEC B1G
500 Free 4:22.87 4:23.05 4:17.46 4:20.87… Read more »

Joel Lin

I see what you did there…took the 3 events least favorable in light to the ACC. Look at all of the events…the ACC was demonstrably faster 9-24 in most events over any other conference this year for both men & women, period. The A final winning times & 2-8 depth in the A finals were also at least comparable to all others.

The ACC having 12 members is misleading. There are 3 non-funded programs:

1. Duke; they are a very good program with no GIA money
2. BC; no GIA money, not a D1 aspiring program
3. Miami; ostensibly a diving team, little to no GIA swimming money

The number of squads delta between the ACC… Read more »

PK boo I\'m sad my name is too short now
Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

…I picked the 3 events where Pac 12 results were available???

Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

ACC was undoubtedly faster than B1G this year. And the depth of the PAC 12 has always been really weak which really helps boost up Cal and Standford’s status. Also, I would argue that the SEC competes with the ACC in depth and top end speed this year (there were only a few events where ACC winning times were faster than SEC winning times). Georgia, Auburn and Alabama will all beat Louisville come NCAAs. I’m betting 4 SEC teams in the top 10, no more than 2 from any other conference.

Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

I’m sure a few SEC fans would have something to say about that. The ACC is definitely coming along well though. I think a lot of credit has to go to the coaches. NC state is obviously the highest profile example but Neil Studd has continued to be successful after his move to FSU and the new staff at Pitt looks to be doing great

Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

You guys can add up the total points by conference in a couple weeks and then compare. It doesn’t get any clearer then that

4 years ago

Congrats to Pitt. Before this year they were not even a presence at the meet – more like BC and just earning points due to the fact that they score relays 24 deep and there are fewer than 24 schools. This year they were part of the group of schools that finished from 5th to tenth, within a gap of point of about 200 (not that much with 24 place scoring), and actually had individual event finalists. Now if the ACC could just get BC to take swimming seriously, get Wake and Clemson to reinstate their mens’ teams (both of which have a historic past of being contenders), and get Miami to have male swimmers (not just divers)!

4 years ago

I don’t get how UVA was apparently #13 Nationally – but got 6th at ACCs. Speaks to strength of conference but also…what the heck is up with UVA? I’d expect them to do better.

Reply to  Brad
4 years ago

Brad – the CSCAA Power rankings are relatively volatile, and the criteria for ranking is unclear, but loosely based on dual meet results. Our power rankings are more geared toward expected end-of-season (AKA NCAA) projections, so that’s a good spot to look for a more expected ranking.