We caught up with NC State sophomore Ryan Held after the preliminary session on Friday morning of the 2016 ACC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship.
Two days earlier, Held had anchored NC State’s medley relay in 18.16, one of the fastest splits ever, helping the Wolfpack earn the win, as well as the pool, meet, and ACC records, with a time of 1:23.19. When we asked Held about that split, he described it as the culmination of “nerves, excitement, and a whole year of training,” as well as “unreal.”
Building on the momentum from that swim, Held just touched out teammate Simonas Bilis to win the 50 free on Thursday evening. Both NC State swimmers finished under 19 seconds, with Held touching in 18.92 and Bilis in 18.94.
When asked about goals for the meet, Held said he wanted the Wolfpack to take the top three spots in the 200 free. NC State easily accomplished that goal, as Held, Bilis, and teammate Soeren Dahl all finished under 1:33, setting the stage for a monster showdown with Texas, Michigan, and Florida, among others, at NCAA’s in a month.
Held also expressed a desire to crack 42 in the 100 free. He went 42.56 this morning, and once again, NC State has the top three seeds, with Joe Bonk joining Held and Bilis.
Watch the video for more from Held, including his thoughts on what attracted him to NC State.