The ACC has been one of the most lopsided conferences in the country over the last half-decade, with Virginia having won 6-straight titles on both the men’s and women’s side.
Things are about to get a lot more interesting, though.
North Carolina State has added another verbal commitment to their class of 2014, this one coming from Ryan Held of the Springfield YMCA in southern Illinois.
Held is one of four sprinters in this year’s high school senior class who were under 20 seconds in the 50 yard free as juniors. He has been 19.92 on a flat start. He also has bests of 43.91 in the 100 yard free and 1:39.54 in the 200 yard freestyles, and is the defending Illinois High School State Champion in the 100, and runner-up in the 50.
He tags on a 49.90 in the 100 yard fly, which is a solid result, but his focus in college will be on those sprint relays, and could result in huge gains for the Wolf Pack.
Held’s best time in the 50 yard free would’ve been the 13th-best flat start in the ACC last season (though, NC State actually had three of those ahead of him, all underclassmen). His time in the 100 free would’ve put him in the same position, and both times probably would have put him in a spot on the NC State All-American free relays.
When he arrives to campus, that sprint group will be centered on himself, and 2013-2014 sophomore Simonas Billis, with David Williams also headed toward that same elite status.
Relays don’t count for a lot at the conference level, but individual scorers do, and Held seems to be one of those. If he starts sub-20 and sub-44, and develops the way that the rest of the NC State sprint group has, he could be a good one.