UVA Women, NC State Men, Dominate ACC Double-Dual Meet (Day 2 Recap)

by Robert Gibbs 22

January 20th, 2024 ACC, College, News, Previews & Recaps

UVA VS NC STATE VS UNC

  • January 19-20, 2024
  • Aquatic and Fitness Center, Charlottesville, VA
  • Double Dual Format
  • SCY
  • Full Results
  • Results on Meet Mobile as “UVA vs NCST vs UNC”

NC State and UNC traveled up to UVA this weekend to compete in a double-dual meet. We’ve already spun out separate articles on some of the key swims of the weekends, but here’s a recap of the day two of competition. We’ll update with final scores once we have them in hand.

Women’s Recap

Once again, UVA jumped out to an early lead with a 1:35.98 win in the 200 medley relay. That race was highlighted by Gretchen Walsh‘s 21.50 fly split, the fastest in history. Gretchen teamed up with her sister Alex Walsh, who swam backstroke (24.47), Zoe Skirboll on breast (27.91) and anchor Aimee Canny (22.10) to combine for a 1:35.98.

UVA currently holds the fastest time in the country with a 1:33.69 from the Tennessee Invite. They used a lineup of of Gretchen Walsh (22.98 back), Jasmine Nocentini (26.06 breast), Alex Walsh (22.66 fly), and Aimee Canny (21.99) at that meet. Today, Nocentini split 26.67 on the breaststroke leg of UVA’s ‘B’ relay, which took 2nd in 1:37.25. NC State, meanwhile, just touched out UNC, 1:38.60 to 1:38.99.

Cavan Gormsen won the first individual event of the day with a 9:44.83 in the 1000 free. Gormsen completed the two-day distance sweep after winning the 500 free yesterday evening. Gormsen currently ranks 12th in the nation in the 500 free and 18th in the 1650, so she appears to be on glide path to qualify for NCAAs.

Twenty minute after anchoring UVA’s medley relay, Aimee Canny came back to win the 200 free with a 1:45.61. Canny, who owns the #4 time in the nation this season (1:42.93), led a Virginia sweep. Alex Walsh, who posted a nation-leading 400 IM time last night, took 2nd in 1:47.01, followed by Ella Nelson at 1:48.18.

Next, Tess Howley became the second UVA freshman to win a second individual event with a 52.76 win in the 100 back. That’s a new personal best for Howley, who won the 200 back last. NC State’s Kennedy Noble took 2nd in 53.06. Wolfpack backstroke ace Katharine Berkoff focused on the freestyle events individually, but her 50.88 leadoff on last night’s 400 medley relay would have comfortably won today’s individual race.

After the break, Gretchen Walsh came back with a resounding 46.40 win in the 100 free. That’s now the fastest time in the nation this season, just ahead of her own 46.42 from midseason. Berkoff took 2nd ini 48.90, followed by Maxine Parker at 50.24.

Jasmine Nocentini kept the UVA streak going with a 59.05 win in the 100 breast, It was a Cavalier sweep, as Emma Weber, last night’s 200 breast champ, took 2nd in 59.93, and Zoe Skirboll touched 3rd at 1:01.00. Skirboll got her hands on the wall just ahead of UNC’s Skyler Smith (1:01.03) and NC State’s Abby Arens (1:01.09), after all three swimmers racing next to each other in heat 2.

With Gretchen Walsh focusing on the 100 free, it was her also uber-versatile sister Alex Walsh who got the nod in the 100 fly. Alex won with a 52.25, touching ahead of teammates Tess Howley (52.91) and Carly Novelline (53.07).

UVA closed out the individual competition with a 1-3 sweep of the 200 IM. Ella Nelson led the way with a 1:59.06, followed by Ella Bathurst at 2:01.17 and Abby Harter at 2:01.19. Notably, UNC’s Mary Macaulay took 4th at 2:01.26, leading a pack of three Tar Heel women who finished ahead of any NC State swimmer.

The Cavaliers won the 400 free relay by over five seconds to end the day. Canny led off in 49.14, Nocentini split 48.28, Gretchen Walsh split a quick 46.41 on the third leg, and Alex Walsh anchored in 49.04. That combined time of 3:13.04 would sit 8th in the nation, but UVA’s already been 3:07.60 back in November. NC State took 2nd in 3:18.55, led by Berkoff’s 48.22 split.

Men’s Recap

NC State outscored Virginia and UNC by a wide margin yesterday, but the first race of the day was a barnburner. Matt Brownstead (21.59) and Noah Nichols (23.25) gave the Cavaliers a strong early lead, while Kacper Stokowski gave NC State a 0.04s lead with a 20.26 fly split. Quintin McCarty then held off August Lamb, 18.92 to 19.23, as the Wolfpack won 1:24.92 to 1:25.27.

NC State won this event at NCAAs last year, but Stokowski is the only member of that squad to return this year. He swam backstroke for this relay last year, and is a former NCAA champion in the 100 back, while Aiden Hayes, who led off for the Wolfpack, is the defending NCAA champion in the 200 fly., But we’ve seen this Hayes-Sam Hoover-Stokowsi-McCarty lineup a few times this season, and it could be the Wolfpack’s lineup come championship season.

Ross Dant led a NC State sweep of the top three finishers in the 1000 free. Dant, who took 2nd in the 1650 at NCAAs last season, won today in 9:02.19. Teammates Owen Lloyd (9:08.22) and James Plage (9:11.46) touched next, as the Wolfpack continued to rack up the points against both UVA and UNC. In case we haven’t mentioned this yet, this was a pretty high energy meet, with lots of cheering and booing between athletes and spectators alike, and Dant fed into that energy by celebrating and then putting his finger over his lips after touching first.

The final heat of the 200 free turned into another great race. NC State’s Daniel Diehl, who made a surprise college debut yesterday, led through the first 150 yards. Teammate Jerry Fox overtook him on the final 50, as did UVA’s Sebastien Sergile. Fox ended up winning decisively at 1:35.04, followed by Sergile at 1:35.89 and Diehl at 1:36.08. That’s a new personal best for Fox, surpassing his 1:35.54 from midseason. Sergile was notably excited after touching the wall, although it’s not clear if that was because he broke up a potential Wolfpack sweep, or if because that’s his fastest dual meet time.

As we mentioned earlier, Stokowski was the 2022 NCAA champ in the 100 back, so it was no surprise that he got his hand on the fall first today in that event, with a time of 46.02. He was actually just a bit faster last night, when he led off the Wolfpack’s medley relay in 45.92. Hayes followed up his 200 medley relay leadoff today with a 46.74 in this race, taking 2nd behind Stokowski.

The 100 free turned into another great race, with three men in it at the touch. Heading into the final 25, the focused seemed to be on a battle in the middle of the pool between UVA’s Matt Brownstead and 200 free champion Jerry Fox. But Quintin McCarty stormed home from lane 2 to take the win in 42.78, just missing the UVA pool record. Brownstead touched 2nd at 42.93, followed by Fox at 43.12.

UVA finally broke up NC State’s winning streak with a 100 breast win from Noah Nichols. The Virginia senior touched first in 52.38, and celebrated the win with a demonstrative splash and some Dant-like hand gestures. Teammate Max Iida touched 2nd at 54.13, while NC State’s Sam Hoover got his hand on the wall just ahead of UNC’s Ben Delmar, 54.88 to 54.98.

Luke Miller put the Wolfpack right back in the win column, with a 46.35 victory in the 100 fly. Teammate Aiden Hayes took 2nd at 46.92, just ahead of UNC’s Boyd Poelke (46.97).

The 200 IM turned into another great race, as UVA’s Sebastien Sergile and UNC’s Louis Gramm battled stroke-for-stroke down the final length. Sergile got his hand on the wall first, 1:46.76 to 1:46.90. Daniel Diehl finished 3rd in 1:46.90.

Unsurprisingly, NC State finished off the day with a 1-2 finish in the 400 free relay. Stokowski led off in 44.18, then the Wolfpack got a trio of sub-43 swims from McCarty (42.71), Miller (42.90), and Fox (42.26), a 2:52.05 in total. Sam Hoover also went sub-43, anchoring NC State’s ‘B’ relay in 42.88.

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Not-so-silent Observer
3 months ago

So is Diehl now a new piece for the Wolfpack, come conf & NCs?

alm
3 months ago

idk about the last few years, but based on precedent culture it’s not surprising that the uva men’s team is struggling.

A high profile recruiting class will hopefully change thing

Grant Drukker
Reply to  alm
3 months ago

They have high profile recruiting classes every year.

Jimmy DeSnuts
3 months ago

little bro really made a surprise debut only to sprint the first 150 and get gapped lol. what a start to an ncaa career

swimswum
3 months ago

the Walsh sisters are amazing!

Last edited 3 months ago by swimswum
Pescatarian
3 months ago

Jerry Fox is about to surprise some everyone come February.

Noah
3 months ago

Whats up with Howley focusing on backstroke this year

Konner Scott
3 months ago

Absolute tragedy that Gretchen didn’t swim the 100 fly.

Pescatarian
Reply to  Konner Scott
3 months ago

Yeah, because it’s like she won’t be swimming the next six months. Not

Justin Pollard
3 months ago

Pedestrian compared to ASU v Cal. And I’m assuming this meet wasn’t in the rain? Also maybe unsuited? Still very interesting to see the variety of approaches in the NCAA this year.

Pescatarian
Reply to  Justin Pollard
3 months ago

Must be a Cal alum. God, listening to the play by play seemed like Cal was swimming an intersquad. Other than talking about Marshand and three or four others its seemed like the world revolved around cal!

Justin Pollard
Reply to  Pescatarian
3 months ago

Yea, I agree. Seemed very Cal centric. But the meet was at Cal after all

Old Swim Coach
Reply to  Pescatarian
3 months ago

I don’t mind that and expect it from the home team. Best livestream broadcast I’ve seen in two years. I appreciated watching the tremendous swimming. For most college meets, there is no broadcast at all. That needs to change for our sport to grow. Wake up ADs!

Bing chilling
Reply to  Justin Pollard
3 months ago

Clearly unsuited they’ve said it about 4 times for Gretchen’s mind boggling times

Pack
Reply to  Bing chilling
3 months ago

Unsuited except 400 I’m and Dant in 500

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