2016 ACC MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Virginia Tech Hokies swept the individual medley events for the second year in a row at the 2016 ACC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships. Thursday, junior Brandon Fiala successfully defended his title in the 200 IM, in a time that was over a second and a half faster than last year.
On Friday, fellow junior Robert Owen also won a repeat title. He was in the lead after the fly leg, but Louisville’s Nolan Tesone overtook him on the backstroke leg and preserved lead through the 350 mark. But Owen had already began cutting into Tesone’s lead, and dropped the hammer over the last 50, outsplitting Tesone 25.15 to 26.24 to take the win.
We talked with Owen after his win Friday evening, asking him about his race strategy and the Virginia Tech IM group.
For both Virginia Tech swimmers, this is the third year in a row that they’ve made the A-final of their respective individual events. In 2014, Fiala finished fifth in the 200 IM, while Owen finished sixth in the 400 IM.
Each swimmer has one more chance at a title this evening. Fiala has the top seed in the 200 breast after setting the pool and meet record this morning (1:52.96). Owen comes into tonight after swimming the fifth-fastest time in the 200 back in preliminaries and will be going the top seed, NC State’s Hennessey Stuart, and the rest of the A-final this evening.