Virginia Tech Men Win First Ever ACC Team Championship over Hard Fight From NC State

ACC Men

  • Dates: Wednesday, February 26th – Saturday, March 1st; prelims 11AM/Finals 7PM (Diving is Feb. 20-22, with the women’s ACC Championships at Greensboro)
  • Location: Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Virginia (6x) (results)
  • Live Results: Available here.
  • Live Video (If available):  Available here.
  • Championship Central

The final day of the 2014 ACC Men’s Championship is about what all college swimming should be about – the team battle. There’s a lot of great individual swims to be had, and over half of the events’ ACC Records are on notice (NC State should blow away the record in the 400 free relay).

Virginia Tech enters the final day’s final session with a lead, but will almost surely be outscored by NC State in finals. The question is whether or not the Hokies’ 78-point lead (with platform diving already included) is enough to hang on for the title. This would be Virginia Tech’s first ever ACC title in swimming, and their first conference title period since their last season in the Atlantic 10 in 2000.

To see how the numbers shake out for finals, click here.

This recap is updated live as the race’s happen, so refresh often.

1650 Freestyle – TIMED FINALS

In the early heats of the 1650 free, with enough scratches to where there’s only 22 swimmers (with 24 scoring spots), North Carolina State is already making a big move. Austin Snyder, swimming out of the first heat, had a huge drop to put up a 15:09.06 to ensure himself no worse than 9th; his teammate Adam Linker also dropped the better part of a minute for a 15:14.02, ensuring himself no worse than 10th headed into the last heat.

Not only did Snyder’s time hold up for a top 9 finish, though; it held up for a stunning second-place finish, and huge, unexpected points for North Carolina State.

The win went to Virginia’s Brad Phillips in 14:58.00 – the only time from this final likely to sniff an NCAA invite. For a Virginia men’s team that was in an unfamiliar 5th-place coming into this final day, that’s a good sign that they’re still focused and racing hard.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech’s Jake Ores, swimming with Phillips in the last heat, was a 15:09.14 for 3rd place. It’s hard to say what would have happened had he and Snyder been side-by-side, but on the off chance that this meet comes down to single points, that’s a .12 seconds to remember.

Linker held on for 4th, with Georgia Tech’s Elliott Brockelbank taking 5th in 15:14.44.

Team scores after the 1650 free:

1. VT – 961.5
2. NC State – 874.5
3. UNC – 748
4. Virginia – 726
5. Notre Dame – 724
6. Florida St. – 717.5
7. Georgia Tech – 410.5
8. Duke – 386
9. Pitt – 311
10. Boston College – 170
11. Miami – 156

Men’s 200 Backstroke – Finals

The Virginia men’s squad continued to bounce on this final day, as they won their second-straight event. Sopho0more Luke Papendick won the event in 1:40.99 – that just missed the conference record set by NC State’s Stephen Coetzer in prelims.

It was, however, good enough to give Virginia their first ACC title in this event since 2008.

That was big for Virginia as they fight for 3rd place, but it was equally big for their in-state counterparts at NC State, as Coetzer bumped down to 2nd place in 1:41.21, which cost NC State four valuable points.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech’s Collin Higgins held his seed with a 1:41.38 for 3rd.

North Carolina’s Patrick Myers was 4th in 1:42.91, followed by Virginia’s Kyle Dudzinski (1:43.06), NC State’s Mike Camper (1:43.23), North Carolina’s Brad Dillon (1:43.78), and Virginia Tech’s Robert Owen (1:44.94).

North Carolina State crept a few points closer in that 200 backstroke, waiting for the big explosion in the 100 free.

Team scores after 200 backstroke

1. VT – 1025.5
2. NC State – 926.5
3. Virginia – 824
4. UNC 809
5. Notre Dame – 757
6. Florida St. – 753.5
7. Georgia Tech – 415.5
8. Duke – 393
9. Pitt – 316
10. Boston College – 171
11. Miami – 156

Men’s 100 Freestyle – FINALS

In the men’s 100 free, NC State made their last huge push, and for the first time in this meet, overtook Virginia Tech in the scoring by 17 points.

That was thanks to taking three of the top four spots in the A-final, as well as the top three spots in the B final.

That was led by sophomore Simonas Bilis, who was a 42.26 for the win. That just missed his prelims swim time by .01 seconds – but it was an automatic qualifier for NCAA’s, and it was a win, which at this point is what counts big for the Wolfpack.

50 free champion Paul Murray from Florida State took 2nd in 42.59, just out-touching Jonathan Boffa, another Wolfpack swimmer, in 42.60.

NC State junior David Williams was 4th in 42.80 to round out NC State’s contingent in the A-final.

Notre Dame’s Frank Dyer and Georgia Tech’s Andrew Kosic, meanwhile, tied for 5th in 42.84. Virginia Tech’s Joe Bonk moved up a spot from prelims with a 7th-place finish of 43.57, and Florida State’s Jason McCormick was 8th in 43.71.

Meanwhile, the NC State trio of Soeren DahlAndreas Schiellerup, and Matthew Thomas went 9th-10th-10th (tied) in the B-final for more big Wolfpack points.

That glut of 100 freestylers was enough to give NC State a small lead of 17 points, but also their first lead of this meet so far (when diving points are factored in).

Team scores after the 100 freestyle.

1. NC State – 1094.5
2. Virginia Tech – 1077.5
3. Virginia – 829
4. North Carolina – 818
5. Florida St. – 814.5
6. Notre Dame – 781.5
7. Georgia Tech – 440
8. Duke – 395
9. Pitt – 332
10. Boston College – 171
11. Miami – 156

Men’s 200 Breaststroke – FINALS

Notre Dame’s Zach Stephens not only completed a sweep of the men’s breaststroke events, but completed the transition of the Notre Dame breaststroke machine to the ACC, as both the Notre Dame men and women (Emma Reaney for the women) swept the breaststroke events at this year’s ACC Championships.

Virginia got another good swim, as sophomore Yannick Kaeser moved up a spot to place 2nd in 1:54.29.

But then it was Virginia Tech’s Harrison Cefalo who took 3rd in 1:55.54, scoring big points for the Hokies. NC State’s Ian Bishop added time, though he didn’t slide any spots, for 8th in the A-final with a 1:57.09.

In between those two were Duke’s Hunter Knight in 1:55.66, North Carolina’s Alex Gianino in 1:55.78, Virginia’s Taylor Grey in 1:56.14, and Florida State’s Juan Sequera in 1:56.79.

Tech’s Owen Burns was 11th in the B-final, and his freshman teammate Brandon Fiala took 13th in 1:57.64. Those two swims allowed the Hokies to wrest back their lead from North Carolina State, jumping 27-points into the lead (the equivalent of a single third place finish.

Team scores after the 200 breaststroke:

1. Virginia Tech – 1143.5
2. NC State – 1116.5
3. North Carolina – 885
4. Virginia – 881
5. Florida State – 866.5
6. Notre Dame – 831.5
7. Georgia Tech – 452
8. Duke – 425
9. Pitt – 343
10. Boston College – 171
11. Miami – 156

Men’s 200 Fly – FINALS

North Carolina State’s Christian McCurdy took a huge chunk out of his prelims time in the men’s 200 fly to do everything he could to keep his team in the battle for the title. He swam a 1:41.72 that broke Ben Colley’s prelims record, and gave NC State 32 big points.

Even so, led by a 2nd-place finish from junior Morgan Latimer, Virginia Tech was able to push their lead to 48.5 points.

Colley, the top seed after prelims, wound up 3rd in 1:42.86; he gave up a lot of ground to Florida St.’s Connor Knight in the last 50 yards, but Colley’s first 150 gave him just enough cushion, as Knight took 4th in 1:42.96.

Notre Dame’s Jonathan Williamson was 5th in 1:43.21, followed by North Carolina’s Dominick Glavich (1:44.19), Virginia’s David Ingraham (1:44.38), and Virginia’s Nathan Hart (1:46.41).

Nico van Duijn from Georgia Tech won the B-Final in 1:44.33. Take note that there were 11 total swimmers in the ACC between prelims and finals who were under the time it took to get invited to NCAA’s last year, so expect the standards for qualifying to get significantly tougher this season.

With that lead, all Virginia Tech had to do in the final event of the night, the 400 free relay, was avoid a disqualification, and with history on the line, there was no chance of one of those coming.

Team scores through men’s 200 fly:

1. Virginia Tech – 1210.5
2. NC State – 1162
3. North Carolina – 943
4. Virginia – 926
5. Florida State – 901.5
6. Notre Dame – 857.5
7. Georgia Tech – 495
8. Duke – 442
9. Pitt – 368.5
10. Boston College – 171
11. Miami – 156

Men’s 400 Free Relay – FINALS

With the title all-but-secured in the meet, this final 400 free relay stood as a fitting tribute to what NC State accomplished at this meet. They won their fourth-out-of-five relays, and broke their 3rd ACC Relay Record, to close the meet with a 2:50.06. The winning swimmers in that group were Simonas Bilis (42.71), David Williams (42.81), Andreas Schiellerup (42.86), and a huge anchor from Jonathan Boffa (41.68), which ended the meet on a very high note for North Carolina State.

That relay won by over three seconds ahead of runners-up Florida State (2:53.76), and so dominant was their swim that every North Carolina State swimmer was faster than every other swimmer on every other relay – in other words, the Wolfpack had the four fastest splits. That’s impressive focus at the end of a meet where they fought so hard but came up just short.

Virginia Tech was safe on their starts (they had the slowest cumulative reaction time of the field) and went 2:54.28 for 3rd. North Carolina (2:54.72) and Notre Dame (2:55.07) rounded out the five teams under the NCAA provisional standard.

That wrapped a meet that has been the most fun and exciting ACC championship that we’ve seen in years.  There’s plenty more to say about what we saw, and there will be time to say that in the coming days, but for now we leave you with the final scores, and congratulations to all of the teams for a magnificent show in Greensboro.

Final Team Scores:

1. Virginia Tech – 1264.5
2. North Carolina State – 1226
3. North Carolina – 995
4. Virginia – 972
5. Florida State – 957.5
6. Notre Dame – 907.5
7. Georgia Tech – 543
8. Duke – 482
9. Pitt – 412.5
10. Boston College – 205
11. Miami – 156

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calvinsamuels

Bill Brill turned over in his grave.

Jackswim

Looks like Auggie Busch better learn how to get his boys motivated.

SWIMMINGISLIFE

Congratulations to the men and coaches at VT! Outstanding performances throughout the meet. Ned Skinner has done a great job recruiting. The next few years should be fun to watch in Blacksburg.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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