By Chandler Brandes, ACC Beat Writer
NC State won their second-consecutive and 26th overall ACC Swimming and Diving Championship title, finishing with 1402 points. Louisville was second and North Carolina took third. The Wolfpack certainly made a statement as they head into next month’s NCAA Championships in Atlanta.
Read more about the final night of competition here.
Full meet results: 2016 Men’s ACC Full Meet – Results
5 Top Takeaways:
1. NC State Sprint Dominance
The Wolfpack absolutely dominated the sprint events and relays this past weekend. Exactly half of all the A-Finalists in the 50, 100, and 200 frees consisted of NC State swimmers, and they swept the top three spots in both the 100 and 200. In the 50, Ryan Held set a new meet record with teammate Simonas Bilis close behind. Held also set a new conference and meet record in the 100 free, followed by Bilis and Soeren Dahl. Bilis took the 200 title for the second-straight year in a new pool record, with teammates Dahl and Held joining him up on the podium. They also won four of the five relays, setting new pool and meet records in three and a new ACC conference record in the 200 medley relay.
2. NC State Distance Dominance
NC State’s Anton Ipsen won both the 500 free and 1650 for the second-consecutive year. The sophomore won the shorter distance race by over one second, and finished seven seconds ahead of the field in the mile. Just as the Wolfpack has depth in the sprint events, they have it in the longer races too. Adam Linker took fourth in the 500 and placed second in the 1650, giving the Wolfpack the top two spots in the mile. Austin Snyder also registered a top ten finish in the 1650 and placed fourth in the 400 IM, while Ipsen took ninth and Linker 14th in the same event. Their depth across the board in all events this weekend proved that NC State is no longer solely a sprinting powerhouse.
3. Virginia Tech IM Sweep
Virginia Tech won both the 200 IM and 400 IM for the second year in a row. Junior Robert Owen went from finishing sixth his freshman year to winning the 400 IM last year and this year, improving by over six seconds since his first year as a Hokie. Brandon Fiala went from placing fifth his freshman year to defending his title in the 200 IM in 2015 and 2016, dropping time in the event each year. The junior also had a strong 100 breast, taking second in the event after breaking the pool and meet record in the morning. In addition to his 200 IM title, he also won the 200 breast in pool and meet record-setting fashion. He was named the ACC Most Valuable Swimmer of the Meet for his efforts.
4. Grigory Tarasevich
Louisville’s Grigory Tarasevich was one of four double individual event winners this weekend, scoring 73 points for the Cardinals. The junior swept both backstroke events, setting new ACC meet and conference records in both. He defended his title in the 100 (45.28) and won the 200 (1:39.28) after taking second in 2015. Tarasevich also swam the first leg of Louisville’s winning 400 medley relay, won the C-Final of the 200 IM, and was a member of the Cardinals’ second place 200 medley relay and 800 free relay teams. Watch for more fast swims posted from the Cardinal at NCAAs in four weeks.
5. Standout Freshmen
In a heavily upperclassmen-dominated conference, a slew a freshman made a name for themselves during their first ACC Championship appearance. Virginia’s Sam Magnan finished 3rd in the 1650, and he and fellow freshman teammate Matthew Hrabchak finished 7th and 8th, respectively, in the 500 free. Notre Dame’s Matthew Grauslys placed 5th in the 200 fly and took 7th as the only freshman in the 100 fly A-Final. Louisville’s Zach Harting took second in the 200 fly, 5th in the 400 IM, and won the B-Final in the 500 free. NC State’s Justin Ress was the only first year in all of his finals as he took 5th in the 200 IM, 7th in the 200 free, 3rd in the 200 back, and helped the Wolfpack to a victory in the 800 free relay. Watch as these freshman will lead their teams in the future.