By David Rieder
GREENSBORO, North Carolina, February 28. FLORIDA State picked up three wins in four events on the second day of action at the men's ACC Championships in Greensboro. With rabid fan support, the Seminoles struck often and finished the night in fourth place. Virginia, meanwhile, took the lead in the team race.
Florida State opened the night with a touchout victory ahead of North Carolina State in the 200 free relay. Paul Murray, Trice Bailey, and David Sanders took a slim lead over the first 150, but Mark Weber split an 18.99 on the anchor leg to hold off a hard change from NC State. The Seminoles won in 1:17.42, setting a new ACC meet record but falling short of their ACC record of 1:16.76 set in November. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack team of Simonas Bilis, Jonathan Boffa, Matthew Thomas, and David Williams took second in 1:17.50, while Virginia Tech's Zach McGinnis, Joe Bonk, Emmett Dignan, and Greg Mahon grabbed third in 1:18.06. Georgia Tech took fourth in 1:18.26, rounding out the A times.
Weber and Murray came back for the individual 50 free and took away a 1-2 finish. Senior Weber took first in 19.44, followed by teammate Murray in 19.59. NC State's Bilas came in third at 19.66. Murray had the fastest time of the day with a 19.34 in prelims, but he said after the race that “I had my goggles fall into my mouth on the start, and that set me up for a bad swim.” Despite the 1-2 finish, both Weber and Murray took the most satisfaction out of the Seminole victory in the 200 free relay. Weber said that “That's our favorite relay,” and Weber added, “It's our bread and butter. We know it's our relay. A month from now we're gonna do some big things. All or bust!”
The University of Virginia picked up some big points in the team race with a 1-2 finish in the 500 free. UVA junior Bradley Phillips took the lead at the 350 and never let up, finishing in 4:17.61 for the win. He had to hold off a strong charge, however, from teammate Jan Daniec, who stormed back from fourth with 50 to go to take second in 4:17.76. Phillips discussed the UVA legacy in the 500 free after the race: “It's one of our marquee events; we love to keep that title in Charlottesville. Going back 15, 20 years, it's been one of our favorite events. Gotta tough it out. Back to [Matt] McLean, [Ian] Pritchard, Fran [Crippen], so we love to keep that title at UVA.” Virginia Tech's Michal Szuba finished third in the 500 at 4:19.03, while UNC's JT Stilley faded from an early lead to fourth place, clocking 4:19.09. No one got down to the A cut, a swift 4:15.89.
Florida State's Pavel Sankovich tracked down early leader Greg Mahon to take the win in the 200 IM. The two-time Olympian from Belarus trailed Mahon by 0.26 at the halfway point but then pulled away to take the win in 1:43.22, an NCAA A cut and ACC meet record. He fell just short of Gal Nevo's ACC record of 1:42.79 from 2009. Sankovich couldn't say if it was a good swim, nothing that “It was my first competition in a yards pool. I think it's not bad, but I can do it faster.” Meanwhile, North Carolina's Tom Luchsinger took second in 1:45.08, while Mahon faded to third, clocking 1:45.66.
1. Virginia 256
2. Virginia Tech 217
3. Florida State University 205
4. North Carolina 192
5. North Carolina State 133
6. Georgia Tech 118
7. Duke 91
8. Boston College 70