GREENSBORO, North Carolina, February 27. THE second night of action at the ACC Men’s Championships featured N.C. State and Virginia Tech separated by just four points in the team title competition.
N.C. State holds the lead with 415 points, while Va Tech stands second with 411 points. Virginia (338), North Carolina (337.5) and Notre Dame (325) are third through fifth. Florida State (282), Georgia Tech (201), Duke (193.5), Pittsburgh (178), Boston College (123) and Miami (74) also have scored so far.
The North Carolina State Wolfpack began the evening by continuing their torrid start to the meet with a dominating win in the 200 free relay. Simonas Bilas, Jonathan Boffa, and Andreas Schiellerup established a big lead over the field before David Williams anchored in 18.65. The squad clocked 1:16.16 for a new ACC record. Florida State held the previous mark of 1:16.76 from 2012, and they had set the previous meet record of 1:17.42 last year.
Virginia Tech’s team of Joe Bonk, Morgan Latimer, Emmett Dignan, and CJ Fiala took second in 1:18.08, earning an “A” cut for NCAAs, while Virginia’s Matthew Lockman, Charles Rommel, Jacob Pearce, and Kyle Dudzinski took third in 1:18.39. Notably, Florida State clocked 1:17.47 in the first heat, which would have placed the Seminoles second overall, but an early start by anchor swimmer Pavel Sankovich led to a disqualification.
Florida State’s Pavel Sankovich dominated the men’s 200 IM from the onset and touched more than two seconds ahead of the field. The two-time Olympian from Belarus clocked 1:41.92, good for ACC record. Sankovich’s time plastered Gal Nevo’s previous mark of 1:42.79 as well as his own meet record of 1:43.22 from last season. The time bumped him ahead of Florida’s Sebastien Rousseau’s 1:42.22 from last week’s SEC Championships as the top time in the country.
Notre Dame earned their first ever podium finish at ACCs as Zachary Stephens placed second in 1:44.01, while NC State’s Stephen Coetzer grabbed third in 1:44.26. Virginia’s David Ingraham had the next best time, blasting a 1:44.95 in the consolation final.
With the focus on the NC State swimmers seeded first, third, and fourth in the men’s 50 free, Florida State’s Paul Murray ended up upsetting not only the Wolfpack of the present but also taking away a record of one of their legends. Murray clocked 19.04, clipping the ACC conference and meet record of 19.07 set by Cullen Jones in 2006. Murray had previously finished second a year ago behind teammate Mark Weber.
NC State took big points, though, as Williams (19.11), Bilis (19.19), Boffa (19.19), and Schiellerup (19.35) finished second through fifth. Interestingly, Weber’s winning time of 19.39 from last season would have merely placed fourth this time around.
Virginia senior Jan Daniec led for the majority of the final of the 500 free, racing with North Carolina Josh Beals and Virginia Tech’s Michal Szuba for the first 400 yards. However, it was Szuba’s teammate Jan Switkowski who dropped a monster 24.75 split on the penultimate 50 to take over the lead and pull away from Daniec and the rest of the field.
Switkowski clocked 4:18.15 for the win, while Beals came in second at 4:20.09 as a pair of freshman earned the top two spots on the podium. Daniec, swimming in his final ACCs after finishing second to teammate Brad Phillips last year, took third in 4:20.34. Meanwhile, Florida State’s Kevin Rogers posted a 4:19.56 in the B-final, the second-best time of the evening.