2020 ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships: Five Races to Watch

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Coleman Stewart Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

North Carolina State is chasing a sixth straight ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship, hoping to continue a bona fide dynasty. But it’ll have competition across the board.

The event, which gets underway Wednesday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, has plenty of returning talent, with co-Most Valuable Swimmers from 2019, the Wolfpack’s Coleman Stewart and Georgia Tech’s Caio Pumputis both back. A look at five races to watch:

500 freestyle, Thursday

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Zach Yeadon is looking for a title at the ACC Men’s Championships. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Is it Zach Yeadon’s time? The Notre Dame junior was second in the 500 and 1,650 free as a freshman in 2018. He took a step backward last year (to sixth and fourth, respectively). But of the three ahead of him in the mile, two graduated and one (NC State’s John McIntyre) is not in the meet this year. Yeadon holds the fastest time (4:14.31) in the 500, with defending champ Eric Knowles of NC State third and Virginia Tech’s Lane Stone, last year’s bronze medalist, 39th. Yeadon has the fastest 1,650 time in the field.

200 freestyle relay, Friday

The fastest relay is always fun. But Florida State sent a message in wrestling the title away from NC State last year. This year, the Seminoles hold the top seed. They also have four of the top nine seeds in the 50 free and six sub-20 swimmers, including impact freshman Peter Varjasi, who is seeded fourth, to third seed Jakub Ksiazek. FSU lost three seniors from the gold-medal squad last year, but it retains the top relay seed at 1:16.98, ahead of Louisville (1:17.45) and NC State (1:17.95). Look for Griffin Alaniz, Max McCusker and Izaak Bastian to step into the lineup.

100 butterfly, Friday

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Nick Albiero will be leading Louisville into the ACC Men’s Championships. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

It’s Coleman Stewart-Nicolas Albiero, Part … well, it’s a lot of parts. Stewart finished second in the 100 fly in 2018, a spot ahead of Albiero. He was second again last year with Albiero fourth. It’s not the signature event for either, nor is it a two-man race. Stewart is the fourth seed with Albiero eighth; the top seed is NC State’s Nyls Korstanje followed by Philip Manoff of Virginia Tech and Florida State’s Max McCusker. But it’s a chance for the two go head-to-head.

Albiero, a Louisville junior, is chasing his third straight 200 fly title, where he’s seed fourth and meet-record holder. Stewart is hoping to reclaim the 200 back title he got as a sophomore, and he’s medaled in the 100 back each of the last two years. He’s the top seed in both.

100 freestyle, Saturday

Let’s bring it back to the sprints. Four of the finalists from last year’s ACC Men’s Championships, including champion Kanoa Kaleoaloha of Florida State, were seniors. Top seed Korstanje has had a stellar season, and Pitt’s Blaise Vera, last year’s runner-up, is an indication of how open the field is. Miles Williams of Duke (fourth seed) and Ryan Baker of Virginia (ninth) also reached the A final last year.

200 breaststroke, Saturday

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Louisville’s Evgenii Somov won the event as a freshman, on the way to the breaststroke double. Though he defended his 100 breast title last year, Georgia Tech’s Pumputis got the best of him in the 200 last year, setting a meet record of 1:51.46 (and, at NCAAs, a conference mark of 1:50.79). The Brazilian carries the top seed at 1:53.88 with Somov fifth. Oddly, there’s not a senior among the top 15 seeds.

4 comments

  1. avatar
    Brent Rutemiller

    Good Luck Everyone

  2. avatar
    Maja

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  3. avatar
    Maja

    How we can watch ACC in europe.