NC State Invitational: Hubert Kos Goes Sub-1:40 in 200 IM; Katharine Berkoff Dominates

Hubert Kos -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

NC State Invitational: Hubert Kos Goes Sub-1:40 in 200 IM; Katharine Berkoff Dominates

During the first night of racing in Greensboro, N.C., at the North Carolina State Invitational, swimmers from Arizona State and NC State dominated the proceedings, with ASU winning four out of five events on the men’s side while Katharine Berkoff was primarily responsible for wins in three of the five women’s events on offer with her swift freestyle swimming.

Leon Marchand, a five-time NCAA champion in his first two years at Arizona State, did not race Thursday, but his teammate Hubert Kos did, providing likely the evening’s top performance in the 200 IM.

Women’s 200 Freestyle Relay

By more than two seconds, the Wolfpack team was dominant in the meet’s first relay. Katharine Berkoff scorched a 21.63 leadoff split, and no one else in Greensboro was going to come close after that. The team of Abby ArensCasaundra Moses and Miriam Sheehan finished off a 1:27.50 triumph.

Virginia Tech took second with Carmen Weiler SastreCaroline Bentz, Emily Claesson and Anna Summers while Arizona State’s Erin MilliganIndigo ArmonMolly Batchelor and Marte Lovberg placed third. The Hokies finished in 1:29.72, five hundredths ahead of the Sun Devils (1:29.77).

Men’s 200 Freestyle Relay

A race between Arizona State and NC State in this relay never materialized, with Jack Dolan blasting out ahead of the field with his 18.90 split, Ilya Kharun and Cam Peel holding the advantage before Jonny Kulow finished it off in 18.27. The Sun Devils clocked 1:14.64, leaving the Wolfpack’s team of Drew SallsQuintin McCartyLuke Miller and Noah Henderson in second place in 1:16.00.

Virginia Tech’s Youssef RamadanCarles Coll MartiBrendan Whitfield and Mario Molla Yanes took third in 1:17.55.

Women’s 500 Freestyle

A surge over the final six lengths gave Lindsay Looney the win in her first individual event of the meet. Looney, a senior at Arizona State who wasa finalist in the 200-meter butterfly at this summer’s World Championships, trailed teammate Deniz Ertan for most of the race before a handful of 28-low and even 27-second splits helped Looney come over the top. Looney finished in 7:38.97, followed by Ertan’s 4:40.32. Virginia Tech’s Chase Travis grabbed third in 4:41.73.

Men’s 500 Freestyle

As was the case in the men’s race, an Arizona State senior overtook a younger teammate before pulling away for a win, but Julian Hill had the advantage over Daniel Matheson by the halfway point before opening up the margin to two-and-a-half seconds. Hill’s big second half helped him finish in 4:12.37, ahead of Matheson’s 4:14.91 and NC State’s Owen Lloyd in 4:16.44.

Women’s 200 IM

Arizona State remained unbeaten in individual racing as Ieva Maluka held serve against a late push from Duke’s Sarah Foley. Maluka crushed the front half of the race, building an advantage of more than one-and-a-half seconds by the halfway point before Foley had the best breaststroke and freestyle. In the end, Maluka touched in 1:55.46, with Foley second in 1:56.13 and Virginia Tech’s Caroline Bentz third in 1:58.51.

Men’s 200 IM

No Leon Marchand in the race? You still have a Sun Devils standout climbing the all-time list in the shorter medley race. This time, it was Hubert Kos, the world champion in the 200-meter back but before this summer best-known as an IMer. Kos, who finished 11th in the country in the 200 IM last year, swam his best time by more than two seconds Thursday evening as he became the eighth-fastest swimmer ever.

After building a lead of more than two seconds over the rest of the field by the halfway point, Kos never yielded as he came in at 1:39.26. Only Marchand and the Cal duo of Destin Lasco and Hugo Gonzalez beat that time all of last season. Meanwhile, Kos’ Sun Devil teammates swept the race as Owen McDonald placed second in 1:41.60 and David Schlicht took third in 1:42.25, leaving Virginia Tech’s Carles Coll Marti fourth (1:43.12).

Women’s 50 Freestyle

For the first time all evening, Arizona State did not top an individual event, and in fact, NC State occupied all three top spots in the women’s splash-and-dash. Fifth-year swimmer Katharine Berkoff had already gone 21.68 (prelims) and 21.63 (relay leadoff) Thursday before securing the individual win in 21.52. Teammates Abby Arens (22.18) and Miriam Sheehan (22.26) were the best-of-the-rest.

Men’s 50 Freestyle

In a sizzling field dominated by NC State and Arizona State, five men broke 19 with another coming in at 19.00, hinting at the drama to come when the full field of stars is present at the end of the college season. Here, it was Quintin McCarty getting the better of the field in 18.80, 13-hundredths clear of Arizona State’s Ilya Kharun (18.93). Virginia Tech’s Youssef Ramadan, the lone non-Wolfpack or Sun Devils swimmer here, took third in 18.97.

Arizona State’s Jack Dolan also went sub-19, touching at 18.99, just ahead of teammate Jonny Kulow (19.00). This final also included NC State’s Drew Salls (19.21), NC State’s Noah Henderson (19.53) and Arizona State’s Cam Peel (19.60).

Women’s 400 Medley Relay

Once again, it was all about Katharine Berkoff and the NC State women in the 400 medley relay. Berkoff moved from her usual backstroke spot to anchor duties, and she took a lead off less than eight tenths and pulled away to win by more than three seconds. Kennedy Noble led off, and she combined with Abby ArensMiriam Sheehan and Berkoff to hit a time of 3:28.27.

Duke’s team of Ali PfaffKaelyn GridleyAleyna Ozkan and Sarah Foley earned second place in 3:31.33 while Arizona State’s Ieva MalukaZoe SummarLindsay Looney and Erin Milligan claimed third in 3:33.14.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay

Another remarkable effort for the Sun Devil men saw a group missing Leon Marchand record a time that only five teams beat all of last season. Add back in the stunning medley swimmer, and Arizona State looks like a significant contender for a medley relay national title. The ASU team of Jack DolanDavid SchlichtIlya Kharun and Jonny Kulow recorded a time of 3:01.60.

Specifically, Kharun hit a time of 43.35 that beat the NCAA Championship splits of every swimmer besides Florida’s Josh Liendo while Kulow finished in 40.95. And this team possibly could have been faster if Hubert Kos led off for the A-squad. The backstroke and medley standout led off in 44.58, almost a second quicker than Jack Dolan’s 45.53 for the A team.

The Arizona State B team, consisting of Kos, Andy DobrzanskiAlex Colson and Patrick Sammon, cam in second at 3:04.10, while NC State’s JT EwingSam HooverLuke Miller and Quintin McCarty secured third place in 3:04.82.


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