The Week That Was: Louisville Wins ACC Men’s Title, Kieran Smith Ties American Record in 500

Louisville wins the 2021 ACC Men’s Swimming Championship in Greensboro, N.C. Friday, Feb. 27, 2021 (Photo by Jaylynn Nash, the ACC)
Photo Courtesy: Jaylynn Nash

The Week That Was is sponsored bySuit-extractor-logo

The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The second round of major Division I conferences took place this last week with all five conferences in action. The Florida men won their ninth straight SEC title while Louisville men won their first in the ACC. The Ohio State women won back to back in the Big Ten while Cal Berkeley won their first Pac-12 title since 2015.

Read below the five biggest stories in The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The Week That Was #1: Louisville Takes ACC Men’s Title

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Matthew De George

After each team scored more than 1,000 points, Louisville and North Carolina State were separated by just two in the final team standings, with the Cardinals claiming the conference title. The Woldpack won the 400 freestyle relay, the final event of the meet, but Louisville was second and did enough to maintain the top spot in the team standings.

For North Carolina State, the loss of the conference championship can be tied to the disqualification it suffered on Friday night in the 400 medley relay. In that event, judges deemed that Kacper Stokowski did not break the surface before 15 meters on the leadoff backstroke leg. In the end, that DQ proved brutal for the Wolfpack, ending a streak of six consecutive titles.

#2: Kieran Smith Ties American Record in 500 Freestyle

Images from the SEC swimming and diving championships Feb. 24, 2021 at MizzouRec in Columbia, Missouri.

Photo Courtesy: Christina Long / Georgia Athletics

By Andy Ross

Talks circled all day over how fast Kieran Smith of Florida would go in the 500 freestyle final on Wednesday night at the 2021 SEC Men’s Swimming Championships in Columbia, Missouri. Was a 4:05 possible? 4:04? After going 1:29.48 last night in the 200 free, his 4:06 American record looked to be in jeopardy.

Smith went out fast…a 1:35.70 was over a second quicker than his 1:37 split from last season, and it looked like he would destroy his own record. But by the 300, Georgia freshman Jake Magahey was coming, as he split under 25 on his last 3x50s, closing the gap with each stroke. Smith looked to be hurting bad and it wasn’t just the record that was closing the gap on him.

The Week That Was #3: Brisbane Preferred Choice For 2032 Olympics

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Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia

By Ian Hanson

A proposed new 15,000 seat aquatic centre, the Brisbane Arena, would provide the South East Queensland (SEQ) 2032 Olympics with a long sought-after Brisbane inner-city pool facility and deliver a golden legacy from Australia’s third Olympic Games.

With the International Olympic Committee’s nod of approval for the Brisbane bid this week all eyes are on the Queensland capital and surrounding Gold and Sunshine Coast cities.

And a new pool is very much in the pipeline for Australia’s swimming mecca.

A new Brisbane Swimming Arena or the existing Gold Coast Aquatic Centre would host swimming and water polo, with diving, artistic swimming and water polo at the existing Brisbane Aquatic Centre, holding 4,300 people with marathon swimming at the Broadwater Parklands on the Gold Coast, with temporary seating for 5000.

#4: NCAA Championships to Hold Timed Final Relays

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Dan D’Addona

The NCAA Division I championships will have some major changes this season, including timed finals for all relays.

The NCAA announced the changes as part of its meet guidelines.

All relays will be timed finals with an open lane in between each team to keep the groups social distanced.

It was one of several changes:

ATTENDANCE: Due to the mass gathering restrictions in place in North Carolina, spectators will not be allowed to attend the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Swimming Championships. This includes parents or family members. Please communicate this to your parents as they will not be admitted to the GAC. NOTE: All sessions, including prelims and finals, will be streamed on ESPN3.

PARTICIPANT SEATING: There will be no participant seating on the pool deck. All teams and individuals will be assigned seating in the grandstand seating area. A team seating selection process will be conducted to allow the top 15 teams from the 2019 championship to select their seating in the grandstands. More details will be communicated at a later date.

RELAY LANES: All relays will be conducted with only four relay teams swimming per heat with a lane open between swimmers. This will allow for a reduction in the number of individuals at the start, mitigating close contact by swimmers and officials.

TIMERS: There will be no human back-up timers on the pool deck. The NCAA championships utilize the OMEGA Timing System with the High-Speed Video system serving as the backup timing system.

SPORTS INFORMATION DIRECTOR. Each institution is allowed ONE SID OR Team Content Personnel on the GAC campus. That person will be provided a work-station in the Special Events Center, adjacent to the Aquatic Center. There will be no access to the competition venue or pool deck at any time. A television feed will be provided in the workroom.

The Week That Was #5: Carmel Boys Join Special Relay Club at Indiana State Championships

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By John Lohn

A little more than a week ago, Swimming World looked at an exclusive club as it pertained to high school relay competition. With the scholastic postseason heating up, we noted that only four schools (five teams) had produced relays in a single season under the following barriers: 1:30 in the 200 medley relay; 1:23 in the 200 freestyle relay; 3:00 in the 400 freestyle relay. Well, add another team to that list.

On Saturday afternoon, en route to the team title at the Indiana State Championships, Carmel went sub-1:30, sub-1:23 and sub-3:00. It is the second time that Carmel, coached by Chris Plumb, has accomplished the feat, joining the Greyhounds’ 2019 squad. St. Xavier (Ohio) has also achieved membership with two teams.

Racing at the Indiana University Natatorium, Carmel opened the day with a 1:29.60 outing in the 200 medley relay, with Carter Lancaster (backstroke), Ryan Malicki (breaststroke), Chris Holmes (butterfly) and William Kok (freestyle) making up the relay. Carmel then followed with a 1:22.02 effort in the 200 freestyle relay, with that squad featuring Malicki, Griffin HadleyAugustus Rothrock and Kayden Lancaster. The 200 free relay actually finished as runnerup to Penn, which won in 1:21.29. In the 400 freestyle relay, Hadley, the Lancaster brothers and Rothrock delivered a time of 2:58.70 to cement their status as a club member.

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