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Last year, the NC State Wolfpack swept the Wednesday relays to start off the ACC Championship. They did it again in 2015, successfully defending their titles in both the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays to grab 128 points .
“Our guys love relays,” said NC State coach Braden Holloway. “I always think starting a meet with a relay is exciting and it was just that here today. You start a big, long week with two relays and our guys just love it.”
Last week’s 1-meter results were factored in to the final team scores at the end of Wednesday’s competition. Virginia Tech sits in first place with 172 points, followed by North Carolina (170) in second, Notre Dame (144) in third, Virginia (140) in fourth, and NC State (128) in fifth.
It was an early day at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center as the opening day of the meet was moved up in anticipation of winter weather in Atlanta Wednesday evening. The action is scheduled to continue Thursday morning with the prelims for the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, and 50 freestyle.
4:20 | 800 Freestyle Relay
NC State continued its hot start in record fashion in the 800 freestyle relay, finishing in 6:13.14 to defend their title in the event and break a longstanding record in the process. The time was nearly two seconds faster than the old record that had stood for six years, set by Virginia (6:15.02) at the 2009 ACC Championship.
The record was a bit of redemption for the Wolfpack, who had won the event last year but just missed out on breaking Virginia’s mark, falling half a second shy in 6:15.58.
“Those guys just missed that record last year and it really ticked them off,” said NC State coach Braden Holloway. “They’ve been talking about it all season so as coaches, we just got out of the way.”
After a 1:34.02 opening leg from Soeren Dahl, Simonas Bilis swam a 1:32.05 leg to grab a lead that the Wolfpack wouldn’t relinquish. Ryan Held (1:33.63) and David Williams (1:33.44) closed out the victory for NC State and claim a spot in the record books.
Louisville (6:20.02) and Virginia Tech (6:21.48) finished in second and third, while Notre Dame (6:21.51) and North Carolina (6:22.47) also posted NCAA A cuts.
The gold medal was the second of the day for Dahl and Williams, who swam on both relay squads on Wednesday.
3:15 | 200 Medley Relay
NC State entered Wednesday as the defending champion and league record holder in the 200 medley relay, and it backed it up to start the 2015 championship. The Wolfpack topped Duke and Louisville to defend the title and grab early momentum to start off the meet.
“It was a fun start to the evening, and hopefully a fun start to a great week,” said NC State coach Braden Holloway. “We put four guys up there that we knew could do a good job and they definitely did it. It was a fast heat overall and very good competition.”
The Wolfpack relay squad of Andreas Schiellerup, Derek Hren, Soeren Dahl, and David Williams combined to finish in 1:24.07. The race was neck and neck through the first three legs, and Williams pulled away on the anchor to grab 64 points for NC State.
Duke (1:25.03) and Louisville (1:25.06) joined the Wolfpack on the podium.
Countdown to Splashdown
The doors to the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center opened a few minutes ago, and the 2015 ACC Men’s Swimming Championship begins shortly at 3 p.m. with the 200 yard medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay. The Aquatic Center, which played host to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, is welcoming the ACC Championships for the fourth time after previously hosting in 2005, 2008 and 2011.
Make sure to follow @ACCSwimDive and #ACCMSD for updates through the week.