NC State Finishes Fourth; Wins Historic Relay as NCAAs Conclude

ATLANTA – Highlighted by the first relay national title in ACC history, NC State finished fourth in the team race and seven ACC teams placed in the top 30 in the country as competition concluded Saturday night at the 2016 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship, held Wednesday through Sunday at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the campus of Georgia Tech.

NC State placed fourth with 314 points, tied for the best finish by an ACC men’s team in league history. The Wolfpack previously had finished fourth in 1955. Louisville scored 164.5 points for 11th place, and was followed by No. 19 Virginia Tech (44.5), No. 22 Pitt (31), No. 22 Miami (31), No. 26 North Carolina (16), No. 28 Virginia (15), No. 31 Florida State (31), No. 37 Georgia Tech (8), and No. 39 Duke (7).

Ten ACC teams scored points in the meet, tied for the most from any conference.

NC State closed out the meet in historic fashion in the 400 freestyle relay. Ryan Held, Simonas Bilis, Andreas Schiellerup, and Soeren Dahl touched in an ACC record time of 2:46.81 to become the first ACC relay squad to win a national title in league history. The Wolfpack out-touched Texas (2:46.85) at the wall for the championship.

The final night of competition got underway with the 1,650 freestyle. NC State’s Anton Oerskov Ipsen placed fifth in a time of 14:35.35, just 0.23 seconds off the ACC record held by Virginia’s Matt McLean that has stood since 2009. Ipsen’s teammate, Adam Linker, posted a time of 14:52.78 for 16th place.

Stuart Hennessey started a run on the ACC record book by NC State swimmers in the second event, as the sophomore set an ACC record in 1:38.56 in the 200 backstroke and finished third. Grigory Tarasevich of Louisville, who set the previous record at the ACC Championship, touched in 1:39.81 to claim the top spot in the consolation final, while Virginia Tech’s Robert Owen was 15th in 1:41.34.

Simonas Bilis retook the league mark in the 100 freestyle in 41.18, good for a runner-up finish behind Florida’s Caeleb Dressel and the fifth-fastest time in history. Teammate Ryan Held was just behind with a time of 41.77 in fourth place.

In the 200 breastroke, Virginia Tech’s Brandon Fiala became the first Hokie men’s swimmer to earn three career All-America honors with a fifth-place finish in 1:53.45. Fiala was joined by two other ACC swimmers in the championship final as Louisville’s Carlos Claverie (1:53.55) and Virginia’s Yannick Kaeser (1:53.64) placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

Christian McCurdy claimed the third league record for the Wolfpack on the night in the 200 butterfly. The senior lowered his own ACC best, set last month at the ACC Championship, with a time of 1:41.06 to finish fifth in the event.

Dylan Grisell scored 366.75 in the championship final to become the first Florida State male diver to become an All-American on the platform with a seventh place finish. Georgia Tech’s Bradley Homza finished 14th with a score of 335.40.

In the 400 freestyle relay, the final event of the meet, Louisville joined NC State with a top 16 finish by placing 13th in 2:52.18.

Over the four-day meet, ACC swimmers and divers posted 24 individual and seven relay All-America performances and garnered 17 individual and five relay Honorable Mention All-America accolades.