The NC State women’s swim team and the men and women’s diving team will compete in the ACC Championship from Wednesday, Feb. 19 to Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
The NC State women’s swim team (7-2, 3-1 ACC) finished its regular season with a dominant 181-114 road victory against Virginia Tech. The Wolfpack swept six events against the Hokies and even took the top four spots in 200-yard free, 50-yard free and 200-yard breast. The diving team had a strong performance as well against Virginia Tech, placing a diver on the podium in every event.
NC State women’s swimming is coming into the ACC championships as the No. 6 team in the nation, but only ranked second in the ACC behind Virginia. The Wolfpack is looking for its second consecutive conference championship. Virginia has been exceptional this year and has managed to bring its rank all the way up to No. 3 in the nation. Virginia has only lost one meet all year, and it was to No. 2 Tennessee back at the beginning of the season. Other teams to watch for in the ACC championships include No. 12 UNC Chapel-Hill, No. 15 Louisville and No. 18 Duke.
The Cavaliers have dominated freestyle events, with Morgan Hill and Paige Madden posting top-10 times in the nation in most of them. However, NC State and Virginia will be competing for the backstroke points. NC State freshman Katharine Berkoff will battle it out against Caroline Gmelinch in the short backstroke events. 200-yard back is dominated by NC State though, with Berkoff, sophomore Emma Muzzy and junior Kate Moore all having top-10 times. Wolfpack sophomore Sophie Hansson, UNC’s Caroline Hauder and UVA’s Kate Douglass are going to be battling it out in breaststroke, all with close times in different distances.
The Wolfpack is outmatched in the butterfly events, with UVA’s Kate Douglass and Duke’s Alyssa Marsh leading the way. Douglass is looking to dominate in IM events as well, with NC State’s junior Julia Poole not far behind.
The relay events should be very interesting. NC State will be neck and neck with Louisville and UNC in 200-yard free relay but should dominate 800-yard free relay with the top time by five seconds. The 400-yard free relay will be a close battle as well between UVA, UNC and NC State with top times only being separated by a second. However, UVA has the opportunity to take both medley relays, honing more dominant top times in both events.
The Wolfpack diving team has a tough matchup ahead of it in the conference championship. The women’s divers have to go up against top-100 scorers in 1-meter and 3-meter despite not having any divers in that list. Notre Dame, UNC, Louisville, and Duke’s women divers dominate these events in the ACC. However, women’s senior diver Madeline Kline is top-15 in platform diving along with UNC’s Emily Grund and Duke’s Jaina Gaudette. The men’s diving team also has to face several top times in 1-meter and 3-meter despite not having any outstanding scores. However, senior James Brady, freshman Patrick O’Brien and freshman Bayne Bennett have been improving all season and could make a statement in the ACC championships. O’Brien has even managed to post a top-15 score in platform diving.
In the previous meet against Virginia Tech, women’s senior diver Madeline Kline finished second in both one-meter and three-meter boards. Kline will be the Wolfpack women’s diver to watch. Also, men’s senior diver James Brady finished first in 1-meter and third in 3-meter and will be looking to make a statement in the ACC championships.
The women’s swim and men and women’s diving ACC championships will begin Feb. 19 and will last until Feb. 22 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, NC.