After six swimming events and two days of competition at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, the NC State men’s swimming team sits in fourth place thanks to three podium finishes and seven All-American honors.
The Pack has 136 team points after Thursday night’s session at NCAAs, 19 behind third-place Indiana. NC State has captured three silver medals through the first two days of competition, one from senior Andreas Vazaios in the 200-yard individual medley and one in both the 200- and 800-yard freestyle relays.
The Pack started the meet out with a bang on Wednesday night, capturing the silver medal in the 800 free relay in the first event. The Wolfpack came up 1.55 seconds short of defending its national title in the event, but the team of Vazaios, junior Coleman Stewart, senior Jacob Molacek and senior Justin Ress still collected hardware with a time of 6:06.63.
NC State made it two for two on silver medals in relays Thursday night, starting the second session of finals off with a second-place finish in the 200 free relay. With a time of 1:14.78, freshman Nyls Korstanje, Ress, Molacek and sophomore Giovanni Izzo earned All-American status and the Pack’s second podium finish of the meet.
Vazaios earned an individual silver medal Thursday, placing second and lowering his own ACC-record time in the 200 IM. Vazaios finished in 1:39.35 to garner All-American status, which would have been an NCAA meet record if not for the 1:38.14 from the first-place finisher, Andrew Seliksar of California.
The silver in the 200 IM marked the second straight year that Vazaios has earned an individual medal at NCAAs, as he won the 200-yard butterfly and medaled in the 200 IM and 100-yard backstroke last year.
Ress also competed in a main final Thursday night, as he placed eighth to earn his second straight All-American nod in the 50-yard freestyle. Korstanje also participated in the 50 free finals, finishing fourth in the consolation final to pick up the first All-American honor of his career, an honorable mention.
In prelims Thursday morning, Ress booked the last spot in the ‘A’ final with a swim of 19.05. Korstanje finished .05 seconds behind Ress, earning him a 10th-place qualifying time and a trip to the ‘B’ final. Molacek also competed in the 50 free, placing 21st in prelims with a time of 19.30.
The other individual event Thursday was the 500-yard freestyle, which featured three NC State swimmers. In prelims, sophomore Eric Knowles qualified for the ‘B’ final of the event with a time of 4:13.78, just .06 seconds away from a trip to the main final.
Junior Jack McIntyre placed 29th in prelims with a time of 4:16.96, followed by sophomore Gil Kiesler, who came in at 39th with a 4:19.23.
In the 500 free ‘B’ final, Knowles gained honorable mention All-American status, the first of his career, with a fourth-place finish in the consolation final. Knowles’ time of 4:14.22 was good for 12th overall.
The Pack wrapped up competition Thursday in the 400-yard medley relay, where it finished just off the podium in fourth place to garner All-American status. The team of Vazaios, senior Daniel Graber, Stewart and Molacek finished in 3:03.25.
In the prelims of the 400 medley relay, the Pack also placed fourth. The prelim team was made up of Stewart, Graber, Molacek and senior Noah Hensley.
Fourth place in the team standings is a familiar place for the Wolfpack, which has finished in that spot three years in a row at NCAAs. The Pack will look to build on its success and potentially pass that mark with two days of competition left.