Led by two individual silver medals from junior Coleman Stewart, the NC State men’s swimming team had a strong day of competition Friday at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, garnering eight All-American honors to put itself in fourth place heading into the final day.
The Wolfpack finished up Friday with 215 team points, 62.5 behind third-place Indiana. After winning three silver medals over the first two days at NCAAs, the Pack captured three more medals on Friday thanks to Stewart’s silvers in the 100-yard butterfly and backstroke, as well as a third-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay.
The Pack had a great showing in the 100 fly, as Stewart was one of three Wolfpack swimmers to qualify for a final in the event. Stewart captured All-American honors in the event for the second year in a row with his swim of 44.46, a new ACC record, as he finished just .09 seconds behind Indiana’s Vini Lanza for the gold.
Seniors Noah Hensley and James Bretscher both earned honorable mention All-American nods in the 100 fly, with Hensley placing sixth in the ‘B’ final, 14th overall, and Bretscher touching in at eighth, 16th overall.
The Pack came close to having four swimmers earn All-American status in the event, as freshman Nyls Korstanje placed 19th in prelims, three spots off a trip to the finals.
In the 100 back, Stewart couldn’t defend his national title despite his best efforts. In prelims, Stewart placed first with a pool record time of 44.06. He improved on that time by .08 seconds in the final, breaking his own ACC record, but was beaten out by a phenomenal 43.66 from Harvard’s Dean Farris. It was still a great swim for Stewart, who captured his second silver medal and All-American nod of the night.
Seniors Andreas Vazaios and Justin Ress joined Stewart in the evening session of the 100 back, with Vazaios placing 12th overall and Ress finishing in 15th. Both swimmers earned honorable mention All-American status.
Much like in the 100 fly, the Pack came very close to placing four swimmers in finals, as Hensley’s prelim finish of 18th put him just two spots off the ‘B’ final.
Senior Jacob Molacek also competed in a ‘B’ final Friday night, earning honorable mention All-American status in the 200-yard freestyle. Molacek placed sixth in the consolation final, good for 14th overall, with a swim of 1:33.28. Molacek squeaked into the finals during Friday morning’s prelim session, taking the 16th and final spot.
The Wolfpack finished up Friday with its sixth medal of the meet, as the team of Vazaios, senior Daniel Graber, Korstanje and Ress finished third in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:22.47 in a very competitive swim. The Pack was just .04 seconds back of California for second.
Graber and sophomore Eric Knowles competed in prelims Friday morning, with Graber taking 40th in the 100-yard breaststroke and Knowles placing 21st in the 400-yard individual medley.
NC State has finished in fourth place each of the last three years and finds itself in that familiar spot with one day left at NCAAs. The Pack will be back in the pool Saturday to finish out its season.