March 2, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Georgia Tech men swam past Duke in the final event of the 2013 ACC Men’s Swimming Championship to lock up a sixth-place team finish on Saturday night at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The Yellow Jackets scored 269.5 points and matched last season’s finish.
Tech got to the final event of the championships – the 400 free relay – trailing sixth-place Duke by just half a point. The relay of Andrew Kosic, Eric Chiu, Andrew Chetcuti and Nico van Duijn put down the second-fastest time in school history of 2:55.48, beat out Duke for fifth place in the event and allowed the Jackets to jump the Blue Devils in the final team standings.
“The guys really came together tonight and I’m proud of them,” said head coach Courtney Shealy Hart. “It was another day where we had guys post lifetime best times. We were in a battle coming into that last event and we won the battle. It was a fun night and a positive way to end the championship.”
Saturday was the biggest point-scoring session of the championship for the Ramblin’ Wreck, who put 90 points on the board. Three Jackets scored points in the 1,650 free, three in the 200 breast, while van Duijn was fifth in the 200 fly and Kosic was sixth in the 100 free.
van Duijn was clocked with the second-fastest time in school history in the 200 fly during the prelims (1:44.93), and came back Saturday night with a 1:45.17 in the finals to finish fifth and score 14 points for the Jackets. Mark Sarman posted a lifetime-best 1:47.41 in the prelims and was 14th overall with a 1:48.66 in the finals.
Kosic sprinted to the wall in a time of 43.57 in claiming a sixth-place finish in the 100 free. Chiu recorded a career-best time of 44.12 in Saturday’s prelims and placed 12th with his finals time of 44.41.
“Chiu scored points in three individual events this week and it was a great way to end his last ACC championship,” said Hart. “But we’re not done yet. We have an A-cut in a relay and we’ll know in a week and a half whether we’ll be swimming at the NCAA Championship.”
Freshman Yuval Safra led a trio of Jackets in the 1,650 free, and the rookie’s time of 15:12.16 stands as the third-fastest in Tech history and was good for a ninth-place finish. Zach Tillman was 15th (15:39.34) and Michael Kenny was 16th (15:48.67).
Three Jackets reached the B-final of the 200 breast, and Anton Lagerqvist led the way with his 11th-place finish in a time of 1:58.86. Matthew Vaughan was 12th (2:00.08) and Ryan Salman was 13th (2:00.31).
“I know Anton would have liked to swim better,” said Hart. “He’s the reigning ACC Champion in the 200 breast, but he has really been under the weather this week in Greensboro and it’s been a tough few days for him.”
Virginia, which also won the women’s championship, scored 759.5 points to claim the men’s title. It’s the sixth consecutive season that the Cavaliers have won both the men’s and women’s titles. Virginia Tech was second (597 points), followed by North Carolina (549), Florida State (534), NC State (481), Georgia Tech, Duke (268) and Boston College (120).