Feb. 28, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Georgia Tech relays had another strong night Thursday with the 200 free relay achieving an NCAA `A’ cut time as the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship continued at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
The 200 free relay of Eric Chiu, Andrew Kosic, Andrew Chetcuti and Nico van Duijn put down a time of 1:18.26, which ranks as the second-fastest in school history and good for Tech’s first NCAA `A’ cut this season.
Chetcuti and van Duijn were impressive in bringing the relay home as Chetcuti split in 19.41 and van Duijn in a slick 19.19 as the anchor.
“We’re swimming pretty fast right now and tonight was exciting to get an A-cut in the 200 free relay,” said head coach Courtney Shealy Hart. “Nico went 19.1 to bring it home and Andrew had a really nice swim on that third leg.”
An NCAA `A’ cut for a relay does not include automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship. But should any Tech swimmer qualify individually for the NCAA Championship, that relay, and any Tech relay with a B-cut (800 free relay) would clinch a spot.
“It’s exciting because that’s a lot of possible NCAA points,” said Hart. “I think we have a good chance to have some individual qualifiers, so to have two or more relays there as well would be big for us.”
Kosic reached the A-Final of the 50 free thanks to his 19.74 time in the prelims. The sophomore sprinted to the finish tonight in a time of 19.79, which was good for sixth in the ACC Championship’s marquee individual event. Less than a half-second separated the winner, Florida State’s Mark Weber (19.44), from eighth-place, Virginia Tech’s Zach McGinnis (19.91).
Chiu was also strong in the 50 free, reaching the B-Final with a time of 20.04, and setting a lifetime best in the finals with his 19.96 – good for 11th. It marked the first time he broke the 20-second mark in his career.
Freshman Yuval Safra set a pair of lifetime bests in the 500 free, qualifying for the B-Final with a 4:26.20 on Thursday morning and shaving that down to a 4:25.42 in the finals, good for a 14th-place finish.
Mark Sarman achieved an NCAA `B’ cut in the 200 IM Thursday morning with a 1:48.17, and came back in the finals with a 1:49.34 to place 20th.
Tech put 64 points on the board during the second day of action and finds itself in seventh place with 118 points. The Jackets are just 39 points shy of Duke in sixth and 41 points from fifth-place NC State. Virginia Tech leads the championship with 305 points.
“We’re right there,” said Hart. “Tomorrow’s a big day for us with a lot of points up for grabs. We need to come out ready to swim right away.”
The championship continues Friday at 11 a.m. with the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, and 100 back preliminaries, with the finals in those events on Friday night at 7 p.m.
Live coverage of the finals on Friday and Saturday can be seen on the ACC Digital Network on theACC.com and on ESPN3 starting at 7 p.m. For more on the 2013 ACC Swimming and Diving Championships, head to the official website at http://theacc.co/SwimDiveChamps.