The men’s and women’s swim teams traveled to Raleigh to take on North Carolina State on Saturday in the team’s first competition since the ConocoPhillips U.S. Short Course Nationals in early December. Both the men’s and women’s competitions came down to the final race, and Tech earned a split: the men came from behind to win 124-118, while the women’s team lost 127-115.
The teams were very evenly matched; in eight of the thirteen events, one school won the men’s race while the other school took the women’s race. Tech took first place in both races in the 100-yard freestyle, won by sophomore Garrett Robberson (46.02 seconds) and junior Agatha Kwasnik (51.39 seconds), and the 50-yard freestyle, which went to Kwasnik (24.41 seconds) and senior Mauricio Sousa (20.67 seconds). N.C. State swept first place in the 200-yard backstroke, the 500-yard freestyle, and the 200-yard breaststroke. The one-meter and three-meter diving events were splits as well, but Tech junior Hannah Krimm took both of the women’s dives (282.98, 323.40) while NC State’s Austin Hampton won both men’s events (325.50, 393.60). Hampton set a school record with his three-meter score of 393.60, beating the previous record by 27 points.
Tech had a number of notable individual performances in the competition. Robberson, in addition to winning the 100-yard freestyle, was on the first-place relay teams in the 400-yard medley and the 400-yard freestyle. Sophomore Travis Wagner was with Robberson on both relay teams and set a personal record of 1:40.87 in the 200-yard freestyle, though he finished in second place. Junior Gal Nevo took first place in the men’s 400-yard individual medley (3:59.71) and the 200-yard butterfly (1:51.77).
Both the men’s and women’s competitions remained undecided heading into the twenty-sixth and final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. In the women’s event, N.C. State was able to secure the victory, as their top squad’s time of 3:29.64 eclipsed the 3:30.91 notched by Tech’s A-team of freshman Sarah Broadley, junior Taylor Flynn, sophomore Katherine Locker, and freshman Keren Siebner. The Tech women needed a victory to have a chance, so even though the B-team of freshmen Heidi Hatteberg and Jessie Mason, sophomore Christine Chuang, and junior Jing Li came in third, the Wolfpack secured a win in the women’s competition.
The finish of the men’s relay was far closer. As with the women, the men’s team needed a win in the race to be able to win the competition, and they got that win—but only by a fraction of a second. The A-team of Robberson, Sousa, freshman Nigel Plummer, and Wagner completed the relay with a time of 3:05.66, just five-hundredths of a second better than the 3:05.71 mark of N.C. State’s A-team.
“Roberson really pulled it out for us at the end…he was pushing the team all the way and was strong from start to finish,” said Head Coach Stu Wilson.
The team has three meets left before the ACC Championships begin in late February. Next week, both the men and women will travel to Blacksburg, Va. to take on UNC-Wilmington and host Virginia Tech, and on Jan. 31 they will conclude the regular season against Emory.