For those unfamiliar with swimming terminology, the concept of “Ups” and “Downs” is a good way to track which teams performed best at prelims. In prelims, swimmers qualify for one of three finals heats: the top 8 finishers make the A final, places 9 through 16 the B final and places 17 through 24 the C final. In finals, swimmers are locked into their respective final, meaning a swimmer in the B heat (spots 9-16) can only place as high as 9th or as low as 16th, even if they put up the fastest or slowest time of any heat in the final.
With that in mind, we’ll be tracking “Ups,” “Mids” and “Downs” after each prelims session. “Up” refers to swimmers in the A final, “Mid” to swimmers in the B final and “Down” to swimmers in the C final.
After the first prelims session of the 2021 ACC Men’s Championships, it looks like things are shaping up largely about how we expected, with the teams that should finish in the top four all getting the job done. Louisville, NC State, and Virginia all put five swimmers into tonight’s individual A-finals, with Virginia Tech right behind with four championship finalists.
Virginia and Virginia Tech each got at least one up in each of today’s three events. Louisville missed out on any A-finalists in the 500 free, but made up for that with four ups in the 50 free. NC State, somewhat shockingly, won’t have a single A-finalist in the 50 free for the first time in a decade, but they did get three men in the top eight of the 500 free, a testament to how much depth the Wolfpack’s distance group has developed over the last few years.
Day 2 Ups/Mids/Downs
|Team||Score After Day 1*||500 Free||200 IM||50 Free||Totals|
*includes all diving points.
The biggest thing that jumps out is the 50 free, where Louisville put up a whopping 5 A finalists, but NC State, home to the ACC Champion in 5 of the last 6 seasons, had none.
NC State is still favored to win the meet as the week goes on, but this highlights what a different year this is for the Wolfpack as they await a monster incoming recruiting class and the return of some of their non-American swimmers who sat out this season because of the pandemic and Olympic preparations.
The last time NC State didn’t have an ACC A-Finalist in the 50 free was in 2011 – the year before Braden Holloway became head coach.
Projected Scores By Event:
|NC State||VT||Louisville||UVA||Florida St||ND||GT||PITT||UNC||Duke|
If those points projections were to hold, here’s what scores will look like after tonight, including all diving events, but not including tonight’s 200 free relay.
- Virginia Tech – 427.5
- Louisville – 415
- NC State – 397
- UNC – 330.5
- FSU – 302
- UVA – 281
- Georgia Tech – 262
- Miami (FL) – 207
- Duke – 172
- Notre Dame – 161
- Pitt – 159
- Boston College – 66