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Winter sports programs off to strong start

We could really use some good news around here. Here it is!

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

NC State's trio of top 10 winter sports programs are all off to strong starts. The top-ranked men's swimming team obliterated the field in the Greensboro Aquatic Club Invitational, the sixth-ranked women moved from second to first on the final day of the event, and ninth-ranked wrestling dominated a top 25 Appalachian State program in the teams' most recent competitions.

Men's swimming totaled 2,133 points to outpace 20th-ranked Notre Dame, which finished a distant second with 1,593 points. Olympians Anton Ipsen and Ryan Held paced the Pack. Ipsen picked up an NCAA cut in winning the 1,600 freestyle in 14:39.63. Held won the 100 free and helped the 400 free relay pick up another NCAA qualifying time (2:52.28) along with teammates Justin Ress, Scott Johnson, and Soren Dahl. Dahl also competed in the Rio Olympics.

The women outpaced four other ranked teams to win with 1,938 points, passing 20th-ranked UNC (1,845.5) in the final events of the three-day event. Alexia Zevnik led the effort, winning the 200 backstroke and 100 free in back-to-back events. Her performance earned her ACC swimmer of the week honors. Zevnik, along with teammates Ky-Lee Perry, Krista Duffield, and Kayla Caldwell, captured an NCAA cut in the 400 free relay with the winning time of 3:13.35.

Wrestling is off to a 3-0 start with wins over UNC-Pembroke, Army, and 23rd-ranked Appalachian State. The Mountaineers were coming off a win over UNC before falling 30-8 in renovated Reynolds Coliseum. State's ranked wrestlers—#4 Max Rohskopf at 157 pounds, #7 Kevin Jack at 141 pounds, #17 Michael Macchiavello at 184 pounds, and #18 Sean Fausz at 133 pounds—all won, with Jack dominating to the tune of a 17-1 tech fall.

Two ranked Mountaineers went down. Sam Speno's 19-7 win over 15th-ranked Matt Zovistoski at 149 was perhaps the Pack's most impressive win of the dual meet. At 165, junior Brian Hamann road out the entire third period to beat 19th-ranked Forrest Przybysz, 2-1.

After competing in the Journeymen Tussle this weekend, the Pack host seventh-ranked Nebraska at Reynolds on December 9th. The dual against the Cornhuskers can be streamed live through the ACC network.