Braden Holloway's astounding work as head coach of the swimming/diving program has turned NC State into a team that can compete at a national level on both the men's and women's side. His improvements also mean that State once again has the kind of talent that can earn Olympic bids.
This weekend, a trio of NC State swimmers earned a shot at the Olympic trials that will be held in Omaha next summer, ahead of the start of the Olympics. Those three: Ashlyn Koletic in the 100 meter backstroke, Candace Cooper in the 100 meter backstroke, and Ryan Wilkinson in the same event.
Dane Anton Ipsen is also on his way.
This year the NC State men's swimming team won the ACC for the first time in more than two decades, and the women's team has been much better--like top-25 good, if not quite good enough to win the league. Really there's no better indicator of where this program is now than the number of potential Olympic qualifiers.
I've said this before, but if you ever attend an NC State swimming event in Carmichael, and if you look up at the banners, it's a completely jarring experience. NC State was astoundingly good at swimming in the 1960s and 1970s, with multiple Olympic representatives to show for it. We might be getting back to that point, which is pretty damn awesome.