NC State won three more events at the ACC men’s swimming championship on Thursday evening, which was more than enough to hold off a very good Louisville team. The Wolfpack finished with nearly 1300 points, beating Louisville by more than 150 points, and third-place Notre Dame by more than 350. It was a heck of a week for State, which is now back-to-back-to-back ACC champs.
IT'S A THREE-PEAT FOR THE WOLFPACK! pic.twitter.com/1wYZVT3tEo— NC State Swim / Dive (@packswimdive) March 3, 2017
So there’s a bunch of dudes on this team who have no idea what it’s like to end a year without winning the ACC title. That includes junior Ryan Held, whose Olympic experience hase helped vault him into rarefied air this season. Held earned MVP honors at the meet, taking home a total of seven gold medals, including three from individual events. He won the 100-yard freestyle event by more than a second.
He also swam the second leg on the 4x100 freestyle relay team, staking the Wolfpack to an enormous lead:
(Held circled, everybody else ... way behind.)
And again, that’s less than halfway through. The kid has turned into a swimming cheat code.
Held understandably gets a lot of attention nowadays—and his swimming merits it—but NC State got a lot of outstanding contributions this week to help bring this title home for the third straight year. Once again, the Pack’s sprinters were impressive across the board. Every member of that 4x100 relay team is really fast. State is stacked with all kinds of speed, and this is what is going to give the Pack a legit shot at winning a national title in a few weeks.