Louisville Wins First Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Title By Two Points; Florida State Finishes Fifth

By Sharon Robb
GREENSBORO, N.C., February 28, 2021–For the first time in school history, the University of Louisville won a thrilling Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship Saturday at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

The Cardinals, coached by Arthur Albiero since 2003, broke five school records, had eight first place swims and won in the closest margin of victory in ACC history.

Louisville finished with 1,181 points and edged North Carolina State by two points in the meet. N.C. State was second with 1,179 and Virginia Tech was third with 1,085.

Florida State, with St. Andrew’s alum Izaak Bastian, finished fifth with 740 points.

Louisville needed to finish in the top three of the 400-yard freestyle relay, the final race of the meet, to win the championship. The teams were separated by 10 points going into the relay.

The Louisville relay team of Haridi Sameh, Nicolas Albiero, Michael Eastman and Tanner Cummings delivered, finishing second to N.C. State (2:48.19) with a time of 2:48.37.

“What a meet all around,” Albiero said. “I am proud to be part of this conference. It has been a crazy year for all of us. I am so proud of the guys. They found a way to be resilient.

“Plenty of things weren’t pretty but this group has so much fight. I love their passion and pride. We are who we are because of the people who came before us.

“This is such a special group. We do it the Louisville way, with heart and with not dwelling on past mistakes.”

Louisville’s score marked the highest point total in program history, bettering the previous mark of 1,178 set in 2015 during its first year in the ACC.

The win snapped N.C. State’s winning streak.

The Cardinals return to the Greensboro Aquatic Center for the NCAA Championships on March 24-27.

Vlad Polyakov, a St. Thomas Aquinas and Coral Springs Swim Club alum, has been a member of the Louisville coaching staff and men’s recruiting coordinator since September 2012. He is a three-time Olympian and world champion for Kazakhstan and NCAA champion for Alabama, where Albiero was on the swim coaching staff at the time.

In early January, Albiero was forced to watch his team’s Missouri meet on his home computer because of COVID-19 contact tracing protocols.

Notre Dame’s Jack Hoagland was named the Most Valuable Swimmer after becoming the first men’s swimmer since 2018 to win three individual events. Hoagland won the 500-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley and 1,650-yard freestyle.

North Carolina’s Anton Down-Jenkins was voted the Most Valuable Diver last week after winning the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions.

University of Miami swept the podium for the men’s platform diving competition. The Hurricanes’ Zach Cooper won the event after taking silver in 2020 with a score of 421.50, extending the Hurricanes’ streak to five straight titles in the event. Max Flory (416.05) and Brodie Scapens (380.70) rounded out the top three.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

Welcome to the South Florida Aquatic club, a premier community swim team dedicated to providing opportunity and encouragement to all team members, from the beginner to the seasoned Olympic athlete in their pursuit of excellence. The year-round development program for competitive swimming features life-enhancing qualities including integrity, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and health and fitness. We invite you to navigate the club’s portal for information about the team.

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