The N.C. State Men's Swimming and Diving team returned from the 2018 NCAAs with a bunch of hardware. Umm, how about five National Championships?!? That's right. Five. Not to mention, all of the shattered records along the way. In fact, the Wolfpack's five titles even broke a school record.
It all began with the 800 Freestyle Relay, where the team of Ryan Held, Andreas Vazaios, Justin Ress, and Jacob Molacek obliterated several records in route to an NCAA Championship victory. The Pack won yet another championship in the 400 Freestyle Relay, headed by Ress, Held, Molacek, and Coleman Stewart. Anton Ipsen, Stewart and the newly anointed ACC Swimmer of the Year Vazaios each won individual NCAA Titles in the 1,650 Freestyle, 100 Backstroke, and 200 Butterfly, respectively.
Several years ago, I didn't really get into swimming and diving too much. I mean, I'd watch it every four years during the Olympics but I don't really swim or dive nor do I know much about the rules of the sport. My affinity for the sport has grown ten-fold, particularly since the Rio Olympics. It also helps when the swimmers and divers are personable to their fans and supporters. For example, I've written previously about my experience meeting Held and Ipsen, among others soon after their participation in the Olympics. I also was able to meet both the men's and women's teams this past season. And, as if that wasn't enough, many of the swimmers and divers interact with fans on social media. Ress recently followed me on Twitter (which is pretty freaking cool) and I've conversed(?) with him, M.J. O'Donnell and others on Twitter over the past several months. Heck, I've even been acknowledged by the N.C. State Swimming/Diving's Twitter account - see below.
I always find it awesome when athletes, celebs, what have you interact with their fans. It makes supporting these guys and gals even more fun! I'm also proud to support them and my alma mater, of course. It's been a heckuva season, for sure. Congrats to all of our National Champions! You've worked extremely hard and deserve these incredible honors. Much love to you all!
N(ational) C(hamps) State 🐺
For more on N.C. State's performance at the 2018 NCAAs, check this out.