Over the weekend, the NC State men’s swimming and diving team finished 4th overall in the 2016 NCAA Championships. The Pack finished with 314 points, while Texas took finished first for the second year in a row. This top four finish ties with the highest team finish since 1955 under head coach Willis Casey.
NC State’s 400 freestyle relay beat out the Longhorns to finish first, marking the best Wolfpack finish since 2006 when Olympian Cullen Jones won the 50 free.
Senior Simonas Bilis not only led the winning 400 relay, but also finished in the top-three in all of his three sprint events. Bilis is now the fifth fastest all-time 100 free male swimmer in history.
Sophomore Hennessy Stuart also represented the Pack on the podium in the 200 backstroke where he finished third.
Current head coach, Braden Holloway, took over the program in 2011 and has only improved the program since taking leadership. Holloway and his assistant coaches have made enormous strides for the program with their ‘new school’ culture. They pride themselves on a unique culture between swimmers and coaches that clearly has been working. In the past five years, Holloway and his staff has won back-to-back men’s ACC Championships, had top-ten NCAA finishes for both men and women’s teams, and has made program history.
Regardless of how other Wolfpack sports are doing, NC State is now a household name in the college swimming world, and it looks like we will be for a while.