GREENSBORO, N.C. – The No. 14 Florida State men’s swimming and diving team powered to the podium in the 400 medley relay after sophomore Izaak Bastian won bronze in the 100 breast on Friday night at the ACC Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
In the 400 medley relay, the team of senior Griffin Alaniz, Bastian, sophomore Max McCusker and freshman Peter Varjasi clocked an NCAA automatic time of 3:05.62, winning the silver medal.
FSU was in a tight race for second along with NC State and Virginia as McCusker handed the anchor leg to Varjasi. Heading into the final turn, Varjasi was even with both teams until the final 10 yards when he dug deep and surged to the finish, putting the Noles on the podium in the race for the first time since 2014.
“We had a good evening,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “Capping it off by winning silver in the relay was amazing. We had a lot of best times today and fast swims. We’re excited for tomorrow. I’m happy for Max and Izaak tonight. They had great individuals and then along with Griff and a stellar anchor swim from our super freshman Peter.”
Working out of lane eight in his second career championship final, Bastian went out with the top swimmers in the field and held on to take third place with a career best of 52.36, which was just off the school record set by Jason Coombs at 52.11 in 2015.
His bronze is the first individual medal of his career, after winning silver in the 200 medley relay on Wednesday and bronze in the event in 2019.
Alaniz swam in his second career ACC backstroke A final, holding his seed out of prelims in the 100 back (46.30) in order to place seventh at 46.78.
McCusker swam a personal best in the 100 fly, holding his ninth place seed, touching at 45.97 after clocking a 46.23 this morning. The performance moves him up to fifth on the FSU all-time top 10 list.
Freshman Nick Vance moved up from 21st (3:52.18) and finished 19th overall in the 400 IM behind a season best swim of 3:50.12. He remains in fifth place in school history with that performance.
The Seminoles had five swimmers make it back in finals in the 200 free, paced by Varjasi, who came back on the final 50 yards in order to win the consolation heat with a time of 1:34.17.
In the bonus heat, senior Rudo Loock led the way, touching for 20th place at 1:36.50. His classmate Vladimir Stefanik followed in 22nd (1:39.11), freshman Aziz Ghaffari was 23rd (1:39.19) and sophomore Jakub Ksiazek was 24th (1:39.11).
The Seminoles are in a close team race, holding on to fifth place with a total of 552.5, 24.5 points behind No. 19 Virginia Tech in fourth place and 17 points ahead of No. 18 Notre Dame in sixth.
Saturday’s prelims will begin at 10 a.m. with the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast and 200 fly. The 1650 free will be swum before finals at 6 p.m., which will air on the ACC Network Extra with Dave Armstrong and legendary swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines on the call.
Prelims – 10 a.m.
200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 1650 free
Finals – 6 p.m.
1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400 free relay