The Wolfpacker

May 2017 Issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 25 of 87

26 ■ THE WOLFPACKER TRACKING THE PACK RYAN HELD Junior • Men's Swimming NC State junior Ryan Held continues to climb the ladder toward becoming one of the best sprint swimmers in the country. His first moment in the spotlight came last sum- mer when the nation watched Held break down in tears of joy after helping the 4x100 freestyle relay team win a gold medal at the Olympics in Rio. At the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships March 22-25 in Indianapolis, Held swam a blistering leadoff leg of 1:31.37 in the 800 freestyle relay to help NC State claim a national title in the race. Held also contributed to finishes of fourth in the 200 freestyle relay, sixth in the 200 medley relay and seventh in the 400 freestyle relay. Individually, Held closed the gap on his good friend and rival Caeleb Dressel from Florida, a fellow gold medalist on that relay in Rio. Held finished second in the 50 freestyle, third in the 100 freestyle and fourth in the 100 butterfly to claim first-team All-America honors in the three races, which were all won by Dressel. A year ago, Held was seventh in the 50 freestyle and fourth in the 100 freestyle, and he did not compete in the 100 butterfly. At the ACC level, Held won all three of those individual races during the conference's championship meet, and he additionally holds the ACC record for the fastest 50 freestyle (18.58 seconds), 200 freestyle (1:31.37 on the leadoff leg of the NCAA title-winning relay) and 100 butterfly (44.79 seconds). The last school record he is chasing is Simonas Bilis' 41.18 seconds in the 100 freestyle, and Held is not far from it. Held's personal best in the race is 41.21 seconds. Not surprisingly, Held was the unanimous choice by the ACC coaches for the league's Male Swimmer of the Year award. — Matt Carter/Photo Courtesy NC State Media Relations wolfpacker spotlight

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