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Gallant earns All-American honors, helps Wolfpack finish fourth

Canton High graduate Will Gallant earned All-American honors by finishing second in the 1,650-yard freestyle at Saturday’s NCAA Division I championship meet. (Photo courtesy N.C. State Athletics)

Canton High graduate Will Gallant helped the North Carolina State win the recent Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) championship and finish fourth at the NCAA Division I swimming and diving championships this past weekend in Atlanta.

Gallant, a long-distance swimming specialist for the Wolfpack, earned All-American honors in the 1,650-yard freestyle race at Saturday’s national championship race by finishing second behind U.S. Olympian Bobby Finke of the University of Florida.

Gallant had a personal-best time of 14:31.34 to finish second behind Finke, the American record holder, who won the race in 14:22.28.

Gallant’s North Carolina State teammate Ross Dant was third in 14:31.72. North Carolina State finished fourth in the NCAA championship for the fourth time in team history (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019).

Earlier this month, Gallant won his first ACC title in the 1,650 yard freestyle as the Wolfpack won the ACC title for the seventh time in the last eight years.

Gallant shaved nearly 16 seconds off his personal-best time in the race with a time of 14:33.40. Dant finished second in 14:36.72 while teammates Eric Knowles and James Plage finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Gallant, who is a sophomore at North Carolina State, also earned a bronze medal at the ACC championships with a third place finish in the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 4:12.99.

Gallant, who graduated from Canton High in 2019, spent one season at the University of Indiana before going to California in May 2021 to train with the Mission Viejo Natadores in an attempt to make the 2021 U.S. Olympic team. He enrolled at North Carolina State in September 2021.

He finished fourth in the 1,500 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials and fifth in the 800 meters.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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