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The No. 22 Florida State Women’s swimming and diving team finished the 2013 ACC Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in fourth place with a total of 497 points.
The Seminoles finished behind Virginia (832), Virginia Tech (536) and North Carolina (508).
“That was one of the best team efforts and success we’ve had in about six or seven years,” head coach Neil Harper said. “Every competitor had a life time best time and we had some tough breaks, but we battled through adversity. The team points don’t quite measure up to the success we had with our ‘A’ cuts and the records that we broke. It was a total team effort and we have a lot to look forward to.”
Junior Tiffany Oliver finished out her individual races with a second gold medal of the meet. Swimming in a tough field, Oliver came from behind to defeat Lauren Perdue of Virginia with a time of 48.19, lowering her school record even further.
Oliver trailed Perdue at every turn during the four-lap race before charging towards the wall, overtaking the Olympic Gold Medalist in the final 10 yards to win her second ACC title of the meet.
“She’s gaining confidence,” Harper said. “She had success in the 50 earlier in the meet and she swam well in relays, so we knew it was coming. It was just a great performance and she paced herself well throughout the race and just took off in the end to win it.”
Her teammate, Kaitlyn Dressel snuck on the podium, grabbing the bronze for her first All-ACC honors of her career. She swam a time of 49.10.
“Kaitlyn jumped up from seventh to a bronze,” Harper said. “That was a phenomenal race for her and with that she was able to inspire the team. She set it up nicely for the relay at the end.”
It was the first time since 2008 that Florida State had two swimmers on the podium in the same event.
Freshman Kelsey Buckley took 13th in the consolation heat of the 100 free with a final time of 50.35 after swimming a personal best in prelims of a 50.15.
Ending the evening with the 400 free relay, the team of Dressel, Buckley, Katie Cook and Oliver crushed the school record, posting a new mark of 3:16.54 en route to winning the silver medal.
Dressel led off with a 48.91, putting the Seminoles in the front of the pack. Buckley split a 50.38 just before Cook swam a 50.01, leaving FSU in the middle of the pack.
Swimming the anchor leg, Oliver closed the gap and chased down Perdue for a second time for the silver medal. Oliver split a blazing, 47.24 on the end of the relay.
“Kaitlyn led off great,” Harper said. “Buckley and Katie Cook had nice splits to keep us it in and Tiffany just took off and passed other teams. 47.24 is one of the fastest relay splits in the nation. Unfortunately, North Carolina was a little too far ahead but we got the school record by almost three seconds and an ‘A’ cut. So, all four will be at the NCAA Championships.”
Senior Kristine Polley closed out her Seminole career with a personal best swim in the 200 breast of 2:13.32, earning the bronze medal. Finishing behind her in sixth place was sophomore Laura Flewelling with a time of 2:14.37.
“She’s just the heart and soul of the team” Harper said. “She’s a team captain and for her to close out her career as a medalist was a fairy tale ending. I’m happy and excited for her that she was able to get the bronze.”
In the consolation final, freshman Sami Pochowski placed 15th with a final time of 2:18.00.
Starting off the evening, junior Ashley Hicks swam her best time in the 200 back of 1:56.98, which was good for sixth place.
Sophomore Elizabeth Pepper placed eighth in her second career ACC ‘A’ final in the 200 fly, swimming a final time of 1:59.72. She swam a 1:57.14 in the prelims. Closing out her career in the consolation heat, senior Jamie Barrett placed 15th with a final time of 2:03.96.
Freshman Madison Jacobi placed sixth in the 1650 free, adding a career best time of 16:23.56. Junior Julia Henkel took 10th with a mark of 16:37.53, just ahead of sophomore Rachel Harrington who came in 11th with a personal best of 16:38.36.
In men’s diving, junior Tom Neubacher placed fourth in the finals of platform with a score of 361.95. Following him in fifth was senior Nick Klein with a total of 357.65 while junior Mikey Lewark placed seventh at 343.05.
“Top to bottom those guys did well,” Harper said. “Tonight all three of those guys made that top heat and those will be points that will be greatly needed for next week.”
At the end of the meet, Oliver, Dressel, Polley, Henkel and senior Ariel Rittenhouse were awarded All-ACC honors for placing in the top three of their individual events. In men’s diving, junior Tom Neubacher will carry those honors as well for a third place showing on 1-meter.
“It was a great team effort,” Harper said. “From this team, we’re losing Jamie and Kristine, so all of these girls will be back. Now these ladies have another year of experience under their belts and with the recruiting class we’ve added, we’ve got a lot to look forward to. We’ve got everything to gain. It was a great team effort excited and proud of what we did this week. Right now we have five guaranteed a trip to NCAA’s and we have a few that I believe will be fast enough to get the invite. Some girls will need to go faster next week in order to make it.”
The Seminoles head home with eight new school records, three event champions and six athletes garnering All-ACC honors.
The men’s swimming competition will run Feb. 28-March 2 in Greensboro, N.C. For more information on the meet, check back to Seminoles.com, twitter, and Facebook.
Wednesday, Feb. 20
200 Medley Relay – Disqualified
800 Free Relay – Second, 7:08.84 – New FSU Record
Thursday, Feb. 21
200 Free Relay – Second 1:29.76 – New FSU Record
500 Free- Jacobi fourth - 4:41.85 New FSU Record(4:44.84p), Henkel – 11th 4:47.81 (4:48.35p), Harrington – 18th 4:53.32 (4:57.53), Cuda – 22nd 4:56.65 (4:55.35), Pepper- 4:55.60
200 IM – Flewelling - Seventh 2:00.04(1:59.65p), Barrett – Eighth- 2:00.42 (2:00.16p), Polley – 11th 2:01.25 (2:02.82p), Buckley: 2:01.33 (2:01.77), Pochowski (2:04. P)
50 Free – Oliver- First 22.17 – New FSU Record (22.22p), Dressel – 10th 22.71 (22.71p), Cook – 20th 23.27 (23.17p), Powell – 23rd 23.42 (23.37p), Hicks – 31st 23.60, Wilson –32nd- 23.62.
3-meter diving (women) – Rittenhouse – First 369.55 New FSU Record, Goodman- 11th, 280.00
1-meter diving (men) – Neubacher – Third 388.50, Lewark- 11th 313.75, Klein -13th 304.20, Cole -207.60
Friday, Feb. 22
400 Medley Relay- Fifth 3:39.10
400 IM – Henkel – Third 4:12.39 (4:13.25p), Barrett – Sixth 4:15.09(4:15.08p)
100 Fly – Pepper- 13th 54.99 (54.25p), Spinazzola- 15th 55.27 (54.86p), Cook – 19th 56.03 (56.34p), Wilson- 22nd 56.71 (56.35p)
200 Free – Oliver (1:46.77p), Dressel 14th 1:47.75 (1:47.55), Jacobi- 16th 1:49.36 (1:49.00p) Buckley (1:50.17p), Powell – 20th 1:50.06 (1:50.24p), Cuda- 32nd 1:52.03, Harrington – 35th 1:53.75
100 Breast – Pochowski (1:02.46p), Flewelling- ninth 1:02.26 (1:03.02p), Polley – 10th 1:02.69 (1:03.39p)
100 Back – Spinazzola – fourth 53.52 (53.47p) New FSU Record, Hicks – seventh 53.91 (53.69p)
3-meter diving (men)- Neubacher- fourth 392.30, Lewark 13th 323.85, Klein- 17th 307.60, Cole, 242.10.
1-meter diving (women)- Rittenhouse- fourth 306.75, Goodman- seventh 300.35
Saturday, Feb. 23
1650 Free- Jacobi- sixth 16:23.56, Henkel- 10th – 16:37.53, Harrington- 11th 16:38.36.
200 Back – Hicks – sixth 1:56.98 (1:57.88p), Spinazzola- 19th 2:02.51 (2:02.74p)
100 Free – Oliver- First 48.19 – New FSU Record (48.47p), Dressel – Third 49.10 (49.85p), Buckley- 13th 50.35 (50.17p), Cook (50.49p), Wilson- 20th 50.83 (50.85p), Powell- 24th 51.61 (50.95p).
200 Breast – Polley – Third 2:13.32 (2:13.55p), Flewelling-Sixth 2:14.37 (2:15.42p), Pochowski- 15th 2:18.00 (2:16.92p)
200 Fly- Pepper- Eighth 1:59.75 (1:57.15p), Barrett- 15th- 2:03.96 (2:01.72p)
Platform Diving – Neubacher – Fourth 361.95, Klein – Fifth 357.65, Leward- Seventh 343.05
400 Free Relay- Second – 3:16.54 New FSU Record
Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.
Some solid swimming, but this team lacks depth enough to keep up with the the elite of the ACC.
We could do very well at NCAAs if they can make some finals in the sprints and don't get disqualified in the relays.
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