TALLAHASSEE, Florida, October 11. THE Florida State men's swimming and diving team christened the Morcom Aquatic Center on Saturday with a victory against Alabama 179.5-120.5 while the women were defeated 157-143.
"Our teams really battled today," FSU head coach Neil Harper said. "We are excited with the way both the men and women are responding to their training. We are working them hard and they are still able to get out there and race fast against a good team like Alabama."
"Today was great and to race in a pool like this is fantastic," junior Andy Hodgson said. "To come out with good crowd support made it a lot of fun to race."
The Seminole men (2-0, 0-0) were paced by redshirt seniors Jarryd Botha and Ed Denton and junior Andy Hodgson, with all three winning two individual events. Botha was victorious in the 100 back (50.60) and 100 fly (49.63), Denton swept the sprint events winning the 50 free (21.18) and 100 free (46.56) and Andy Hodgson won the 200 free (1:39.82) and 200 back (1:50.46). The Seminoles also swept the diving events with junior Terry Horner winning the one-meter (379.50) and senior Scott Derner capturing the three-meter (331.05). Even with all of the event wins, it was Florida State's depth that helped lead the team to victory.
"We really emphasize depth," Harper said. "It isn't necessarily who steps up and wins events it's who finishes second, third or fourth and I think you saw that today."
"I feel beat up and tired right now because of our training," Hodgson said. "We're all beat up, but we're still racing fast and doing really well which is exciting."
Despite the loss for the women, FSU (4-1, 1-0) had some great peformances. Junior Stevi Steinhauer, sophomore Jocelyn Phillips and freshman Stephanie Sarandos won two individual events with Steinhauer winning the 50 free (23.75) and 100 free(52.01),Phillips taking home wins in the 200 free (1:50.23) and 500 free (4:58.91) and Sarandos being victorious in the 100 back (56.59) and 200 back (2:00.71). Alabama won on the strength of 1-2-3 finishes in one-meter diving and the 200 individual medley.
"I feel like our girls swam well enough to win," Harper said. "Watching them swim and compete I walk away from this meet thinking we did win. I think we may have come away taking a few more steps forward with a tough loss rather than an easy win."
The Seminoles will be home again next weekend at the Morcom Aquatic Center on Saturday, October 18, at 11:00 a.m. against against ACC rival Georgia Tech. Admission is free and for a recap and results log onto www.seminoles.com.
Special thanks to Florida State for contributing this report.