FORT MYERS, Florida, October 6. THE Florida State women's swimming and diving team began its season with a victory, defeating Florida Gulf Coast by a score of 173-122 in Fort Myers, Fla. on Saturday.
“I thought they did well today,” head coach Neil Harper said. “We had to deal with some travel issues and we had a few kids out, so we had to move around some of the swimmers, but I thought it was great to have some of our returning NCAA swimmers step up for us. We also had the support from some of the kids' families and that was great to see.”
The Seminoles won 13 of the 16 events at the meet. In the 1000 free, Florida State posted a sweep as junior Julia Henkel touched in first with a time of 10:15.46. A pair of freshmen followed as Madison Jacobi was second (10:17.79) and Lauren Hine placed third (10:24.82).
The next two races, Florida State would put out the one-two punch. Junior Tiffany Oliver captured victory in the 200 free with a time of 1:52.92, while freshmen Josie Cuda grabbed second with a mark of 1:54.09.
“We made a few changes at the top of the line up in it worked,” Harper said. “Julia stepped up and won the 1000 and Tiffany came right back and won the 200 free after anchoring the medley relay to victory. Our freshman really contributed. That gave us a cushion with those first three events and were able to relax and get on a roll and really that's when we began to perform well.”
In the 100 back, junior Ashley Hicks continued her strong showing in that distance as she won the race with a time of 56. 51. Freshman Bianca Spinazzola followed in second, touching the wall at 57.31 seconds.
After the Seminoles gave up a sweep in the 100 breast to FGCU, sophomore Elizabeth Pepper coasted to a win in the 200 fly with a time of 2:05.42. Sophomore Kaityln Dressel would follow her classmate and win the 50 free with a 23.38 readout.
In diving, the Seminoles owned the boards as junior Katrina Young won the 1-meter event with a score of 295.20. Junior Kelsey Goodman finished second, scoring 275.02. From the 3-meter distance, Goodman dominated and grabbed first with a score of 310.05, while Young followed in second at 263.10.
Dressel would take her second victory by out-touching Oliver in the 100 free. Dressel posted a time of 50.70, while Oliver swam a mark of 50.74.
Jacobi held on to win the 500 free with a time of 5:01.06, just edging out Eva Lehtonen of Florida Gulf Coast (5:01.28).
The Seminoles showed their dominance in the 100 fly as they placed in the top four spots of the heat. Pepper led the way with a time of 57.78, Spinazzola was second with a read out of 58.09, freshman Jordan Jamarkowicz took third (58.64) and her classmate Mary Elizabeth King rounded out the FSU field in fourth (58.96).
Henkel finished the meet with a win in the 200 IM, touching with a time of 2:06.16.
Both Seminole relays swam to victory. In the 200 medley relay, the team of Spinazzola, Dressel, senior Jamie Barrett and Oliver posted a time of 1:45.19. The 200 free relay swam to a mark of 1:35.27 with a team of Dressel, Oliver, sophomore Katie Cook and freshman Kelsey Buckley.
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