TALLAHASSEE, Fla., December 5. FLORIDA State head swimming and diving coach Neil Harper announced the signing of four swimmers and a diver during the early signing period today.
Thomas Bishop from Houston (Cypress Creek), Lauren Brick from Culpeper, Vir. (Culpeper County), Taryn Ignacio from Richmond, Ky. (Model Laboratory School), Brett Irvin from Boca Raton, Fla. (Pine Crest) and Mark Nicholls from Charlotte, N.C. (South Mecklenburg) have all signed National Letters of Intent to compete for the Seminoles in 2003-04.
Bishop will compete in the distance events for the Seminoles, such as the 500-, 1000- and 1650-yard freestyles. Entering into his senior year at Cypress Creek, Bishop is a three-time district champion in the 500-free. He earned first team All-America honors his junior year and has been selected to the all-state first team as a sophomore and junior.
Earlier in 2002 Bishop set Speedo Championship Series/
Southern Zone Short Course Sectional records in the 1000- and the 1650-frees and qualified for Senior Nationals in both events. Bishop, who chose FSU over USC and Arizona St., owns a best time of 15:34.25 in the 1650-free, 9:15.69 in the 500-free and 4:33.34 in the 500-free.
Brick, the lone female swimmer signed, will compete in the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes as well as the 50-free. Brick recently has received accolades such as Virginia Swimmer of the Year and All-America first team honors in the 100-breast, 200-medley relay and 200-free relay. She placed second at the Speedo Eastern Zone Sectionals and third at Junior Nationals in the 100-breast.
Brick is a district and region champion in the 100-breast and 50-free, and she placed second in the 100-breast and third in the 50-free at the Easter Prep League Championships. Her best times of 1:04.1 in the 100-breast and 24.5 in the 50-free have broken several state and Eastern Zone records. Brick, who chose FSU over NC State and Clemson, is an accomplished student as well, earning the President’s Education Award for outstanding academic achievement in addition to being a member of the National Honor Society and National Honor Roll. She currently has a 3.7 GPA.
Ignacio is the lone diver signed in the early period and will strengthen head diving coach Patrick Jeffrey’s already talented women’s squad. She is a nine-time Junior National qualifier (summer and winter nationals) in addition to being a four-time Senior National qualifier and region team member.
At the 2002 Junior Nationals, Ignacio scored 381.18 on the one-meter and 408.86 on the tower. Ignacio set school records on six and 11 dives at Model Laboratory School, where she was a Key Club member as well as being named to Who’s Who Among American High School Students.
Irvin will enter Florida State as a highly decorated scholastic athlete after earning All-America, all-state and all-county awards in each of his four years at Pine Crest High School. He holds best times of 46.20 in the 100-free, 1:40.95 in the 200-free, 1:54.36 in the 200-IM and 21.46 in the 50-free. Irvin, who has a current GPA of 3.0, chose FSU over Auburn, Tennessee, North Carolina and Clemson.
Nicholls will help out the Seminoles in the butterfly events and 500-free. In 2002, he was named to the all-conference and all-regional teams after winning the 100-yard butterfly at the regional meet. In 2001, Nicholls was the Southern Zone champion in the 200-fly.
Nicholls has also qualified for Junior Nationals in the 100- and 200-flys and the 500-free. His best times include 1:51.0 in the 200-fly, 4:39.7 in the 500-free, 4:08.5 in the 400-IM and 52.0 in the 100-fly. In the classroom, Nicholls has a 3.5 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society and Honor Roll.