STOCKTON, Calif., October 24. FLORIDA State University swimming and diving head coach Neil Harper knew the same effort that he got from his team on Friday against the top ten Cal Bears would almost guarantee a victory on Saturday, but that it would be tougher to get the team up for the meet with Pacific.
Harper’s worries were eased as the school reports the Seminoles came away with a pair of victories.
Despite not being able to rely on the valuable diving points that FSU racks up every meet, Florida State split its West Coast trip. The women’s meet came down to the end as the Seminoles (5-1 overall, 1-0 ACC) prevailed 108-97. FSU’s men (3-1, 1-0 overall) had an easier time, posting a 132.50-67.50 triumph.
“It was one of those things where we needed certain people to step up and they did,” Harper said. “It was fun. It was a little nerve-racking there in the women’s meet, but the girls really stepped up. This trip was very beneficial. To come out here and swim two good west coast teams, especially Cal the first day, and come away one and one is a good experience that we can build upon for the semester and throughout the year.”
The Seminoles built an early lead by taking the first two events in both meets. Both 200 medley relays were triumphant as were Golda Marcus (Coral Springs, Fla.) and Thomas Bishop (Houston, Texas) in the 1,000 free. Whereas the men continued to roll—the Seminoles won all 11 events—during the next two races with Ed Denton (Maidenhead, England) taking the 500 free and Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.) winning the 50 free, the Pacific women’s team fought back to win the next three events.
Getting the women back on track were wins by Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga.) in the 100 fly and a 100 free victory from Carrie Ellis (Valrico, Fla.). Rookie Stacy Rademacher (Charlotte, N.C.) grabbed a first-place finish in the 100 backstroke and sophomore Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va.) came from behind on the final lap to win the 100 breaststroke and secure the team victory.
“It was something that helped us compete yesterday and not having it today was a little stressful, especially when they had a girl win the 200 and 50, so we knew that every race was going to be important and we had to win it before they did,” Harper said of divers. “Carrie Ellis, Stacy Rademacher and Golda Marcus all stepped up for us. Lauren Bick had a great swim, beating a girl that swam for South Africa in the Olympics by coming back in the final lap. She (Ziada Jardine) took Lauren out, but she was able to catch her on the last lap.”
Meanwhile, the men were cruising to victory as Dan Keeling (Westminster, Colo.) won the 200 individual medley and Michael Averett (Davie, Fla.) added a win in the 100 fly. Roycik picked up his second win of the day, taking the 100 free to go along with an Ian Powell (Guernsey, Channel Islands) win in the 100 back.
Bishop added another win by beating teammate Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio) by 0.13 in the 500 freestyle. Freshman Billy Jamerson (Savannah, Ga.) took the 100 breaststroke and 200 free relay finished off the meet with a victory. Florida State dominated the men’s meet with four one-two-three finishes and three more races where it took first and second.
“Those two really stepped up and led by example,” Harper noted of Roycik and Bishop. “Joel did a great job in the 50 and 100 free and Tommy came through with two wins in the 500 and 1000. His 1,000 was a little bit better and he and Roof raced the entire way in the 500 and Tommy just out-touched him.”
Florida State gets back into Atlantic Coast Conference action next weekend when it travels to Atlanta for a two-day meet against a trio of league squads. The Seminoles will take on Georgia Tech, Maryland and Virginia Tech—the first meet against the newest member of the league—on Friday and Saturday.