TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – September 21. WHILE all the old faces looked primed for another successful season of Florida State University swimming and diving, it was the newcomers that made the biggest splash at the annual Garnet and Gold meet on September 18 according to reports release by the school.
The Gold team prevailed in both meets, winning the women’s contest by a score of 90-76, while taking the men’s tilt 104-90. Both men and women are tuning up for the opening of their regular dual meet season against Clemson this coming weekend.
“It was a tough two-day test,” FSU head coach Neil Harper said. “Usually we’ve done the Garnet and Gold meet on a separate weekend, but we really tested them this year with the pentathlon on Friday and then came back with the Garnet and Gold meet the next morning.”
Pacing the Gold team was senior All-American Lisa How (Preston, England) as she captured a pair of events. The team co-captain took the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:10.19, then came back to post a victorious 2:07.31 in the 200-yard butterfly. The only other returning member of the Gold team to win an individual event was senior Angie Leach (Leesburg, Fla.) as she took the 1,650 free in 17:56.58.
Grabbing valuable points for the Gold team was newcomer Leah Woodard (San Antonio, Texas) as she won a pair of sprint freestyle events. The rookie led a trio of newcomers to the wall in both the 50 and 100 freestyle, taking the 50 in 24.31 while touching in at 52.00 to take the 100-yard race. Newcomers finished either first or second in all nine of the women’s individual events.
Success from new faces wasn’t limited to the Gold squad as the three wins from the Garnet team all came from freshman. Rookie Kristin Oxford (Charlotte, N.C.) posted a 1:55.26 to win the 200 free, while her 5:10.02 was tops at the 500-yard distance. Her club teammate Stacy Rademacher (Charlotte, N.C.) was first to the wall in the 200-yard backstroke, winning the event in 2:07.31.
“I was pleased with the contribution from the freshmen on both the guy’s and girl’s team,” Harper noted. “It was a pleasant surprise and we’re excited about that. Usually the freshmen are suffering from new training regimens, but they really responded well and that’s something to be excited about.”
Even though the Garnet team won five of the individual events during the men’s meet, the Gold squad made up the difference by winning both relay events. The Garnet team was led by veterans as all five of its victories came from returning swimmers.
ACC Champion Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.) captured a pair of blue ribbons, winning the 50 freestyle in a time of 21.57 before posting a 47.23 to win the 100 free. The sophomore duo of Steve Roof (Canton, Ohio) and Thomas Bishop (Houston, Texas) was responsible for the remainder of the Garnet’s three wins. Roof won the 200 fly at 1:57.01 to go along with a winning 4:43.35 in the 500 free. Bishop hit the touch pads with a time of 16:10.34 to capture the 1,650 freestyle.
While the Gold team got most of its points from veterans, three-fourths of the Garnet wins came from three different rookies. Freshman Dan Keeling (Westminster, Colo.) cruised to a victory in the 200-yard IM at 1:56.97 as did Billy Jamerson (Savannah, Ga.) in the 200 breaststroke with his winning 2:08.51. Fellow rookie Ian Powell (Guernsey, Channel Islands) beat All-ACC selection Chris Vythoulkas (Nassau, Bahamas) to the wall in the 200 backstroke, winning with a time of 1:52.65.
“I was pleased that they responded well and their enthusiasm level was maintained throughout the two days,” Harper added. “This weekend allowed us to see where we are and where we need to be before swimming an aggressive Clemson team on Saturday.”
The Seminoles unite for their first regular season meet of the year when they take on Clemson this weekend in the Leach Center pool. The men are trying to rebound from a 137-106 loss last year while the women’s team will swim the Tigers in a dual meet for the first time since 2001.