TALLAHASSEE, FL, January 23. WITH the cancellation of two meets during the spring semester, Florida State University reports that swimming and diving coach Neil Harper wanted to make sure his squads had a chance to swim competitively before the league championships meets and the Seminoles’ January 29 meet with defending national champions Auburn.
For the first time in over a month, the whole squad was in competitive waters as the Tribe posted a pair of dual meet victories Thursday over cross-town rival Florida A&M. The men’s team came away with a 143-58 triumph, while the women were victorious 137-34.
“When LSU canceled on us we had a big whole in our schedule so we put this meet together and it served its purpose,” Harper said. “We put the kids up in their normal events and they got to race in our pool and it was certainly a good tune up for the next test, which is Auburn.”
The Seminoles started the meet strong, winning both 400 medley relays. Opening the afternoon was the quartet of Emily Breen (Savannah, Ga.), Lauren Brick (Culpeper, Va.), Lauren Sparg (Durban, South Africa) and Carrie Ellis (Varico, Fla.) as they posted a 3:49.88. Taking the men’s race in 3:25.25 was the quartet of Jarryd Botha (Worcester, South Africa), Billy Jamerson (Savannah, Ga.), Joel Roycik (Winter Park, Fla.) and Ed Denton (Maidenhead, England).
The winning streak continued as FSU took both races of the 1,000 freestyle. Senior Golda Marcus (Coral Springs, Fla.) took the women’s heat in 10:14.72, while Thomas Bishop (Houston, Texas) came away with the men’s victory in 9:24.67. Florida State swept the 200 freestyle with Ellis posting a 1:52.69 to take the women’s race and Stephan Conner (Burr Ridge, Ill.) notched a 1:43.00 as the top men’s racer.
Both 50 freestyle races went Florida State’s way with rookie Abbie King (Brunswick, Maine) capturing a 24.19 to go along with a 21.14 by Roycik – just 0.01 faster than Michael Averett (Davie, Fla.) – to win the men’s race. Breen came through with a 2:08.99 to win the women’s 200 individual medley while Denton swam the event for the first time in his career and posting a winning 1:55.18.
Freshmen were in charge of the 200 butterfly as Lindsay Kenney (Plano, Texas) was first to the wall in the women’s meet with her 2:06.83, while Ian Powell (Guernsey, Channel Islands) won his blue ribbon with a 1:53.05. Senior Kayce Zemina (Plantation, Fla.) was victorious in the 100 free at 55.38 to go along with a winning 46.95 by Alex Kennon (Winter Haven, Fla.).
“I like the fact that our kids didn’t look too rusty in racing,” Harper noted. “They were up for the meet, they were eager to come and do what they could. For the most part we posted some pretty good times and they seem like they’re responding to the work we’re doing.”
Providing the women’s victory in the 200 backstroke was rookie Kate Skaggs (Jacksonville, Fla.) with her top time of 2:06.85. The first double individual winner for the men was Powell as he added to his 200 fly victory with a top 200 backstroke time of 1:52.10. Joining Powell in the double victory club was Marcus as she posted a 5:06.56 to take the 500 freestyle. Capturing the men’s race was freshman Kyle Young (Oviedo, Fla.) as he hi the wall in 4:39.02.
Taking both boards of the diving events were sophomore Brittany Lerew (Orlando, Fla.) and freshman Alex Tilbrook (Largo, Fla.). Lerew took the one-meter board with a career-best tally of 320.85 to go along with her top score of 327.45 in the three-meter competition. Tillbrook posted the best scores of his early FSU career with a 339.60 on the one-meter as well as a 359.10 during the three-meter.
Two of the best breaststrokers in the country stayed true to form as Brick and Jamerson won the 200-yards races. Brick tallied a 2:24.24 while Jamerson was 2:08.42 in victory.
Rounding out the meet was a pair of victories in the 400 free relay. Winning the women’s race with a 3:30.80 was the quartet of Breen, Ellis, King and Katie Metka (Largo, Fla.) while Roycik, Averett, Kennon and Denton won the men’s race in 3:05.64.
Florida State wraps up the dual meet portion of its schedule next week when it takes on men’s and women’s defending national champions Auburn at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 29, at the Leach Center.